Joseph Ferris from Erskine has won the BOC Scottish Apprentice Welder title this year after triumphing in this year’s competition final at Angus College, Arbroath, today.
He beat seven other young welders from across Scotland to win the trophy. All the competitors were required to complete sophisticated welding ‘test pieces’ as a way of demonstrating their skills to the judges. These replicated the type of work they have to undertake on major engineering projects.
For Joseph (22), who works for BAE Systems in Govan, it was an opportunity to test his skills against the best in the country. “I’m really pleased to win,” he said. “But it was a tough competition.”
The competition is sponsored by BOC, the country’s largest supplier of industrial gases and related engineering equipment. To reach the final, the student welders had to compete at local and regional heats before qualifying for the final.
Scott Cluckie, BOC’s Area Sales Manager - Scotland, noted how the competition provides a real incentive to the students. “Year after year, we are seeing a steady increase in the standard of entries,” he said. “As an engineering-based business, we know how vital skills like welding are to the economy, so we are pleased to be involved with the Scottish Apprentice Welder, encouraging these young people to develop their talents to the highest level.”
John Burt, Principal of Angus College, which hosted the final, said: “As a leading college in Scotland, it gives us great pleasure to be able to showcase the skills of these young people. Engagement with industry in order to develop the skills to drive the economy forward is a priority at Angus College and this event demonstrates the real value of those links.”
Eight apprentices took part in the Scottish national final on 13-14 June held at Angus College, Arbroath.
The UK Apprentice Welding Competition is an annual competition designed to encourage and recognise excellence in welding skills amongst trainees and apprentices. National finals are held in Scotland, England and Wales. A UK final is held later in the year. The competition is open to candidates of any age, but they must be engaged upon a course of training recognised by an award body.