Ian Harries from Haverfordwest has won this year’s BOC Welsh Apprentice Welder competition held at Coleg Powys in Newtown on 29-30 June.
The six competitors at this year’s final had all come through a process of local and regional heats in order to reach this stage.
The competition is part of the Apprentice Welding Scheme sponsored by the industrial gases and engineering company BOC.
Ian (21), who works for Mainport Engineering and is a student at Mitec Pembrokeshire College, was delighted to take the top prize. “I’ve really enjoyed welding ever since my first day on the course. Last year I came second in this competition so this year I was determined to go one better” he said, receiving his trophy and a BOC welding visor at the awards ceremony.
Presenting the awards, Russell George, Welsh Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire, commented: “Looking at the standard of these entries, Wales can be proud of the skills it has nurtured. Young people like these will ensure that Wales remains a force in the UK and wider economy.”
For BOC, a member of The Linde Group, a new generation of highly-skilled welders is essential for a prosperous economy. “Manufacturing forms the bedrock of our society,” noted Paul Levie, BOC’s Area Sales Manager. “And engineering skills like welding are vital to ensuring that we can continue to make things that our economy – and the global economy – needs. As a science and engineering based company, we are proud to investing in the future of the young people of Wales.”
Colleges across Wales took part in the competition which seeks to recognise the highest level of welding skills. Dave Williams, Deputy Principal of Coleg Powys, said: “Further education colleges have an irreplaceable role in training the skilled workforce of tomorrow. For that reason we are delighted to be able to showcase the skills of the best apprentice welders in Wales here today.”