Now in its third year, the live 2016 Weld Off competition took place on the 11th May at our National Distribution Centre in Tamworth and attracted some of the most talented welding students and apprentices from across the nation. 
The competition, held in partnership with Morris Site Machinery, was fiercely contested between 4 teams from New College Durham, Coleg Cambria, Training 2000 and City of Wolverhampton College, all vying to impress the judges with their welding ability and innovation based on the theme of ‘God Save the Queen’. 
National business broadcaster for the BBC, Steph McGovern, attended the competition as the special guest and assisted the judges during the competition, whilst also providing support and encouragement to the contestants throughout the day.
After 3 rounds of the competition, including a rigorous skills section and Q & A round, it came down to the judging of the 4 welding pieces made during the day by the teams. In the end, the Coleg Cambria students from the North East Wales college took the top spot and prizes worth more than £3,000. Matthew Hughes, Gareth Phillips, Owen Fitzgibbon and Thomas Lavender wowed judges with their breath-taking replica of the Queen’s Royal Carriage, complete with gilded crown, ornate royal detailing and even a piece of red carpet inside which the Queen herself has stepped on. 
The highly commended three runners-up each made some equally impressive pieces, the apprentices from City of Wolverhampton College created a robust interpretation of London’s famous Tower Bridge; students from Training 2000 in Lancashire, also welded a larger scale of the Queen’s Royal Carriage and the team from New College Durham who produced an afternoon tea setting complete with cakes fit for the Queen and any garden party.
Jane Nugent, Marketing Director at Speedy, said: “We were delighted to host the competition at our National Distribution Centre. Everyone was very impressed with the calibre and creativity of work.  The contestants’ work ethic, skill and passion really shone through and all 16 finalists are a real credit to young people in the manufacturing and engineering sectors Congratulations too Coleg Cambria on their fabulous winning welding project.”
The attached image shows the winning team’s entry. 
The question is, will Coleg Cambria make it 4 years in a row when Weld Off returns in 2017.

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