Apprentice wins SkillWeld 2014

Posted on 20 Nov 2014 by Jonny Williamson

Dean MacDonald, a 20-year old apprentice at Doosan Babcock in Tipton, West Midlands, has been announced as the winner of SkillWeld 2014.

Held during the recent Skills Show at the NEC, Birmingham (November 13 – 15), SkillWeld seeks to find Britain’s most talented trainee welder.

Battling against nine other finalists hailing from the across the UK, MacDonald successfully demonstrated his skills across four challenging test pieces in carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium using a combination of manual metal arc (MMA), tungsten inert gas (TIG) and metal active gas (MAG) techniques.

Clearly delighted, the winner commented: “Since getting my apprenticeship at Doosan Babcock, this is the best thing that has ever happened to me in my career. I’m really proud to have won the competition and I’m looking forward to doing more to help promote welding as a worthwhile job to other young people.”

More than 100 trainee welders applied to take part in this year’s SkillWeld competition and MacDonald was shortlisted for the final stage of the competition after scoring highly in the regional heats, which took place earlier this year.

Age eligible competitors from SkillWeld2014 may be invited to join team UK for the upcoming World Skills 2017 competition due to be held in Abu Dhabi.

Colin Kennedy, marketing associate UK & Ireland at Air Products, who helped to organise the competition, added: “All the contestants this year are great ambassadors for their craft and we hope that their achievement will inspire others to consider a career in welding in the future.

“As a qualified welder myself, I know that welding skills can lead to a variety of career opportunities in diverse industries, from the oil and gas industry to metal fabrication.”

For more information about SkillWeld 2014 and registration for next year’s competition, click here.

Founded in 1881 and helping to support the world’s first commercial nuclear power plant in the 1950s, Doosan Babcock has grown to become a leading specialist in the delivery of engineering, aftermarket and upgrade services to the global energy sector.