Apprentices and trainee welders are being invited to put their welding skills to the test by taking part in the most prestigious welding competition in the UK.
SkillWeld, now in its 18th year, is an annual competition organised by the SkillWeld Committee, supported by Semta and main sponsor Air Products. The committee, chaired by Chris Eady of The Welding Institute, comprises representatives of leading industry champions: Lincoln Electric, Doosan Power Systems, GE Power, ECITB, EAL, AWD, Weldability-sif, Code-A-Weld and Pearsall Training & Consultancy.
SkillWeld has three competition rounds that culminate in the finals at The Skills Show in November.
In the first round of competition, the passive heats, competitors weld a number of standard carbon steel test pieces that are assessed by their lecturer or trainer. The semi-finals, at one of seven regional centres in the UK, challenge the competitors with test pieces in carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminium. Finally, those who make it through to the national finals will have to fabricate test objects in carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium.
SkillWeld is an elite competition that identifies the ten best trainee welders in the country. SkillWeld finalists may be eligible for selection to represent their country at the EuroSkills and WorldSkills competitions, taking place in Abu Dhabi in 2017 (WorldSkills), Budapest in 2018 (EuroSkills) and Kazan, Russia, in 2019 (WorldSkills).
Josh Peek from L&G Engineering in Norfolk, who recently won a gold medal for his welding performance at EuroSkills 2016 in Gothenburg, had previously won the bronze medal in SkillWeld 2014.
SkillWeld 2017 is open to all apprentices and trainee welders who are on a recognised welding training course, including welding and fabrication, regardless of age.
The passive heats format has been revised for 2017, to enable training providers to more easily fit the assessment around their usual training. The heats no longer require special material to be ordered in, instead naturally fitting around the curriculum for Level 2–3 welder training.
All passive heats must be completed by 7 April 2017. For more details and a registration form, visit the SkillWeld website.