A Yorkshire laser cutting and sheet metal fabrication firm have helped give a local student a fighting chance as she competed in the national welding finals of the WorldSkills UK competition. Wakefield College’s Yasmin Whale beat off stiff competition from some 400 applicants to become one of ten apprentices and students invited to take part in the finals of the welding category. Welding is one of 64 disciplines that make up WorldSkills UK, competition-based development programmes designed by industry experts to enhance the practical skills and knowledge taught on training courses by assessing candidates’ employability against set criteria under timed conditions.
In the final, held over three days in Wales, Yasmin was required to carry out 24-hours of welding, joining together pieces of 10 mm thick mild steel to create a vessel which was then filled with water and pressurised to 1000 psi to check for leaks.
Drawings for the vessel were issued prior to the finals to enable participants to practise but lacking the capacity to cut 10 mm thick steel and make the required pieces, Wakefield College turned to Normanton-based Yorkshire Laser and Fabrication (YLF) for help. YLF laser cut the profiles to the required dimensions with ease and delivered four full sets of the pieces needed to make the cubed vessel enabling Yasmin to practise the required welds from start to finish twice over.
As Yasmin is the second student from Wakefield College to make it through to the welding finals of WorldSkills UK, lecturers are well aware of the high standards that need to be achieved. Fabrication and Welding Lecturer Trevor Murgatroyd explained: “Yorkshire Laser have been absolutely brilliant and gave Yasmin a greater chance. We only have the capacity to cut 6mm steel in college so would have had to buy in the pieces at great cost.
“They’ve gone above and beyond in not only donating their time and materials and then delivering it to us as well. A prime example of the camaraderie and support of people pulling together to help a local lass do well.”
An apprentice at Relentless Engineering Ltd, Yasmin is studying Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Fabrication and Welding at Wakefield College’s Castleford Campus. Although not part of the curriculum, the college encourages those students forging ahead with their training to take part in WorldSkills UK for added experience.
“To enter, applicants submit four test specimens which are then judged with the top 10 invited to take part in the final,” explained Trevor.
“Yasmin has put in a lot of extra time and effort, coming back to college after work, to prepare for the competition and we have been pleased to support her.”
Matt Orford, MD of YLF, said the company was delighted to support both the college and Yasmin and provide the resources needed to help her prepare.
“Welding is a much-needed skill within the construction and manufacturing sectors and we are pleased to play a part in encouraging young people to further their careers in this direction,” he commented.
“Taking part in WorldSkills UK is a great way to progress skills development and boost career and employability prospects so Yasmin was a winner for getting to the final.”