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Jun 15, 2007

Competition builds welding skills

Construction|Engineering|Aluminium|Education|Gas|Stainless Steel|Training|Welding|Manufacturing|Services|Steel
Construction|Engineering|Aluminium|Education|Gas|Stainless Steel|Training|Welding|Manufacturing|Services|Steel
© Reuse this The 2007 Young Welder of the Year competition has attracted entrants from all over the country, and looks set to surpass the success of the 2005 competition.

Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW) executive director Jim Guild says that the future of industry in this country depends largely on the promotion of professional welding skills among the youth of this country.

“This competition is designed to encourage not only the welding industry, but all industry to do whatever can be done to ensure that our young people get the necessary training to attain skills levels that are professionally acceptable,” says Guild.

He adds that welding is the foundation skill of all construction and unless the country urgently starts developing the requisite skills in our young people, development in this country and the region could be threatened.

The winner of the competition, accompanied by a South African industry professional, will attend the World Skills competition to be held in Japan, in November 2007. This trip is sponsored by the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta).

In order to win the competition, entrants will have to show proficiency in welding carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium and that they have mastered the shield metal arc-welding process, the gas tungsten arc-welding process, the gas metal arc-welding process and the flux-cored arc-welding process on these materials.

Welders from both learning institutions and industry are invited to enter the competition, which is judged in two phases.

Firstly, SAIW training services manager Etienne Nell chooses 16 finalists, based on each entrant’s suitability. Entrants must also be no older than 22 years.

Secondly, once the 16 finalists have been selected, they each receive a copy of the blueprints of the practical exercises carried out in the 2005 World Skills competi- tion. They have one month to practise and perfect the exercises before being flown to Johannesburg by the SAIW to compete in the four-day national finals at the SAIW’s welding school where industry professionals will judge their work.

Apart from the main prize, there are also cash prizes, both at regional and national level, for the best work on each of the three materials.

The competition is run over four days at the SAIW’s welding school, in Johannesburg, and will run from June 18 to June 22 this year.

Edited by: Laura Tyrer
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