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What is Fabrication & Welding?

Engineers working in the fabrication trades create machines, structures and parts, particularly from a variety of metals.

You may use specialist equipment and techniques to produce often very large and heavy items such as oil rigs, storage tanks, bridges and the frameworks of buildings.

The main fabrication trades are those of plater and welder. A person who is involved in both of these trades is called a fabricator. Plating and welding are known as Heavy Fabrication. A plater will produce work made from thick metal plates and structural steel sections. The metal has to be cut by using a very powerful guillotine or oxy-fuel gas cutting equipment. If the metal plate has to be curved or round, it is formed and rolled to shape which takes great skill.

By using other equipment such as powered rollers and folding machines, very complicated and large shapes can be produced.

When the various shapes have been produced they are joined together to complete the fabrication. The various parts or units are joined together using one of the welding processes. This may be done by the same person, usually known as a fabricator or by someone who is a specialist, a welder, whose sole job is to weld parts together.

The process of welding is that of joining together metal to ensure that the parts joined are of equal strength to the parent metal. The type of metal to be joined and the position it is in will determine the level of skill necessary to weld the metal together. There are various welding processes such as Manual Metal Arc (M.M.A.) Tungsten Arc Gas Shielded (T.I.G.) and Metal Inert Gas Shielded (M.I.G.). Platers, welders and fabricators often produce very large items weighing many tons, such as oil rigs, storage tanks, bridges and the structural framework for buildings.

Salary:

According to the National Career Service, a qualified fabricator and welder's salary can start from £20,000 and increase to £34,000 once experienced.

As an apprentice, you will be paid at least the national minimum apprenticeship wage by your employer during your studies.

Hull Course Overview

During the first year of a HETA apprenticeship, learners will be based at the HETA training centre. From September-February, learners will spend time completing a Level 2 NVQ in engineering working towards

  • Working Safely in an Engineering Environment
  • Carrying out Engineering Activities Efficiently and Effectively
  • Using and Communicating Technical Information
  • Preparing and Using Manual TIG or Plasma-arc Welding Equipment
  • Producing Platework Components and Assemblies
  • Preparing and Using Semi-automatic MIG, MAG and Flux cored arc Welding equipment
  • Abrasive Wheels

From February onwards and for the remainder of their apprenticeship learners will spend:

  • 3 weeks in company assessed via portfolio work based assessments
  • 1 week at HETA completing a Level 3 manufacturing Diploma
  • Engineering Assessor to review apprentices progression in the sponsored company (help with support and mentoring)
  • End Point Assessments (final assessment for an apprentice to ensure that they can do the job they have been training for - Skills, Knowledge and Behaviour)

Grimsby Course Overview

During the first year of a HETA apprenticeship, learners will be based at the HETA training centre. Learners will undertake a fabrication and welding programme specialising in either sheet metal work, plating, welding or pipe fitting.

  • 4 days a week in a practical workshop
  • 1 day a week in a classroom based environment underpinning knowledge to complete a Level 3 qualification.

In years 2 and 3, apprentices will spend the remainder of their time of the HETA programme at their sponsored company. During this time, apprentices will be assessed via:

  • Portfolio work based assessments
  • Engineering Assessor to review apprentices progression in sponsored company (help with support and mentoring)
  • End Point Assessments (final assessment for an apprentice to ensure that they can do the job they have been training for- Skills, Knowledge and Behaviour)

Our applications are now open for our fabrication & welding apprenticeship programme for September 2022. Find out how you can apply here.

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