December 09, 2013 London
This year’s winner and gold medalist of the UK’s most prestigious national welding competition - SkillWeld 2013 - is 19-year-old Kurt Rodgers who works at Alstom UK in Staffordshire.
Kurt demonstrated outstanding skill in welding to complete three challenging test pieces in carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium using a combination of manual metal arc (MMA), tungsten inert gas (TIG) and metal active gas (MAG) techniques. Kurt becomes the 12th UK SkillWeld champion.
Kurt said: “I’m really proud to have come this far and to have won the competition. As a welding apprentice, I can say from experience that welding can open doors to some great career choices.”
Kurt was one of 10 welders from across the UK to be shortlisted for the final stage of the competition after scoring highly in the regional heats which took place earlier this year. The final stage of the competition took place at The Skills Show at Birmingham’s NEC in November 2013. The silver medal went to 19-year-old Ben Clement who works at C3 Engineering Ltd in Great Yarmouth and 19-year-old Thomas Beardsley who works at National Grid in Derby, received the bronze medal.
The finalists were observed by the judging team marking them at World Skills UK criteria level as they made their test pieces. The judges examined 26 elements on the carbon steel pipe, 14 elements for the aluminium welded piece and 11 elements for the stainless steel piece.
David Cleghorn, World Skills UK judge and UK training manager for WorldSkills, said: “The skill level shown by all the contestants was exceptionally good and it is pleasing to have so much talent to select from this year. The winner and runners up in this year’s competition may have an opportunity for further training by WorldSkills UK and selection for Team UK to compete at the forthcoming WorldSkills São Paulo Brazil in 2015.”
Colin Kennedy, welding expert at Air Products, who helped to organise the competition, added: “All the contestants this year are great ambassadors for their craft and we hope that their achievement will inspire others to consider a career in welding in the future. As a qualified welder myself, I know that welding skills can lead to a variety of career opportunities in diverse industries, from the oil and gas industry to metal fabrication.”
For more information about SkillWeld 2013 and SkillWeld 2014 registration visit www.airproducts.co.uk/skillweld.
About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE:APD) provides atmospheric, process and specialty gases; performance materials; equipment; and technology. For over 70 years, the company has enabled customers to become more productive, energy efficient and sustainable. Recognized as one of the world’s most innovative companies by both Thomson Reuters and Forbes magazine, more than 20,000 employees in over 50 countries supply effective solutions to the energy, environment and emerging markets. These include semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, coal gasification, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. In fiscal 2013, Air Products had sales of $10.2 billion. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
About SkillWeld 2013
SkillWeld 2013 is a national competition for trainee welders, run by The SkillWeld Committee, which is sponsored by Air Products. The competition helps to showcase the skills of trainee welders and to recognise the important role played by colleges, training providers and employers in supporting the development of welding skills nationwide. For more information visit www.airproducts.co.uk/skillweld.
The national final of this year’s SkillWeld 2013 event took place at the UK WorldSkills event, organised by UKSkills, and the overall winner will have the chance to go forward to compete internationally at WorldSkills in 2015.
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