TALENTED welder Joe Cosgrove has every reason to look proud.
The 20-year-old from Hartlepool has been chosen as a national champion in the SkillWeld 2012 competition.
Judges said the standard was higher than ever before. But Joe, who works for Hartlepool firm Doosan Power Systems, was the best of the lot.
They said Joe demonstrated outstanding skill in positional welding to complete three challenging test pieces in carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium.
He used a combination of techniques involving manual metal arc (MMA), tungsten inert gas (TIG) and metal active gas (MAG) to show off his prowess and become the seventh UK SkillWeld Champion.
Joe said: “I am very pleased to be the winner. The competition experience was very enjoyable and I recommend it to others.”
Joe was among the 10 highest scoring competitors from the regional semi-finals to reach the two-day final of the Air Products-supported SkillWeld 2012 competition held at independent research and technology firm TWI, Cambridge.
The finalists were observed by a judging team who marked them as they made their test pieces.
The judges examined 26 elements on the carbon steel pipe, 14 elements for the aluminium welded piece and 11 for the stainless steel piece.
Jon Pearsall, who led the judging team, said: “The skill level of the competitors is up this year, no question. It’s what this competition is all about, to show up first-class talent.
“And in our opinion everyone who took part in this national final is a winner.”
Colin Kennedy, welding expert at Air Products in the UK, who assisted in judging the competition, said: “This year’s competition has been very exciting indeed and it is great to see so many trainees from across the UK demonstrating their welding talent.
“They are all great ambassadors for their craft and we hope that their achievement will inspire others to consider a career in welding in the future.
“As a qualified welder myself, I know that welding skills can open the door to great careers in diverse industries, from the oil and gas industry to metal fabrication.”