Kyle Tinney is Scotland's best apprentice welder - and that's official! He won the title at the Scottish Welder Competition, held at Cumbernauld College, and was presented with his prize by the Secretary of State for Scotland, Jim Murphy MP.
Scottish Welder is part of a national Apprentice Welding Scheme being sponsored by the industrial gases and engineering company BOC. Separate events are being held in Wales and England over the coming weeks.
Kyle had previously won his local college welding skills competition at Motherwell College and the regional heats before taking part in the June 17-19 finals, beating strong competition from nine other apprentices to become Scottish Welder 2009.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, the Secretary of State emphasised the importance of these skills to the Scottish economy. "It is an honour to present the prizes to the winners of the BOC Apprentice Welding Scottish final. These talented and skilled apprentices are the lifeblood of Scottish manufacturing and are crucial to driving our future economic growth."
For companies like BOC, a member of the Linde Group, a world-leading gases and engineering company, encouraging the next generation of engineers and welders is a key part of its business strategy. "As a nation that excels in engineering and high quality manufacturing, it is essential that our young people have the right skills to maintain that tradition. As a company at the heart of this industry, BOC is keen to encourage new entrants to maximise their skills," commented Mark Jenkinson, Head of Customer Service for BOC in the UK & Ireland. "The Apprentice Welding Competition is a new way of doing that and we are proud to support this initiative."
Colleges across Scotland took part in the competition which seeks to recognise the highest level of skills in this area. The finals event at Cumbernauld College represents the culmination of a great deal of hard work. Martin McGuire, College Principal, said: "I am delighted that the College hosted this important event. Our continued investment in training and facilities, across all curricular areas, ensures our students are equipped with the necessary skills to succeed when they leave college. Competition such as this provides students with experience of the standards which employers demand in the marketplace".
Cumbernauld College is a Further and Higher Education establishment serving the communities of North Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire. It provides education and training in a wide range of subjects and at all levels including, access/introduction, NQ, HN and degree. The College attracts more than 7000 students annually and employs 300 qualified staff members.
BOC is a member of The Linde Group. An industrial and special gases provider, the company supplies compressed and bulk gases, chemicals and equipment. For more than a century the company's gases and expertise have contributed to advances in many areas of everyday life, and industries including steelmaking, refining, chemical processing, environmental protection, wastewater treatment, welding and cutting, food processing and distribution, glass production, electronics and health care.
The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with almost 52,000 employees working in around 100 countries worldwide. In the 2008 financial year it achieved sales of EUR 12.7 billion. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment - in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development. For more information, see The Linde Group online at http://www.linde.com
1. The winners of the 10 regional finals contested the national final on 17-19 June at Cumbernauld College.
2. The UK Apprentice Welding Competition is an initiative of the Learning and Skills Council, and UK Skills.
3. It is running for three years, starting in September 2008, across England, Scotland and Wales.
4. The competition is open to candidates of any age, but they must be engaged upon a course of training recognised by an award body
5. Entrants to this competition may see this as sound preparation for the SkillWeld programme with the aim of participating in the WorldSkills international competition which will be held in the UK in 2011. However, for this event only candidates up to 22 years old can participate.