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- Left school after GCSE's a year ago, not sure what to do next.
Hi, I'm 17 years old and completed my GCSE's last July. I went into Sixth Form until January 2013 but really didn't enjoy it, so I left and got a part-time job that I love in retail. I'm not looking to go to Uni, but I do want to get....... Read More
Daniel Brown - Welder
Daniel Brown trained as a welder with Fabricated Products through an Advanced Apprenticeship. The Rotherham-based company makes steel equipment for the heating and ventilation and water treatment industries throughout the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, and the Middle East – and as far as Australia. Dan has learnt different types of welding but mostly uses MIG (metal inert gas) welding where a wire electrode and a shielding gas are fed through a welding gun to join pieces of metal. He gets involved in everything from selecting and preparing the right materials for the job to welding the parts together to make the finished product.Dan’s day starts with collecting a job sheet from the office. From the drawings he works out the measurements for all the materials he will need and selects the materials. He then has to cut up the materials which may mean using a band saw or burning out the metal using an oxyacetylene burner. Next he marks out the pipe to show where any branches or sockets need to go, before tacking the pieces and finally welding everything together. “I do the whole job from start to finish,” Dan says. “It’s better than just doing one thing – you know you’ve done it all yourself so it should be right. You can see the end result.”When the job is complete Dan fills out the job sheet. “The job sheet says who the customer is and where the piece is going. I put my name on the sheet to say who cut, tacked and welded it. Then I take the job to the dispatch area on a trolley or if it’s too big I take it down on a crane.” Once the product leaves Dan it is tested, cleaned and painted ready to go to the customer.Fabricated Products employs just 10 people so Dan makes an important contribution and enjoys a lot of responsibility. He learns from and works alongside an experienced welder who he goes to if he needs help – or he may go straight to the director.Dan works a 40-hour week, with hours from 7am to 3.30pm. Health and safety in the workplace is important so Dan is supplied with protective goggles, gloves, boots, ear plugs and overalls. Using these is mandatory.As part of his apprenticeship Dan went to college one day a week to complete a City & Guilds certificate. “There’s a whole range of things you have to learn from reading drawings and general engineering, to platework and health and safety,” says Dan. “There’s practical work and a lot of theory which I found quiteinteresting and it helped me in my job. The college course explains how and why you do things, which gives you a broader understanding when it comes to doing it back at work.” For his Level 3 NVQ he produced a portfolio of jobs hehad done at work to show he had developed all the skills and reached the standards required.To be a good welder you need enthusiasm, good communication skills and to be a good listener, according to Dan. “When you work with someone else you have to listen to what they say and take it all in so you know what you’re doing,” he explains. “You also need to be good at maths because you have to make calculations when you mark the pipe and split it up.” Dan is very happy with his choice of career. “I like the feeling that I’m contributing and producing work – being able to see something and say ‘I did that’. You’ve taken responsibility for it and it’s got your name on it.”
Category: Welding & metalwork