At the beginning of the year four Pembrokeshire College welding apprentices took part in the Advanced Welding Competition Finals sweeping the board with gold, silver and bronze medals.
Held at Neath Port Talbot College, 23 competitors from colleges throughout Wales came together to test their skills. Continuing the College’s long history of success in welding competitions, apprentice Joel Blair took home gold, while Cohen Lewis secured silver and Ross Jones bronze. Deriece Raimann who was also a competitor from Pembrokeshire College gained a very well respected fourth place.
Students were tasked with welding test pieces which were independently judged by industry experts; three-inch carbon steel TIG pipe in the PC position, stainless steel fillet in the PD position, MMA pipe to plate in the PB position and a carbon steel MAG fillet weld in the PF fillet.
Gold medallist Joel, an apprentice with Rhyal Engineering, reflected on his experience commenting: “The competition was tough but I really enjoyed working under pressure. These competitions really help to boast your confidence and expand your knowledge and skills. The staff at Pembrokeshire College have been so supportive, especially Jo. I would highly recommend taking part in any competitions if you get the chance, it not only looks good on your CV but prepares you for possible challenges you will face in the working world.”
Welding lecturer Jo Bradshaw added: “Skills competitions are an excellent platform for students to showcase the skills that they are learning within their trades. I am so proud of all of the competitors who take part, as I know how hard they work in the build-up to these events.
“I was ecstatic to find out that we gained the top four places out of 23 competitors in this year’s All Wales Final – such a fantastic achievement for all involved. All of the competitors are extremely passionate about welding and learning new skills and its really great to see them do so well. We have an exciting few months ahead of us now as we prepare for SkillWeld UK. Joel, Cohen and Ross are all age aligned, meaning that if they secure a place in the UK Finals with scores over 65% they are eligible to be selected for Squad, in preparation for WorldSkills 2023. I would also like to thank the local employers for their continual support with competitions.”