apprenticeships ecitb

Member Article

WorldSkills finalist shows value of apprenticeships

Doosan apprentice Jake Rambaldini flew the flag for the UK at WorldSkills last year after being selected from a tough field of candidates.

The 20 year-old from Daventry, East Midlands, recently finished an NVQ Level 3 Welding apprenticeship at Doosan Power Systems, and in 2010 he won a gold medal at SkillWeld, the UK’s premier welding competition. To cap off the successes he has achieved during his training, Jake competed for his country in the WorldSkills welding competition at the Excel Arena in London in October 2011.

Jake has always had an interest in engineering and wanted to be a part of the engineering construction industry from an early age. He said “I really like hands on work – my school was actually one of the few that covered engineering as a subject in its own right and I really enjoyed studying it at school. After I’d finished school I didn’t want to go to college so I got a job as a gear box technician.” Jake sought careers advice independently as he felt that his school hadn’t provided the opportunities for the career he wanted – and as such he is passionate that school children need educating earlier about what the industry has to offer.

“My local Connexions careers advisors were very helpful and it was there I found out about apprenticeships. I applied for an ECITB welding advanced apprenticeship with Doosan which I started in 2007. The first eight months were spent at a training centre in Tipton learning hands on welding which was great! I then went to Leeds College to study the theory side of the training, followed by on-site health and safety training. I got my first site job not long afterwards.”

Welding is a critical and highly skilled engineering construction discipline. An apprentice welder will usually spend three years training to develop the craft: the first stage acts as an introduction to the core skills. It involves learning to read and interpret weld specifications and engineering drawings as well as welding itself and takes place at a college or training provider. The second and third years of study are spent developing and perfecting welding skills in an engineering construction environment alongside experienced members of the sponsoring company’s workforce.

Jake first heard about the welding competitions through the manager at his training school and was keen to take part. “Doosan have been so willing to invest in me and the other apprentices. I really think it’s important for companies to provide this support to help us succeed. The three years of my apprenticeship were hard work but have been extremely rewarding, and I’ve had lots of opportunities to take part in various competitions, which have taught me valuable new skills, so being selected to represent the UK at WorldSkills is fantastic!”

“Oil & Gas is the sector of the engineering construction industry that I’m most interested in, particularly around oil refineries as I’m fascinated by the whole process of what goes on there.”

Small & medium enterprises apprenticeship incentives

In light of the need to train people now, and the lack of in-scope companies with the capacity to employ apprentices, the ECITB is supporting an initiative launched by the National Apprenticeship Service to encourage small & medium enterprises (SMEs) to take on apprentices in England.

The scheme, Apprenticeship Grants for Employers (AGE), has been backed by the Government and will offer grants of £1,500 to up to 40,000 SMEs prepared to take on their first apprentice.

For more information on this initiative please visit or telephone Don Atkinson, North East Regional Account Manager for ECITB on 07971438720.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Don Atkinson .

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