Fabrication & Welding makes a fantastic five finalists at UKSkills

Nick Marshall, Programme Leader for Fabrication & Welding, pictured with UKSkills Finalists, Phil Howlett and Luke Sherwood.

One learner and one member of staff from Grimsby Institute’s Fabrication & Welding department have been announced as finalists in the WorldSkills UK National Skills Competitions Finals, part of Find a Future, which will be held at The Skills Show from 13th to 15th November at the NEC Birmingham.

Nineteen-year-old Luke Sherwood and twenty-year-old Phil Howlett were recently announced as two of the finalists in the Construction MetalWork competition, after placing third and fourth respectively in the Regional Heat, making it a total of five finalists who will represent a number of disciplines at the leading skills-based competition.

Nick Marshall, Programme Leader for Fabrication & Welding, explained: “WorldSkills has been running for a number of years now and the interest has definitely grown over the past few years. Previous competitors from the Grimsby Institute have done very well and Jack Trigg, who now works for Jacobs LES, made it through to the National Final, which was held at the Grimsby Institute in October 2011.

“There is greater awareness of Construction Metalwork, which is the fabrication of steelwork as opposed to just welding, and the amount of entrants from across the UK has grown, so we are chuffed to bits to have both Phil and Luke representing the Grimsby Institute in the Final.”

Phil Howlett, who completed a Level 3 programme at the Grimsby Institute and has since started work in the same department as a Specialist Practitioner, said: “I’d just completed my Level 3 and got the job here when Nick asked me if I wanted to take part and I was really up for it. I’m quite a practical person and like doing things with my hands.”

Luke Sherwood, a Level 3 Fabrication & Welding Apprentice with G Broughton & Sons, said: “We had to build the bottom half of a crane in 7 ½ hours. I thought I’d done well and I really hoped I’d got through and was really happy when I found out I had. The Final will be more of a challenge as we have to finish building the crane over two days.”

Phil added: “The final is going to be very daunting as they expecting over 140,000 people to come through the Skills Show but we have to just try and see what we can do. It’s just an honour to get through to the Final for both of us.”

Phil and Luke will be joining former Level 3 learner, Alex Volley, who is competing in the Web Development Competition, Beth McKeon, who will be competing in Hairdressing and Ben Cooke who will be competing in SkillPLUMB, making this the most successful year for entrants to WorldSkills from the Grimsby Institute.