Big news for The Weldability Sif Foundation, with the charity grabbing a prestigious Judges’ Award at The Welding World Awards 2018. The Foundation was honoured with The Welding World Award on the big night, a prized specially added by Judges “to recognise the forward thinking to help create a Pathway for the future of Welding and Engineering.” Commenting on the Foundation’s invaluable work, the Judges noted how it has “successfully created 36 welder training studios around the UK and developed some interesting e-learning and virtual welding tools to assist with accelerated learning within the welding industry. With over 12,000 training certificates issued via EAL to date, The Weldability Sif Foundation have clearly made a difference to our industry.” The Welding World Awards themselves are impartial, independent awards that can be won by any company operating in the welding industry, and a unique highlight in the welding industry calendar. This year festivities were hosted by TV legend Eamonn Holmes, with an evening full of music, magic and merriment taking place on April 11th at Birmingham’s Hilton Metropole Hotel. The award was collected by the Foundation’s Training Portfolio Manager Andy Thomas. Commenting on the awards, Andy Thomas said “It’s an honour to be recognised at an event like this. All the hard work has paid off, and we at the Foundation are grateful for the extra boost as we keep training Britain’s next generation of welders.”
The welding industry is known these days for both being at the heart of the UK manufacturing sector, and an industry looking at a skills shortage with impending consequences in the future. Not as well-known yet perhaps, is the skills revolution being led by Learn to Weld, the education division of UK welding product company Weldability Sif. This Hertfordshire-based business has recently teamed up with the Department for Work and Pensions and the education provider, Learn Direct to deliver a Sector Based Work Academy SBWA in welding. ‘Get into Welding’, as the academy is known, is a six-week course providing an opportunity to study towards a Level 2 EAL ‘Performing Manufacturing Operations’. This includes MIG & TIG welding and employability support to help candidates improve their skills and employment prospects, as meeting the requirements of an SBWA. The aim of academies of this sort is to meet immediate and future recruitment needs by helping to recruit a workforce with the right skills to sustain and grow business, and “Get into Welding” is clearly no exception. In delivering the course, Learn to Weld opened up the doors of its modern Technical Training Centre TTC to a dozen unemployed jobseekers aged 19 and over. A bright and inviting studio based in Letchworth Garden City, it comes with state-of-the-art welding bays, industry-standard equipment, and a complete ‘Virtual Learning Environment.’ Candidates were referred via Letchworth Jobcentre and screened by Weldability Sif, with the successful applicants starting the academy on 6 November 2017. The results were positive for the budding welders, with David Scarrott for example being impressed by the TTC itself, a “professional place where health and safety is paramount. There’s definitely no cutting of corners.” Describing the virtual welding training suite at the TTC, David said he liked how it gave him more confidence to try welding virtually, before “doing it for real. It really does take away all the worry.” “My progression has been great,” was David’s overall conclusion on the course. “I’ve got to the position where I know if my welds are fit for commercial use, that I’ve found my own technique, and I feel confident enough to show off all my skills to future employers!” Weldability Sif is delivering welder training across the UK via its 36 FE College based welder training studios and their facility in Letchworth is adding to the pool of 11,000 welders created so far.
