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Lakes College SkillWeld Finalists

Four Lakes College welding students have qualified for the WorldSkills UK National finals to be hosted in Birmingham. Conor Alexander, Conor Greenhow, Dariush Padidar-Nazar and Sam Meagan were shortlisted in the top ten to go down in November to represent the best of UK apprentices and welding students.

SkillWeld is designed to test the students’ skills in four main manual fusion processes. All participants were asked to complete four mandatory welding test pieces within four hours. All four of the Lakes College students placed in the top five in the regional heats.

Conor Alexander, 22, from Whitehaven, who won Skillweld Silver award in 2015 in the national finals, comments, ‘I’m really happy with my performance and excited to have qualified again. It’s brilliant that we have a team going down as we can support each other and there’s healthy competition in the group.’

Conor Greenhow, 19, from Workington, says, ‘I’m happy that I got this far. It’s going to be tight for first place.’

Dariush Padidar-Nazar, 18, from Wigton, says, ‘I’m happy to have the experience and it’s such a big event. The footfall is about 80,000 people so there’s definitely pressure to perform.

‘Sam Meagan, 19, from Workington, who won first place in the regional heats, comments, ‘I’m really chuffed as last year I missed qualifying by just one point. I went down last year to support the lads and I know what to expect in the competition. I’ve learnt so much and I feel ready for the competition.’

In previous years Lakes College has dominated the SkillWeld competition, Lakes College student turned lecturer, Jamie Robinson, 23, from Workington, was awarded gold in SkillWeld 2015, beating all other students and Apprentices on a national level. Jamie and Clive Bell, WorldSkills UK Welding Expert, have been worked closely with the four apprentices.

Chris Nattress, College Principal comments, ‘We have a lot of talent at the college and it’s competitions like SkillWeld that highlight the student’s abilities. It’s really promising that we have not one, but four finalists from Lakes College. It’s an exciting time for the welding students and we wish them all the best.’