A talented trainee could be heading for a national title after showing his skills in a top welding competition.
Apprentice welder and pipefitter Ben Wonders took pole position in the North East semi-final of the SkillWeld contest.
The 18-year-old, from Pegswood, had previously sailed through the heats after manufacturing a fabrication test piece, earning a place in the next round where he faced four timed challenges in core welding processes.
Each was marked by SkillWeld judges and the ten highest-scoring competitors from across the country will be invited to compete in the competition final in Birmingham in November. There could even be the opportunity to progress to the WorldSkills international contest.
Ben, who has recently completed his second year at Northumberland College and moved into his third year as an apprentice at Merit Merrell Technology, said: “I’m shocked to have won a regional welding competition, which is a fantastic achievement, particularly as I have never entered anything like this before.
“I’ve really enjoyed taking part in SkillWeld, which has been a great opportunity for me to demonstrate my skills to some of the UK’s top welding experts, which is fantastic to put on your CV.”
I’m shocked to have won a regional welding competition.Ben Wonders
In the future, the apprentice hopes to become an inspector or project manager and is considering a career as a welder in the offshore oil and gas industry.