Plate Welder Apprenticeship
The broad purpose of the occupation is to manually weld plate and structural components to high standards of quality. This will involve fabrication, construction or repair of fabricated plate assemblies, extrusions and structural components used to fabricate larger components and assemblies. Plate welders will weld to internationally recognised quality standards using more than one manual welding process on more than one material group.
Plate Welder will be responsible for the safety, quality and accuracy of their own work whilst ensuring it conforms to a relevant plate welding specification. They work autonomously, or on occasion as part of a wider team, reporting to a workplace supervisor.
Plate Welders will work on developing the skills to:
- Work safely at all times, comply with health, safety and environmental legislation, regulations and organisational requirements.
- Obtain, check and use appropriate documentation (such as job instructions, drawings, quality control documentation).
- Plan and prepare welding activities before commencing the work.
- Obtain, position and assemble welding equipment and associated safety protection needed for activity.
- Prepare, check and protect materials and work areas ready for welding.
- Inspect assembly to be welded and undertake remedial work to comply with specification, or implement quality steps if rejected.
- Receive, inspect, condition and maintain consumables.
- Set, test and monitor key welding parameters as detailed within the Welding Procedure Specification.
- Deal promptly and effectively with problems within the limits of their responsibility using approved diagnostic methods and techniques and report those which cannot be resolved to the appropriate personnel.
- Use manual processes and equipment to remove material (powered and non‐powered).
- Achieves a quality of work to meet international standards e.g. ISO5817, ISO9606, ASME IX, AWS D1.1 for dimensional, surface inspection (e.g. Visual, Magnetic Particle, Dye Penetrant) and volumetric inspection (e.g. Radiography, Ultrasonic inspection).
- Complete progressive and final checks on the weld prior to release for formal inspection and report into the production control system at the appropriate stages of the work activity.
- Restore the work area on completion of the activity and where applicable return any resources and consumables to the appropriate location.
- Produce welds in plate and/or structural components using two welding processes from TIG, PAW, MMA, MIG/MAG, FCAW.
- Produce welds in plate and/or structural components using two materials from Carbon Steel, Low Alloy Steel, High Alloy Ferritic/Martensitic Steel, Austenitic Stainless Steel, Nickel & Nickel Alloys, Aluminium & Aluminium alloys, Titanium & Titanium Alloys, Copper & Copper Alloys.
- Produce welds in plate and/or structural components covering three plate welding positions which must include Vertical (either upward or downward progression) and overhead.
- Produce plate welds in 3 main joint configurations (Single or Double Sided Butt, Single or Double Sided T Butt & Fillet)
Plate Welders will work on developing the knowledge to:
- Dimensional and mechanical properties (strength, toughness, thermal expansion etc.) of materials to be welded.
- Fundamentals of welding metallurgy (weld solidification and Heat Affected Zone) and how this can affect the weldability of materials and final joint integrity.
- Common manual arc welding processes and the relative merits for a given application, including Manual Metal Arc (MMA),Metal Inert Gas (MIG), Metal Active Gas (MAG), Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW), Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG), Plasma Arc Welding (PAW)
- Common joint types associated with welding plate and structural components (Fillet, Butt, T-Butt, Corner/Lap; Single-Sided, Double-Sided, Metallic Backed, Ceramic Backed).
- Welding positions and progressions associated with plate and structural components and their international designations including Flat; Horizontal-Vertical; Horizontal; Vertical (upward and downward progressions); Overhead.
- The major components of welding equipment, ancillary equipment, cabling and their assembly, including Power Source, Wire Feed System, TIG & PAW Arc Initiation Systems, interconnecting communications cables, torches, tongs, gas equipment etc.
- Set, modify and monitor welding controls (e.g. Current, Arc Voltage, Wire Feed Speed, Gas Flow Rates, Polarity) and secondary controls (e.g. Heat Input, Interpass Temperature).
- Welding Procedure Specification requirements, contents, and information derived to establish specific production information.
- The relative merits, applications and limitations of material preparation methods and manual material removal processes including powered and non‐powered tools.
- Performance success factors in production, inspection reporting, productivity including time and duration, dimensional, Non-Destructive Examination, defect rates etc.
- Causes and detection of typical welding defects and how their occurrence can be reduced.
- Types and functions of welding consumables, fluxing systems and the requirement for correct identification, storage, conditioning, handling, recycling and disposal.
- Requirements for correct storage, handling and segregation of materials and tooling to prevent cross contamination.
- Organisational quality documentation, reporting systems, procedures and their role within the overall quality process.
- Continuous improvement processes, performance review and how this is undertaken within their organisation.
- The importance of only using approved processes, procedures, documentation and the potential implications for the organisation if this is not followed.
- Non destructive testing reports and radiographs to identify particular defect types and the associated improvements to process and technique needed to prevent recurrence.
- Risks and mitigation measures associated with welding and the working environment, and the organisational risk management processes.
- The importance of complying with statutory, quality, organisational and health, safety and environmental regulations.
- Typical problems that may arise within their normal work activities/environment.
Plate Welders will work on developing the following behaviours to:
- Takes responsibility for decision-making, without autonomy and within the guidelines of the work instruction, for their workplace, the application of welding processes, and for their productivity.
- Enquires and to seeks guidance, in order to understand the processes and associated industrial applications.
- Committed to maintaining competence through Continuing Professional Development planning, preparation and reflection to ensure safety, quality and production and ensuring Continuing Professional Development goals are achieved.
- Intervene and challenge poor practices and have confidence to channel feedback to the appropriate authorities to implement change.
- Consistently and reliably delivers in accordance with expectations in safety, production, quality, ethics and self-development.
- Encourages and supports the development of others and completes point of work risk assessments.
- Follows the specified procedures and controls and be personally responsible and accountable for their production work and personal development.
- Reflects on current and past performance and provide information and recommendations for continuous improvements in efficiency and effectiveness of working practices, and training and development requirements.[Text Wrapping Break]
Plate Welders will be required to achieve the following qualifications before EPA:
- Complete a portfolio evidence, used to inform the Professional Discussion.
- Complete a minimum of 20% off-the-job training.
- Level 2 in English and Maths.
Model of Delivery
We must ensure that an apprentice spends 20% of their contracted working hours developing the skills, knowledge and behaviours illustrated on the Standard. This is achieved via a flexible approach and also by using learning that occurs as part of the job role within the workplace.
Regular visits at workplace (Every 8 to 10 weeks)
Reviews in the workplace with Mentor
1 day per week at college
End Point Assessment
End-Point Assessment is the final test for apprentices during their apprenticeship. It is designed to be an objective and impartial assessment of an apprentice’s knowledge, skills and behaviours developed during the course of their apprenticeship programme. At the end of an apprenticeship, the apprentice will go through a 'gateway' process where they are signed-off by their employer as ready for a final assessment of their knowledge and practical capabilities. The assessment will be conducted and graded by an independent End Point Assessment Organisation.
End Point Assessment Methods:
- Knowledge test
- Professional discussion supported by portfolio
- Practical Skills test
Maths and English are a vital part of your apprenticeship and can really support your progression on your chosen course. If you do not already hold the described levels of maths and English we have a friendly and experienced team of lecturers who can support you throughout and who will arrange exams once you are ready. We deliver Functional Skills in a variety of ways including classroom based and also using an online platform.
Level 2 English and Mathematics beneficial.
Plate Welder may want to progress to higher level or alternatively carry on with full time employment.