News Archive

Teaching TFL on the art of welding: Learn to Weld’s London Transport success

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”.

EEF Embraces the VR Revolution with Weldability Sif

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.

Eastern Counties Branch of the Welding Institute Annual Golf Day 2016

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

Get into welding with Weldability Sif & The Princes Trust

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

West Herts College unveil new welder training facility

Weldability-Sif have opened of a new Foundation level welder training facility at West Herts College. This is part of the ongoing strategy from the Weldability-Sif Foundation Charity to pro-actively encourage the development of new welder training facilities across the UK. The dedicated welding training suite complete with 10 fully equipped welding bays, eLearning studio and new virtual reality welding hub was opened by Adrian Hawkins, Weldability-Sif Foundation Director and Trustee, along with West Herts College Principal Gill Worgan. West Herts College is one of 29 colleges, who have already agreed to provide training facilities funded by the Foundation Charity, which will be co-funding welder training facilities at colleges over the next five years, Adrian said: “The Weldability-Sif Foundation was established and registered as a charity to specifically encourage the development of new welder training facilities across the UK. Welding plays an important role in manufacturing and is used in a multitude of different industries including food processing, quarrying, shipping, as well as energy and UK infrastructure industries. Welding plays an active part in keeping it all together and Foundation level welder skills training at West Herts College is another step towards a full apprenticeship programme designed to meet demand and overcome the current skills shortage in the UK welding industry.” Gill Worgan, Principal, West Herts College, said: “Today’s welding industry urgently requires professionals with a high-level of technical ability. These skills can only be developed in partnership with leading employer-foundations like Weldability-Sif. By working together, we can offer innovative teaching in state-of-the-art facilities. It’s about inspiring the next generation of professional welders, for a sector central to the success of the UK economy.” West Herts College provides training and education to more than 4,000 young people, plus adults of many ages and at many stages of their careers. Based in South West Hertfordshire, the College specialises in occupational and vocational skills - developing people for work in priority sectors across the region and beyond.

Download the new Extractability Catalogue

Extractability - a division of Weldability Sif has launched a new catalogue showcasing a range of complete extraction solutions for dust, fume and vapours. The catalogue has been produced to act as a practical reference document and an inspiring guide to improving workplaces and reducing environmental impact. Extractability are proud to provide products and services that contribute to reducing the environmental impacts from industrial production and help to create safe and clean working environments. Download the new Extractability Catalogue.