Apprentice sets his sights on World Skills UK final

Nov 7, 2023

A Fabrication and Welding apprentice from Castleford College is putting his welding skills to the test, as he prepares to take part in the World Skills UK SkillsWeld final.

Kalum Smart, who is a Fabrication and Welding apprentice with TASCA Tankers Ltd, is one of 10 finalists in the SkillsWeld competition who will be competing for gold, silver or bronze.

Taking place from Tuesday 14th until Friday 18th November, the finals will be held at Rochdale Training, a charity that supports learners into employment through Apprenticeships and adult courses.

Kalum said: “I’m really looking forward to the finals and being able to demonstrate the welding skills I’ve learnt both in college and on the job with TASCA Tankers Ltd. My tutors have supported me since the start of the competition, helping me to test/improve my Metal Active Gas (MAG), Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG), Manual Metal Arc (MMA) and Flux Core welding skills, and I hope all this hard work will pay off during the competition week.”

The competitions are a seven-month process including regional heats and intensive training, before students step up to the ultimate test at the National Finals in November.

Kalum secured first place in the regional heats which took place at Castleford College in June, where he demonstrated his vast range of welding skills.

Representing Yorkshire and Humberside in the competition, Kalum was tested on four separate tests covering the three main types of welding processes – gas tungsten arc welding, stick welding and metal insert gas welding.

Once the regional heats were completed, Kalum and his fellow apprentices were presented with their certificates and gift bags by Engineering Skills Competitions, Code A Weld and Air Products.

Gary Wright, Fabrication and Welding Lecturer at Castleford College, said: “We want to ensure that our students are continuously challenging themselves and developing their skills in line with the needs of the industry, and the SkillsWeld competition offers them the perfect opportunity to do this. Taking part in a nationally recognised and prestigious competition such as this will help to give them an advantage when they progress into employment, setting them up for prosperous careers in the sector. We’re incredibly proud of all our apprentices who took part in the regional heats and of Kalum for making it to the final – we’re all rooting for him!”

Tom McDonnell, Technical Director at Tasca Tankers Limited, said: “At Tasca Tankers, we work closely with local colleges and are able to attract the very best apprentices to become part of our very successful production team. We pride ourselves on the high-end quality of our tankers.Kalum continues to hone his skills as part of our excellent production team. We are very proud of his achievements and wish him every success in the forthcoming competition.”

WorldSkills UK competition-based training programmes are designed by industry experts to develop participants’ technical and employability skills, including building resilience, self-confidence and communications skills.

Following his success in Welding at the WorldSkills UK 2022 competition, Fabrication and Welding Apprentice Lucas Moon was selected to train for Great Britain’s Welding team.

Lucas competed in the European World Skills finals in Poland in September 2023 and will go on to the 47th WorldSkills competition in Lyon in France in September 2024. 

Thanks to the continued success of the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group’s Engineering provision, the Group is currently looking for another Lecturer in Fabrication & Welding at Castleford College.

Lecturers have the opportunity to shape the future of students, by providing them with the skills, knowledge and training required to enable them to achieve their goals.

View the vacancy, at: https://careers.heartofyorkshire.ac.uk/job/477917

Learn more about the SkillsWeld competition, at: www.worldskillsuk.org/competitions/welding/

Find out more about the Engineering department, at: www.wakefield.ac.uk/study-with-us/subject-areas/engineering

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