The construction of the London Underground is often considered an engineering marvel, but we often forget the little miracles that happen on a day to day basis. Case in point - the story of a group of Transport For London TFL maintenance engineers who journeyed in the summer to Hertfordshire’s ultra-modern Learn to Weld Technical Training Centre TTC with no welding knowledge whatsoever, and returned to London as qualified welders. And this was all completed within one week! The brand behind this feat is Learn to Weld, the education division of leading UK welding products company Weldability Sif. Entirely dedicated to training Britain’s next generation of welders, Learn to Weld’s seasoned expertise came in handy, when TFL set about solving a reliance on contractor work for train carriage maintenance, at their Stratford depot. With no welding experience under their belt, it was down to Learn to Weld’s mixture of seasoned tutors and cutting-edge VR technology to fill in the knowledge gap for the TFL engineers. The Learn to Weld TTC itself, where the group studied, certainly helped matters, equipped with its state-of-the-art welding bays, industry-standard equipment, and a complete ‘Virtual Learning Suite.’ This virtual welder training suite is Learn to Weld’s key hallmark, fitted out as it is with cutting-edge fully-immersive virtual welding equipment which allowed the engineers to train digitally and safely, before trying their hand at real welding, in one of the centre’s many welding bays. After a week at the Letchworth-based TTC, the engineers left fully trained to the equivalent of the high BS EN standard required and having achieved an EAL NVQ. Returning to London in August, they were able to weld on the Jubilee line trains in their care, maintaining aspects such as the aluminium-base within each carriage. Weldability-Sif Chairman, Adrian Hawkins, said on the project: “We are pleased to see the investment in VR and E-Learning developments we have made, to complement our welder training courses, which has led to the fast tracking of students through the Level 1 courses we provide. With the package we offer it is possible to introduce learners to the various welding processes within a week, process by process, bringing them to an acceptable level of knowledge, to enable them to practice further and hone their welding skills. Our industry has a severe shortage of welders and fast-tracking students will become more relevant as the nation develops its Industrial Strategy.” Weldability SIF Managing Director, Gareth Hawkins, added: “We are proud to have worked with a key provider of critical transport infrastructure and are pleased to know that they found their experience with us to be so beneficial. We look forward to providing further customised programmes to organisations requiring similar solutions”.
Education is vital to the future of UK manufacturing, and leading the drive to plug the skills gap is UK welding products company Weldability Sif, who over the past 4 years have been diligently working to increase the number of welder training facilities available across the UK. Over the last year, Weldability Sif managed to decrease the deficit of available welders even further, when they joined forces with the manufacturers’ organisation EEF for the expansion of EEF’s welder-training facility. Based within Aston, Birmingham, is the EEF Technology Training Centre TTC, part of EEF’s Aston Training Campus since 2013. This September saw the centre’s welder training suite get a major revamp, thanks to Weldability Sif. Newly fitted-out with 24 welding bays and state-of-the-art industrial equipment, the brand new dedicated welder training suite is now at the heart of EEF’s Aston TTC, with the project completed just in time for the start of the new education year. The centre also houses cutting-edge, fully-immersive virtual welder-training equipment from Weldability Sif, providing a complete 'Virtual Learning Environment', which allows students to train digitally and safely before trying their hand at welding for real. Speaking about the launch in September, Aston TTC Centre Manager Christine Chapman remarked that Weldability Sif’s “high-tech equipment for virtual welding has been a fantastic investment for EEF.” Commenting further on the centre’s virtual welding tools, Chapman believes VirtuWeld technology “compliments the traditional welding facility and allows us to offer our apprentices and other learners an engaging taster for the skills and techniques needed in a real welding environment.” Thanks to Weldability Sif, students at EEF can now also enjoy “a breadth of welding technology learning, ranging from basic skills to coded welding in a safe and innovative environment, easing learners into the skills they require before using traditional welding equipment, saving both time and cost”, she continued. Discussing their partnership with the UK’s leading independent welding products company, Chapman was “delighted with the service and support that we have received from Weldability Sif and their fume extraction division Extractability.” Weldability Sif Managing Director, Gareth Hawkins, commented “The new welding centre will support EEF’s existing courses and apprenticeships, and marks yet another successful deployment of a Weldability Sif training centre within a prestigious industrial educator. We are proud to work with EEF on this venture.” The company has now provided facilities across 35 education locations in the UK which are actively engaged in having issued more than 10,000 qualifications since embarking upon their mission to ensure welders are trained to high standards in the UK. The company provides vocational welder training facilities around the UK, further tackling British manufacturing’s current shortage of skilled welders.
