Young Welder crowned Best in Wales
The heat was on and sparks flew at Neath College recently as it hosted the World Skills Welsh Welding Final, crowning apprentice Declan Kenny as the best young welder in Wales.
NPTC Group of Colleges’ welding apprentice Declan, 19, from Port Talbot, took the top spot at the highly skilled final with a sensational final score of 330 out of 340 points. He beat off stiff competition from Pembrokeshire College’s Josh Nash who took second place and third place Scott Kerr from Llandeilo Menai.
Competitors from colleges across Wales travelled to the College’s renowned Engineering department to take part in the final which saw them tackle a range of complex tasks including welding joints with a number of different processes at both vertical and overhead heights.
Declan was joined by another young welder James Griffiths-Davies, 17, from Seven Sisters, a first year apprentice with Mollart. The competition was his first, which saw him give an outstanding performance and gain great experience.
Declan will now have the opportunity to compete for a place on the UK squad travelling to WorldSkills Russia 2019.
Rhys Thomas, NPTC Group of Colleges’ Welding and Fabrication instructor, organised the All-Wales Final and was delighted with Declan’s win. He said:
”This has been a truly inspiring and enjoyable day at NPTC Group of Colleges. To host the event in itself is a privilege and something we are proud to do but to also have our student Declan take first prize is exceptional. Well done to all the competitors, the level of skill shown again this year has been outstanding.”
When Declan is not showcasing his skills at competitions, he works as an apprentice welder with Bridgend Company Boccard Ltd. The apprenticeship which will see Declan work towards a Level 3 EAL Advanced Diploma in Engineering Fabrication and Welding which is organised through the College’s work-based learning team Pathways Training and the Engineering Department.
Ian Jones, Work-Based Learning Manager, was thrilled to hear of Declan’s win. He added:
“As the Work-Based Learner Manager for NPTC Group of Colleges, I am always pleased to hear about how well our apprentices are performing both at College and with their employers.
Declan winning this competition proves that the training he is getting from both our College trainers and his employer Boccard is preparing him for a fantastic career in the industry. He is a credit to both NPTC Group of Colleges and Boccard and we wish him well in the next stage of the competition. Watch this space.”
Caption: Declan Kenny accepting his award from Carl James, Head of School for Engineering at NPTC Group of Colleges