James Elliot is Crowned the UK’s Best Welder at SkillWeld 2016
November 23, 2016 London, UK
A talented welder from GE, James Elliot, has beaten his personal best to be crowned champion of the UK’s national welding competition, SkillWeld 2016.
The SkillWeld final, held at The Skills Show at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, put 10 welders through their paces during an intensive three day competition. The contestants were asked to perform various joint configurations and processes on different metals, including low carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium, to demonstrate their skills across a variety of materials. Judging was conducted through x-rays, pressure testing methods and visual inspections by some of the UK’s leading welding experts. Elliot scored the highest number of points and took the gold medal.
SkillWeld, now in its 17th year, forms a part of WorldSkills UK and is backed by leaders across the welding, skills and manufacturing industries. WorldSkills plays a vital role in raising standards, esteem and levels of expertise amongst young welding talent.
After letting the victory sink in, Elliot commented: “I’m absolutely over the moon. It’s a tough, intense and exciting competition, and I’m pleased all the hard work has paid off. You don’t often get the opportunity to show off the skills you learn at work, but SkillWeld has allowed me to do just that. I’d also like to say well done to all the other competitors who were superb to see in action and can’t wait to put what I’ve done during the event to use at work!”
Kevin Sherry, Lead Application Specialist - UK and Ireland Metal Fabrication Team at Air Products, the company that sponsors the SkillWeld competition, added: “It’s great to see so many talented welders excel at this year’s competition and we’d like to congratulate James for his impressive achievement. His enthusiasm, skill and drive to claim first place has been remarkable and he thoroughly deserves the title.”
Tim Hulbert, Vice President UK & Ireland at Air Products added, “We are a proud sponsor of SkillWeld, because it’s focused on helping to improve welding skills in the UK and gives young welders the opportunity to be recognised for their talents. James is a perfect example of how the competition encourages young welders to develop their skills, in order to be the best they can be. As the demand for talented welders increases in the UK, in the energy sector and elsewhere, we’d encourage any welder to apply for SkillWeld and demonstrate their welding skills to some of the industry’s experts.”
Gary Brooks, Global Boiler Welding Programme Manager at GE, said: ”GE Power prides itself on having a world class welding department which enables welders coming through the system to achieve an extremely high standard across many processes, materials, dimensions, mainly in tough working conditions with restricted access. This type of competition allows the apprentices to see how good they are when compared with others across the UK. And with only minimal practice allowed between site projects, it really is a great achievement by James - not forgetting our other two GE finalists, William Emery and Jake Repsys, who both did extremely well, as did Jason Farrell, who trained and mentored them all.”
Jason Farrell, Senior Welding Instructor and James’ manager at GE said: “James is a fantastic apprentice and has always worked hard to develop his welding skills . We always get excellent feedback from the GE sites that James has worked on, so I asked James if he would like to compete in the Skillweld competition with a couple of our other apprentices. James winning the competition is a fantastic outcome for James and GE, we are proud to produce welders of this standard.”
SkillWeld returns in 2017 and is aimed at any welder who is currently undergoing training in the welding industry, at an advanced or higher level. It tests the competitors’ skills in three core welding processes: Manual Metal Arc (MMA), Metal Active Gas (MAG) and Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG). The closing date for competition entries is 7th April 2017.
For more information or to enter the competition, please visit www.airproducts.co.uk/skillweld.
About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE:APD) is a world-leading Industrial Gases company in operation for over 75 years. The Company’s core industrial gases business provides atmospheric and process gases and related equipment to manufacturing markets, including refining and petrochemical, metals, electronics, and food and beverage. Air Products is also the world’s leading supplier of liquefied natural gas process technology and equipment. The Company’s Performance Materials Division serves the polyurethanes, cleaning and coatings, and adhesives industries.
The Company had fiscal 2016 sales of $9.5 billion and has a current market capitalization of approximately $30 billion. Approximately 17,000 employees in 50 countries strive to make Air Products the world’s safest and best performing industrial gases company, providing sustainable offerings and excellent service to all customers. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company’s Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2016.
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