For 30 years the Eastern Counties Branch of The Welding Institute has held an annual golf day with fifteen of them being held at the Bungay and Waveney Valley Golf Club. The weather was good while storms raged in the surrounding area. It was a good day too for the East Anglia's Children's Hospice* as fund raising reached £800 now totalling £18,000. Generous sponsorship came from: P Grubb, G Bulmer, R Butcher and J Weston Golf clubs, Thetford, Lakeside Lodge, Royal Cromer, Newmarket and Bungay & Waveney Valley Companies Lings of Lowestoft Honda & Mitsubishi, Weldability-SIF, Global Signs & Engraving, Lake & Nicholls Engineering, Anglia Design & Fabrication, TWI and of course the Players. The supporting cast included Staff of the Golf Club, Ray Butcher, George Bulmer, John Weston and with special thanks, Ben Thompson from Lings, who presented the prizes. The major prize winners were: • I Hogg, Team Cowboys won the Ken Larwood Memorial Salver • W Smith, Team Indians from Royal Cromer won, the Weldability-SIF Challenge Cup handicap • R Harris, Team Quantrill Raiders won the Elga Challenge Cup handicap 20 to 28 • C Punshon, N Bagshaw & S McCaldin of the TWI III team won the AM Golfers Team Trophy. • T Davies, W Smith, F Smith of the Indians team defended and won the PM TWI Team Trophy Ray Butcher recognised long term support with a Loyalty Award to Chris Punshon. Other tests included: Nearest the Pin won by P Fisher, Team Cowboys A Straightest Drive won by N Bagshaw, Team TWI III Longest Drive won by W Smith, Team Indians. Best Blind Hole Score won by P Fisher, Team Cowboys A After 30 years at the event players were pleased to have the fine, but not too hot, weather and a challenging course in good condition and to be so well looked after by both Course and Restaurant staff. It proved a most enjoyable day. *East Anglia's Children's Hospice EACH is a registered charity which exists to maximise the quality of life for life-limited children and their families. For further information see www.each.org.uk.
Weldability Sif has been working in partnership with youth charity The Prince's Trust to deliver the first ever ‘Get Into Welding’ programme based in Hertfordshire. Ten young people aged 18 to 25 who are unemployed or facing barriers to employment were given the opportunity to build their skills and enhance their career opportunities within the welding industry. A two week programme provided the students with an EAL accredited level 1 MIG welding qualification and workshops to help them develop key employability skills. This will help to kick start a path for ongoing training in TIG, MMA, positional, stainless and aluminium welding within employer-oriented apprenticeships. Jessica Maher, a student who recently completed the ‘Get Into Welding’ level 1 MIG course said: “I enjoyed the practical tasks and learning a new skill. I found that this course has given me an in-depth understanding of the initial stages of welding”. Many of the students found the course was likely to lead them towards further study and a potential career within the industry. Josh Fox received his certificate for completing his level 1 MIG course and said: “The course was good fun and very enjoyable. I could definitely see myself as a welder in the future.” Paul Savage, Welding Tutor at Weldability Sif was impressed with the desire and teamwork of the students during the two week course. He said: “This group has been great to be around, a reminder that insecurities and doubt can all be overcome. They have all supported each other in ways you would not have imagined possible at the beginning of the course. These young people have boundless levels of enthusiasm and energy. Helping to channel this into learning a new skill and seeing their progress is so rewarding”. Adrian Hawkins, Chairman of Weldability Sif, helped to bring the programme together. Upon completion of the first ever ‘Get Into Welding’ partnership with The Prince’s Trust, Adrian said: The work undertaken by The Prince’s Trust is truly excellent in that they try to inspire young people to find their own way in life. As you can see our recent group had a fun time and there are truly great employment opportunities for High Integrity Welders worldwide. Our arrangements at our training centre is merely the first step towards a rewarding and well paid career in the Welding Industry and hopefully these young people will go on to a Weldability Sif Foundation training school across the UK to develop further. We are grateful to The Prince’s Trust for showing such support to our Industry in this way. John O’Reilly, Director for The Prince’s Trust in Central England said, “We know that most young people are motivated to get into work and often just need a chance to prove their worth. We are delighted to work with Weldability Sif to provide young people with the tools they need to kick start their careers and be successful in their lives.” Youth charity The Prince’s Trust helps disadvantaged young people to get their lives on track. Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1976, this year The Trust is celebrating 40 years of supporting 13 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed and those struggling at school and at risk of exclusion. Find out more about welder training available from Weldability Sif by visiting www.learn-to-weld.com