What will I do on a Skills Bootcamp in Welding? - Bridgwater & Taunton College

The Skills Bootcamp in Welding at BTC is a FREE 12-week course giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer.

Paul completed the course in spring 2022 and has kindly given permission for us to share his documentation of his practical work. He said:

The Skills Bootcamp in Welding provided me with a good learning opportunity. I have developed new skills that I would like to develop further.

The practical aspect of the course begins with Phase 1 – an introduction to MIG/MAG welding. The aim is to produce joints using 2mm and 3mm sheet metal and copper covered filler wire. Paul learnt under instruction to adjust the speed of the torch and the amps to suit the material. He also learnt to introduce a slight looping motion to help penetration into the base material and to minimise stress and cracking.

During phase 2, the skills learnt in phase 1 are built upon to produce a quality weld using the MIG/MAG process. Paul produced the below test piece using 6mm plate steel and then went on to test it in a 20-tonne hydraulic press. It performed well in the test with no obvious cracks or discontinuities.

An introduction to TIG welding comes next, where learners become familiar with new techniques and equipment to produce finer work to a high standard of finish.

Learners go on to work on purging and pipework where there is an increase in the level of difficulty as a result of the inside of the pipe being difficult to access. Paul prepped and butted this weld, ensuring it was square and clean and that all burs had been removed. He completed the weld using the pulse method.

Phase 5a requires leaners to produce a TIG outside corner weld. Skill is required to ensure equal penetration on both plates and to maintain consistency along the length of the weld.

Testing is an essential stage of the welding process, and learners on the Skills Bootcamp in Welding learn to use both NDT and DT testing on their own welds during the course. Dye Penetrate Testing is a three-stage process and reveals any discontinuity, while DT testing tests the integrity of the weld.

Paul fabricated this sheet metal toolbox from 1mm steel using a selection of hand tools and techniques including spot welding.

In addition to the welding and fabrication practical module, learners undertake modules in health and safety, employability skills and essential computer skills, so on completion of the course they will be well prepared for employment in the sector. There will be opportunities to hear about and apply for, current vacancies with local employers.

The next Skills Bootcamp in Welding begins on 20 August and applications are open now. Find out more and apply: https://www.btc.ac.uk/courses/adult-learning/engineering/skills-bootcamp-in-welding/

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