As of 1 August 2022, the English and maths requirements for on-programme and new apprentices undertaking level 2 apprenticeships have changed and are detailed as part of the apprenticeship funding rules. These requirements supersede the current wording in this apprenticeship standard and EPA plan.
Working with metals to create high-strength welds in 2 welding positions, using at least 1 arc welding process.
The following standard reflects employers’ requirements for the skills, knowledge and behaviours expected from someone to be considered a fully competent General Welder.
General Welder (Arc Processes)
General Welders are fully competent in manual welding using at least one arc process. General Welders are required in a number of sectors for example, the steelwork construction sector.
Welding is a way to make high strength joints between two or more parts. General Welders use high electrical energy to form an arc. Manual dexterity is essential in controlling the arc, which is used to melt metals, allowing them to fuse together to form a structurally sound weld.
Welding is used extensively and in almost every sector of industry. There is a high demand for skilled General Welders in areas such as: automotive, marine, transport, general fabrication, construction and many more. General Welders produce items like components for cars; ships; rail vehicles; simple metallic containers; and steelwork for bridges, buildings and gantries. Welding is a safety critical occupation and every welder takes responsibility for the quality and accuracy of their work. General Welders are required to produce joints that satisfy basic quality standards in order to ensure that the finished products function correctly, contributing to the safety of all and the global quality of life.
Skilled, qualified, professionally certified General Welders can work anywhere in the world and provide services in harshest of environments. For these accomplished professionals, the monetary rewards can be significant.
There is a highly complex range of welding skills: the different arc welding processes require different levels of manual dexterity, knowledge and skill to avoid making defective welds. There are a wide range of metallic materials that can be welded, each with different properties and behaviours.
Practical skills are considered as important as academic ability and the employer will set their own specific selection criteria. However, the candidate will be required to successfully achieve qualifications at level 1 in English and Mathematics and also to have taken examinations at level 2, for both subjects, within the period of apprenticeship if not already achieved.
This apprenticeship has a typical duration of 18 months.
There are numerous pathways for General Welders who may wish to pursue higher level careers in welding. These include progression to Multi-Positional Welder, High Integrity Welder or Welding Instruction and Teaching, Welding Inspection and Managing and Supervising Welding Operations.
It is expected that this standard will be reviewed after 3 years.
Note: In order to articulate the specific level of skills, knowledge and behaviours required to be achieved and assessed to demonstrate full occupational competence in the foundation and development phase of the Apprenticeship. The employers on the Trailblazer group have developed a more detailed Employer Occupational Brief (EOB). The brief will inform organisations of the required elements of both knowledge and vocational skills within this Apprenticeship Standard. It will also provide a clear basis for the development of the assessment of this Apprenticeship and will enable the sector to maintain world class levels of quality and ensure that the credibility and consistency of Apprenticeship outcome is maintained.
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