SkillWeld 2021

The competition

The SkillWeld competition is designed to test your skills in the three main manual fusion processes. During the competition you will be asked to complete four weld tests. All four of the test pieces are mandatory.

You will have enough material for one test piece in each of the four tests. You will have four hours to complete all four test pieces.

The test pieces will be judged after the competition has ended, and entrants will be informed of the results later that day.

The closing date for competition entries is now closed. However this is an annual event so don't forget to register later this year for Skillweld 2022.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the SkillWeld competition which is brought to you by prime sponsor Air Products, generous industry support and the SkillWeld Committee.

The SkillWeld competition is aimed at technicians working and/or training in the welding industry at an advanced or higher level. Please note there is no age limit for SkillWeld competitor entry, however age restrictions do apply to competitors progressing into WorldSkills international competitions

To ensure that competitors are given the best opportunity to compete, not only at regional and national level, but also at international competitions, we have made some changes to the competition structure and it will now run as an annual competition. Particular changes have had to be made for Skillweld 2021 due to the Coronavirus restrictions.

SkillWeld is the UK’s premier welding competition and has direct links to WorldSkills UK and WorldSkills International. As competitor numbers have been growing consistently, the SkillWeld Committee has decided to introduce a passive stage to the competition structure.   We feel this will give more trainee welders the opportunity to participate in the competition, raise the skill level of National Qualifiers, assist with competitors’ progression and enhance the competition experience.

The SkillWeld competition will be is normally made up of the following stages. Exceptions are in place for 2021 – see text in green:

  2. National Qualifiers
  3. NATIONAL FINAL (mid November)

Passive heats (Recommended but not mandatory)

All entrants will be asked to fabricate and weld a small fabrication test piece. The completed fabrication will be marked by their lecturer/trainer against a supplied marking sheet in accordance with WorldSkills UK criteria. There will be a time limit and all welds must be completed. The Passive Heats have three welding processes, TIG, MMA and MAG, all Low Carbon Steel. A straightforward welding job to encompass positional welding, penetration and appearance are important. Material for the Passive Heat is to be provided by your college or training facility.

For 2021 passive heats will run as an online job knowledge test in May/June.

National Qualifiers

There are seven regional centres in the UK mainland. Entry into the National Qualifiers will be by invitation only.

The National Qualifiers will use the four SkillWeld weld tests used previously.

  • No. 1 - Carbon Steel pipe TIG Root, MMA Remainder HL045
  • No. 2 - Aluminium pipe to plate. A/C TIG - Horizontal Vertical (PB)
  • No. 3 - Stainless Steel, 3mm Fillet. DC TIG OVERHEAD (PD)
  • No. 4 - Carbon Steel 10mm. FILLET. MAG VERTICAL UP (PF)

Time is limited, tests are marked by SkillWeld judges, material is sponsored free issue from SkillWeld.

The top ten competitors from the SkillWeld National Qualifiers will be invited to take part in the SkillWeld National Final to be held at The Skills Show NEC Birmingham November.

SkillWeld final

SkillWeld National Final to be held at The Skills Show NEC Birmingham in November. Competitor entry to the Final will be by invitation only.

Test objects will include a Low Carbon Steel Fabrication involving multi-process and various joint configurations, a Stainless Steel Pipe Butt Joint
(DC TIG) an Aluminium Fabrication with fully penetrated Butt Welds in varying positions, and three Butt Joints in Low Carbon Steel using two welding processes and subject to radiographic inspection.

Competitors taking part in the SkillWeld National Final may be invited to join those being developed for WorldSkills International competitions through WorldSkills and Find a Future there will be further time commitment and training in relation to this, which competitors and their employers need to be aware of.

Worldskills Live at the NEC has been cancelled for 2021 due to the uncertainly of running large events. The plan is to run cluster events. We aiming to run the 3 skills; Skillweld, Construction Metal Work and Sheet Metalwork Technology in the same general location so that we can bring all the competitors together.

Typical tests as used in previous previous National Qualifiers

       process     test piece requirement
1 TIG Root MMA Remainder Pipe butt weld H-Lo 45 in carbon steel Mandatory
2 TIG Pipe to plate fillet weld in the PB position
in aluminium
3 TIG Plate fillet weld in the PD position
in stainless steel
4 MAG Plate fillet weld in the PF position
in carbon steel


SkillWeld Committee
Alison Smith
Telephone: 01270 614167
Air Products
Welding Hotline

0800 389 0202


SkillWeld competition brief
Download PDF (141 KB)

SkillWeld – Passive Heat Test Coupon Marking Sheet
Download PDF (194 KB)

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