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Informal Training Recognition in Welding
Start date: Oct 1, 2010,

The welding sector (which is transversal to the metalworking sector, oil & gas, construction, industry, automobile, telecommunications, etc) is facing a serious lack of qualified and certified welders. The demand of qualified welders is higher than the supply and it has been estimated that this year (2010) the shortage of welders will be in the range of 200 000 (The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 15 2006).The present situation is due to a series of different factors, namely the higher appeal to youngsters of professions in the IT area and the poor image welding technology has often been associated as a "dusty, dangerous and dirty" activity. Welding institutes and different associations around the world are promoting welding as a profession for the future, aiming to support their industrial associates to overcome the present shortage of skilled personnel, making welding a "cool, clever and clean" activity.A look into any construction site where welding is used, will show that welders are a group of ageing workers whose qualifications were obtained too many years ago, but whose practical experience is of high value to the company.The lack of skilled young welders and the inability to certify acquired knowledge and introduce innovative technologies to "older" welders contributes to a desperate situation for all the industries that resort to welding.Therefore, the present proposal will look into the introduction of an alternative system of certification that will allow workers with extensive unrecognized experience in welding to be reintroduced into the sector as fully qualified welders, with their qualifications updated and properly recognized.The system is expected to be an important first step towards implementing this approach to new countries, beyond the partnership.

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