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Welding Apprentice

  • Name:Dan Tate
  • Location:Devonport
  • Sector:Marine

My name is Dan Tate, I am a 21-year-old, first year welding apprentice at Babcock international.

My apprentice trade, why I chose it and why I chose Babcock

Before working at Babcock I’ve had other jobs in both similar and different industries. I most recently worked at princess yachts so working with marine projects is something which I have become used too and enjoy.

If I am 100% honest, before looking into Babcock careers I had particularly little knowledge about welding itself, however, once doing some research into welding, especially welding within Babcock it instantly attracted me. I have friends who already do welding, so I spoke to them about their job and this only confirmed my interest in the role. I chose welding because it is a unique role with huge career options and opportunities all around the world. Choosing Babcock, for me, was a no brainer. I first applied for Babcock when I was a 16 year old school leaver, however, I was extremely nervous when entering the interview stage, along with having a broken leg, so I didn’t perform anywhere near where I would like to for my interview. I then decided to go away and gain some confidence and improve my knowledge and skills in the workplace environment and decided it was time to apply again. I chose Babcock because there is nobody else, I would like to work for with the long-term career opportunities, multiple different career paths, continuous training and development chances. The list could go on forever, Babcock are a huge company who are only going to get bigger and better as technology develops and this was something, I was desperate to be apart of. As well as this, the job security provided by Babcock fills you with confidence.

My typical day:

My typical day? To be honest I do not really have a typical day as every day proves to be a new challenge. Each morning we have a team meeting with our instructor to discuss the previous day’s activity, how we feel it is going and what progress we have made. After this we would settle into our welding bays and have our tasks set for us on what we needed to do next. This is usually trying to master a weld in different thickness materials or producing a test piece. Once we have mastered a weld to the required standard we would move on and try a new weld. As well as constantly practicing the welds we have previously completed to ensure the level of quality was high. Some days we are in the workshop all day which means we can really focus on our practical work and get our teeth stuck into a task. Others we spend the afternoon in the computer room completing our NVQ OneFile work.

My favourite part of the job:

My favourite part of the job is when suddenly you get it right. When you are first tasked with a weld, no matter what anyone says, you are rubbish at it, you have never done it before so this is expected, you are trying all sorts of techniques trying to master the weld and find the most comfortable way to do it. However, you’ll soon find a way which works for you and all of a sudden you are absolutely smashing the welds at a very high standard continuously. Being able to look back and see the first time you tried the weld and then when you have learnt how to do it, is such a great and rewarding feeling, you can literally see the progress you have made and this is such a great feeling and this is why its my favourite part of the job. There is nothing better than going to work and working hard to see results, because welding is extremely tough to master, but feels so satisfactory when you manage to overcome the problems.

Most challenging thing I’ve ever done to date:

The most challenging thing I have done to date is over head welding. THIS IS SO TOUGH! When you first start welding over head you think to yourself, ‘this is ok, I don’t know what people moan about,’ but you quickly realise why people find it so tough. Being able to weld overheard is a talent on its own, let alone having to hold you arms and equipment over your head for a long period of time! I am somebody who is very sporting and active, I often visit the gym, and however this is unlike any other exercise! Although as much as it is tough, it’s a very exciting technique and something which is very relevant to the job so it’s a great we get to practice as its very likely we will have to weld like this onboard a ship, especially in confined spaced areas.