Young welder scoops top prize

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An apprentice welder from Doncaster could be heading to Brazil to test his skills.

Caroline Flint, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, was amazed when she visited the Alstom factory in Staffordshire and met UK champion apprentice welder Kurt Rodgers, who is from Conisbrough.

Kurt, Alstom’s top apprentice welder, has scooped top prize at the prestigious SkillWeld competition after three intense days of competition at the NEC in Birmingham against 112 other entrants.

He now has the chance to represent the UK at the WorldSkills 2015 competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Mrs Flint said: “I’ve always said skills could take a young person a long way, but from Conisbrough to Brazil is an amazing journey for a 19-year-old.

“The fact that Kurt is such a skilful welder is great credit to him and to how seriously Alstom take their apprenticeship programme.

“Kurt is working for a world-beating firm and he could become a world-beating welder.”

Kurt attends Newcastle-under-Lyme College one day a week while working for Alstom at UK power stations.