Joe Coleman is England’s best apprentice welder in 2010, winning this year’s BOC English Apprentice Welder title against stiff competition in the finals held at Castle College Nottingham, on 6-7 July.
The competition is part of the UK Apprentice Welding Scheme sponsored by the industrial gases and engineering company BOC. Separate events have been held in Wales and England.
22 year old Joe, from Lowestoft, had progressed through his local welding skills competition at Lowestoft College and the regional heats as well. Joe, who works for Derick Services UK Ltd in Great Yarmouth, was delighted to receive the award from the President of The Welding Institute, Richard Sadler. “It’s great to have won – but I hadn’t expected to. Some of the welding tests were very difficult and I was up against the best apprentices from around the country,” he said.
For BOC, a member of The Linde Group, encouraging the next generation of engineers and welders is a key part of its planning for the future. “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,” said Mike Dennis, BOC’s Business Director. “Britain is investing in major infrastructure developments over the coming years and we are proud to be supporting the young people who will deliver that future.”
Richard Sadler, the President of The Welding Institute, stressed the vital importance of welding skills for the future as he presented the prizes to the winning students. “Welding is a leading-edge technology providing solutions to some of the most complex and difficult engineering challenges,” he noted, “To employ these techniques effectively, we need highly-talented, highly-motivated young people. That is why I am delighted to be able to publicly recognise the skills and efforts of these young people tonight.”
Colleges across England took part in the competition which seeks to recognise the highest level of skills in this area. The finals event at Castle College represents the culmination of a great deal of hard work. Mal Cowgill, College Principal, said: “Further Education is a vital element in preparing the highly skilled engineers and craftsmen of the future. We are a college with strong links to the engineering and manufacturing sectors. So we are delighted that the College has been chosen to host this important event.”