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Sparks flew at the Eastern region heats of the Skillweld competition held at Lowestoft College on Friday.

Ten welding apprentices from Lowestoft College, Gt Yarmouth College and the Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education were put through their paces when they were challenged to complete a series of welding tests judged against working industry standards. Each competitor was marked on their work by UK Skills Judges John Pearsall and Les Ness.

Lowestoft College came out on top with two apprentices - Chris Goldsmith, who works at S & G Fabrications and Joseph Coleman, who works for SLP Engineering - claiming first and second spot respectively. Luke Allen from Gt Yarmouth College took third place.

The three will now have to wait for the last Regional final in March to find out whether they are one of the top ten highest scorers nationally who will go through to the final at The Welding Institute in Cambridge, where one person will be crowned the UK Skillweld 2010 champion.

Ferlin Quantrill, Curriculum Manager for Engineering, said: “This competition takes place bi -annually and this year 170 trainee welders from across the country stepped up to the plate to compete. Skillweld is the UK’s premier welding competition and we are proud to have been invited to host this event. All of the apprentices who competed in the eastern region can be proud of their achievements as competitions like this promote and raise the profile of welding within colleges and industry, and highlight the requirements of skilled welders. I would like to thank ESAB Group UK for sponsoring the consumables for this event.’’

Chris Goldsmith pictured with John Pearsall

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