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News ReleaseTalent pool grows in search for Britain’s top trainee welder

March 12, 2014 London, UK

This year’s SkillWeld 2014 competition to find Britain’s most talented trainee welder is attracting entries from more further education colleges and training centres than ever before as interest in welding skills grows across the UK. So far, the competition has attracted over 100 entries.

A total of 14 further education colleges and three in-house training centres at some of the UK’s leading engineering firms including Doosan Power Systems, Alstom UK and National Grid are participating in this year’s competition, which is fast gaining a reputation as a leading showcase of high-quality welding skills.

Last year’s winner, Kurt Rodgers, who is a welding apprentice at Alstom UK, believes the competition is helping to encourage more young people to look for an apprenticeship. He said:

“Since winning SkillWeld 2014, I have been put forward for an opportunity to be selected to compete in WorldSkills 2015 in Sao Paulo, which is a tremendous achievement. Who would have thought that a welding apprenticeship could open up doors to so many opportunities? Welding skills are important to so many heavy industries around the world and that means there will always be jobs for those that have them.”

For the first round of this year’s competition, all the entrants will be asked to fulfil various arc welding tasks, under timed conditions, using a variety of metals and methods. Their work will be assessed by a local welding trainer and, if successful, they will be placed on a shortlist of contestants to participate in a series of regional semi-final events.

The final stage of the competition will take place at The Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham in November 2014.

Colin Kennedy, Marketing Associate UK & Ireland at Air Products, lead sponsor of the competition, said:

“The competition is going from strength to strength and is attracting the very best welding talent at colleges and training centres up and down the country. Welding skills are vital to many highly-paid jobs from precision engineering for the automotive and aerospace industries to construction for the oil and gas industry. These sectors are relying on a pipeline of welding talent and this competition will help create this.”

For more information about SkillWeld 2014 visit
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
About SkillWeld 2014
SkillWeld 2014 is a national competition for trainee welders, run by The Welding Institute and UKSkills, and 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
The national final of this year’s SkillWeld 2014 event will take place at The Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham in November 2014.

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