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The Welding Institute Celebrates ‘Skills Olympics’

Fri, 06 September, 2019

The Welding Institute is celebrating the UK’s participation in the international Worldskills Finals in Kazan, Russia.

The biennial competition, which has been dubbed the ‘Skills Olympics,’ saw the UK’s top apprentices showcase their technical skills against competitors from around the world.

Over 250,000 people gathered in Kazan, Russia for the closing ceremony of Worldskills, which included an address from President Putin.

With the UK team picking up two gold medals, one silver, one bronze and 15 medallions of excellence, coming twelfth from 62 competing nations, it is a testament to the effort that goes into preparing the competitors for this event.

The UK competitors, who are all under 25 years of age, were selected by the governing body, Worldskills UK, and underwent extensive training ahead of competing.

Among the competitors was WEC Group Training Academy apprentice, Tyler Atkinson from Blackburn, who won silver in the Construction Metalwork competition in 2017. The 19-year-old third year welding/fabrication apprentice was put forward for the Worldskills finals after proving himself among the best young metalworkers in the UK.

Although Tyler did not finish in the medals, the experience helped him to develop his skills and enhance his career prospects.

His success in reaching the Worldskills event is testament to the support offered by The Welding Institute’s Association of Welding Fabrication Training and Education (AWFTE), who oversee the Construction Metalwork competition, and the volunteers who freely give up their time to support the entrants.

Worldskills UK chief executive, Neil Bentley-Gockmann, paid tribute to the UK team at Worldskills, saying, “This is a fantastic result for the team and the UK as a whole. I couldn’t be prouder. This was the ultimate test and they stepped up to the mark. Team UK championed the nation’s focus on skills development in front of a global audience, sending a strong message that it is a world-class place to invest, do business and create jobs.”

The next set of Construction Metalwork competitors are already progressing through the regional heats, with the top ten competitors due to be invited to take part in the final at this year’s Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham in November. From there, those who are eligible may be selected for training for squad selection to represent team Great Britain at next year’s final of World Skills in Shanghai.

The Welding Institute is proud to continue supporting Construction Metalwork and thereby help advance the next generation of skilled UK engineers.

Worldskills competitor Tyler Atkinson
Worldskills competitor Tyler Atkinson
Construction Metalwork 2017 - including Tyler Atkinson (second from right)
Construction Metalwork 2017 - including Tyler Atkinson (second from right)

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