The search is on for the best trainee and apprentice welders in the UK. BOC’s Apprentice Welder Competition 2009-10 has been launched in colleges across the country.
Winners of the local college-based competitions will progress to regional heats. Finals will be held in Scotland, Wales and England in June and July 2010.
With large infrastructure projects – including new power stations, railways, etc – due to be constructed in the next decade, skills like welding will be at a premium. As the country’s largest supplier of welding gases, BOC, a member of The Linde Group, is keen to support moves to increase both the number and the quality of welding technicians.
Last year saw the launch of the UK Apprentice Welder Competition. BOC was the main sponsor and it also attracted support from the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly. The competition took place in over 40 colleges with a total of more than 400 competitors. BOC expects that interest among Further Education colleges will be even higher this year, now that the competition is established.
The competition has three stages: Level A takes place within the colleges with each setting challenges that are most appropriate to their local requirements. Level B consists of regional heats between a number of Training Providers – at this level the competitors have to complete a number of test pieces. The winners progress to the three home nation finals (England, Scotland and Wales), where competitors have to complete more difficult test pieces.
The national finals will be held at:
- Scotland – Motherwell College, 16-18 June
- Wales – Deeside College, 29-30 June and 1 July
- England – Castle College Nottingham, 6-8 July
BOC’s Head of Marketing, Mike Dennis, said: “High level welding skills will be an essential element in delivering the infrastructure improvements planned for the coming decade. We are keen to support moves to enhance the UK’s engineering capabilities so we are delighted to continue our sponsorship of this national skills competition.”