Weld Done! Weld Australia education tool sparks global recognition

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

Weld Australia’s new suite of forward-thinking digital education tools has sparked global recognition from one of the industry’s most prestigious institutions. 

The national welding industry organisation’s manufacturing and engineering (MEM) training program sealed more success last weekend, picking up the Andre Leroy Prize at the 2024 International Institute of Welding (IIW) Awards. 

The overhauled digital training tools have already received much domestic acclaim as the industry body tries to fuse the gap between worker demand and supply. 

Australia’s welding sector is currently experiencing an excessive labour shortage, with half the nation’s workshops operating below 80 per cent capacity.

Declining worker numbers, fused with high apprenticeship drop-out rates, have led to predictions that the trade will be 70,000 welders short by 2030.

The new welder training program aims to change that by re-sparking interest from the next generation of tradies. 

It forms part of a strategic education rethink to incorporate more online, video, and portable learning methods into a long, outdated training curriculum.

The learning hub is designed to keep students better engaged through 12 modules that are completely accessible online, allowing students to learn at the time, place, and pace that suits them through methods and technology they’re familiar with.  

Weld Australia CEO Geoff Crittenden says that the program was developed collaboratively with a national consortium of TAFEs to create the most engaging and up-to-date training materials possible. 

“The success of this project is a testament to the dedication and expertise of everyone involved,” he said. 

“Our goal was to reimagine the learning process by providing a user-friendly interface and diversified delivery methods that cater to the varied needs of our students.”

“The online and accessible nature of the MEM Resources ensures that learning can happen anytime, anywhere, and at a pace that suits each individual.”

The Awards, which formed part of the IIW Annual Assembly and International Conference on Welding and Joining held in Rhodes, Greece, recognised Weld Australia for their positive contribution to scientific and technical training or teaching of welding processes.

New education tool sparks positive reception

It’s not the first time Weld Australia has been recognised since launching the program. Earlier this year, it also took home the Excellence in Manufacturing Skills Development category winner at the Endeavour Awards in Australia. 

Weld Australia CEO Geoff Crittenden says that providing future-focused education resources has helped provide Aussie students with world-class skills training by focusing on their learning experience, regardless of location.

“Our resources help simplify the learning process for students, teachers and training institutes and—most importantly—place the student at the centre of the learning process,” he said. 

“Whether you’re an apprentice in Kalgoorlie, Ultimo or Davenport, you should have access to the same high-quality training. Our goal is to help ensure that high-quality welder learning is consistent across the country.”

Aside from making it even easier for future tradies to learn their craft, the online modules will help create a more consistent industry standard of work nationwide. 

“Being able to link in with Weld Australia and other TAFEs, improved training outcomes—there is a better consistency from a technical perspective Australia-wide,” Executive Director of Engineering, Transport and Defence at South Metropolitan TAFE, Jonathan Maile, said. 

Share This Article
Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.