Entries for the nonprofit technical organisation the Southern African Institute of Welding’s (SAIW’s) 2015 Young Welder of the Year (YWoY) competition opened last month and, to date, the SAIW says the interest expressed in the competition throughout South Africa has been “unprecedented”.
The finals of the YWoY competition will be held at the SAIW’s head office in City West, Johannesburg between January 26 and 30, 2015.
“The competition has become the foremost skills test for young welders in South Africa,” states the SAIW.
The winner of the competition will represent South Africa at the 2015 WorldSkills competition, which will take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from August 11 to 16, 2015.
In terms of the extended footprint of the YWoY competition, SAIW operations GM Sean Blake notes that there will be regional competitions held in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, during November.
“The regional competitions will provide significantly more young people the opportunity to make it to the finals and will also substantially increase awareness of the YWoY competition,” Blake says.
While the venues and exact dates for the regional competitions have not as yet been finalised, the SAIW has confirmed that the regional competitions will be held at various industry supporting companies.
The SAIW says that the dates and venues will be confirmed soon.
Meanwhile, Blake says SAIW is “delighted” with the enthusiasm that has been shown by the entire industry for the 2015 edition of the competition, including technical and vocational education and training colleges, such as the College of Cape Town, in the Western Cape, and artisan training schools, such as Steinmüller Africa Technical Training Academies (Satta), located in Pretoria-West, Gauteng, and in Bethal, Mpumalanga.
“The increased involvement of those who are teaching the youth welding skills is most encouraging and, with their support, we will be extending the footprint of the competition considerably,” he says.
“We are particularly pleased that Satta has opted to be on the organising committee and we look forward to working with them,” adds Blake.
Brand Awareness Drive
Further, Blake notes that there will also be an increased focus on marketing and promotion for the 2015 competition.
“Using the theme ‘Creating Employment: Skilling our Youth’, we plan to get wide coverage of the competition on several media platforms including radio, print and television. “But, we also plan to use social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, which are appropriate for the age group of the participants in the YWoY competition. “We will be making a special video and CD of the competition, which will be used as a promotional tool,” says Blake.
All young welders in South Africa, who will not be more than 22 years of age on December 31, 2014, are eligible to enter the competition.
Entrants will have to show that they have mastered four welding processes, namely, shielded metal arc-welding, gas tungsten arc-welding, gas metal arc-welding and flux-cored arc-welding. The welding can be undertaken on aluminium, stainless steel and carbon steel, or on another welding material of the participant’s choice.
Entries for the 2015 YWoY competition will close on October 20.
The sponsors for the 2015 competition include German welding technology manufacturer Abicor Binzel, South African gas and welding products company Afrox, the Southern African aluminium industry representative body Aluminium Federation of South Africa, industrial gas company Air Products South Africa, steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa, JSE-listed aluminium products manufacturer Hulamin, State-owned skills development body the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority, and the stainless steel industry representative body the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association.