The Welding Institute in Cambridge was the setting for the first UK Apprentice Welder of the Year awards on Tuesday 18 October, sponsored by industrial gases and engineering business BOC.
Nine competitors, having succeeded at local, regional and home-nation stages of the competition, completed some extremely challenging welding tasks as they attempted to lift this year’s award.
In the end, it was Richard Keatman from Stafford who prevailed. The 21 year old student at Alstom Power, was presented with his award by the President of The Welding Institute, John Baxter, at a special awards ceremony.
Presenting Richard with his prize, John Baxter, who is also Group Head of Engineering at BP, paid tribute to the skills on display. “The UK has a very ambitious programme of major energy and infrastructure projects over the next decade, including new power stations, offshore oil production and rail links. These will all need highly-skilled specialist workers, including many thousands of welders. That is why organisations like TWI and BOC are highlighting this critical need – and celebrating the best young talent in the UK.”
The UK Apprentice Welder of the Year Award is sponsored by BOC, a member of The Linde Group. Mike Dennis, Business Director for BOC’s Bulk and Packaged Gases, said: “The UK has to promote and encourage these key engineering skills if we are to maintain our position as a leading engineering and manufacturing economy. That is why BOC believes this competition to be so important for the future. I’d like to congratulate all the competitors on the exceptionally high standard of their entries.”