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Sam Meagan wins Regional SkillWeld Competition

Four of Lakes College students competed in the SkillWeld 2016 regional heats and won the top four places. Sam Meagan, won first place in the regional heats. Conor Alexander, placed second, Darius Padidar, placed third and Conor Greenhow placed fourth.  The SkillWeld regional heats were hosted in Lakes College Construction Skills Centre on Wednesday 29th June, where students and Apprentices across the North West competed in hopes of progressing to the Worldskills national finals in Birmingham.

SkillWeld is organised by Semta and aims to showcase the best talent in the welding industry. The competition comprises of regional heats from April to June each year, with a national final held in the autumn. The competition has been running for over 45 years and sees the very best in welding talent compete against each other to be crowned the SkillWeld winner.

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 commented, ‘We had a really good group and I’m confident that we performed well enough to get to finals in November. I can really relate to how the boys are feeling and I just hope they enjoy themselves.’

Sam Meagan, 19, from Workington, won first place in the regional heats. Sam is completing an Apprenticeship at Hargreaves. Sam comments, ‘I feel so much more confident after winning first place. Lakes College changed my life, I was 13 when I first started making gates and now I’m entering national welding competitions.

Conor Alexander, 22, from Whitehaven, won Skillweld Silver award in 2015 in the national finals, is competing for gold this year. Conor comments, ‘I competed in WorldSkills last year and I’m more prepared. I know what the judges are looking for and I’ve been training really hard to meet their expectations. It’s great because I feel like all the hours I’ve put in are finally paying off.’

Competing in WorldSkills was a really good experience which I would definitely recommend to other students. I’ve been training really hard, putting in extra hours with the help and support of my tutors Clive Bell and Jamie Robinson. I’m going for gold this year.  and I definitely feel like it paid off. I’m now hoping to get back into training with the aim of securing a gold medal at next year’s competition

Clive Bell, tutor and WorldSkills UK Welding Expert comments, ‘I’m very proud of our achievements. We have won two silvers and a gold in two years and will hopefully bring the gold home again this year.’

Lakes College principal, Chris Nattress, comments, ‘I always enjoy attending SkillWeld competitions as you see how far the students have come. The standards are always getting better and this year the competition was tough. You all performed amazingly and you have shown your fantastic work and skills and we are looking forward to the national finals in Birmingham.’

The event was sponsored by Air Products; Code A Weld, Lincoln Electric and Thomas Graham who provided welding equipment and PPE.