Students from Coleg Cambria have been crowned the best young welders in Britain for the third time at the sensational final of the national live welding competition, Weld Off 2016.
Four Coleg Cambria students from the North East Wales college took the top spot and prizes worth more than £3,000. Matthew Hughes, Gareth Phillips, Owen Fitzgibbon and Thomas Lavender wowed judges with their breath-taking replica of the Queen’s Royal Carriage, complete with gilded crown, ornate royal detailing and even a piece of red carpet inside which the Queen herself has stepped on.
Morris Site Machinery, supplier of ArcGen Welding equipment and in association with Speedy, hosted the competition which required four finalist teams of students between the ages of 16- 26 years old from across the UK, to showcase their welding prowess. The competition comprised a Q&A round, a skills section and a creative test which challenged contestants to create an inspiring exhibition piece based on the theme of ‘God Save the Queen’.
The live competition hosted at Speedy’s National Distribution Centre in Tamworth, now in its third year, attracted some of the most talented welding students and apprentices from across the nation.
National business broadcaster, Steph McGovern, winner of ‘Young Engineer for Britain’ at just 19 years old, attended the competition as special guest, assisted the judges and provided moral support for all the contestants throughout the day.
The national judging panel was made-up of welding specialists from across the industry including Michael Scarrott from awarding association for industry qualifications, EAL, who was head judge; Richard Denholm, Sales Director and Welding Specialist from Morris Site Machinery, along with Mick Link from Speedy.
Phil Winnington, Managing Director at Morris Site Machinery, said: “This has been an outstanding year for the Weld-Off and it was a truly competitive atmosphere! Every year the bar is raised and we have been astounded by the level of creativity, quality and interpretation of the theme which celebrates Her Majesty at 90.
“British manufacturing is seeing a renaissance and we wanted a theme which would compliment this. Our competition attracts and uncovers a wealth of talent and skills we have in the UK. This is something we wanted to champion and encourage more young people into engineering to ensure that Britain’s skills base and manufacturing heritage are retained as best as possible.
“Coleg Cambria continue to set the standard every year and we would like to congratulate them on their performance and achieving a hat-trick. We would also like to thank all the teams who entered and especially those who competed to make this year’s competition the best yet.”
The highly commended runners-up included apprentices from City of Wolverhampton College, who created a robust interpretation of London’s famous Tower Bridge; students from Training 2000 in Lancashire, who also took cues from the Royal Family and welded a Royal Carriage and the team from New College Durham who produced an afternoon tea setting complete with French Fancie cakes fit for the Queen and any garden party.
Jane Nugent, Marketing Director of Speedy Services, the UK’s leading tools, equipment and plant hire services company, said: “We were delighted to host the competition at our National Distribution Centre. Everyone was very impressed with the calibre and creativity of work. The contestants’ work ethic, skill and passion really shone through and all 16 are a real credit to young people in the manufacturing and engineering sectors.”