As part of our top tips series, we will be undertaking a Q&A with Paul Flynn – an experienced Supervisor at John Tracey Specialist Welding, each month, focusing on the range of exotic metals the team work with. This month, Paul focuses on another key element of our service – training! Having overseen over 30,000 graduates to date, Paul has a host of training tips to share for the most effective training!



When training a welder, regardless of ability, it is always prudent to assess on arrival. A simple multi run fillet test in the overhead position is effective to gauge ability. This is a simple test that will give great feedback for assessment of the trainee/welder.

The assessment consists of the following:

  • Quality of weld
  • How the trainee sets up plant
  • Which consumables are selected
  • Practical skill


When using the MMA process for example, consideration for the amps they intend to use is key. A slightly higher output is required on the overhead to counteract gravity and have enough power to achieve the weld. The angle and speed of progression along the weld is also important to assess the practical skill and technique of the trainee/welder and lastly shape and uniformity of the beads to ensure equilateral leg lengths for the perfect fillet weld.



We will assume we are training towards a 6G/Hi – Lo 45 pipe test. Firstly, train on a simplified full penetration butt weld in the (PF) position in plate before going straight to the 6G mock test as this will allow the trainee/welder to build a confidence in themselves and with the process they are using for the test. It is important to let take the mock test to completion. I have always found reassuring the trainee/welder helps calm their nerves which can cause untold problems when the test is being carried out, a calm reassured welder is paramount to a test being carried out successfully. Once they have achieved an acceptable full penetration butt weld in plate then we would proceed to an actual mock up trial of the intended final 6G test.



 As there is no help given to the trainee/welder during their test it is important to reassure them and remind them of the good work and habits learned during the previous days training before they sit the test and if you have been diligent and patient during their training you should see only positive results from that.

Basic Training

This course is for the beginner who is new to welding; as such, no prior experience is required. If an individual has a willingness to gain hands on practical welding experience, as well as understand some of the basic theory, then this course is the perfect fit.With the opportunity to be tailored to suit your exact requirements, individuals can train for as little as a couple of weeks intensively to have a foundation level understanding in how to weld safely. Within a 4-week period the individual may be able to progress to complete a test for coding either fillet or butt depending on skill set. Introduction to fabrication and pipefitting courses are also available, covering the basics, alongside the practical application of the theory.Each of these courses would be a minimum recommended one-week duration; this provides ample time to cover the use of all equipment, the reading of drawings, and the production of a practical piece.
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intermediate Training

Intermediate courses are suitable for anyone who have the basic welding skills and are looking to develop their skills further. Ideally, we would look for candidates who have at least one year working in industry, with a need for an increased skill set, for example, completing additional coding with other processes or materials. The program consists of intensive practical training with additional theory around the materials and processes. The courses may be structured in accordance with existing skill sets; as such, there is no set prescribed timeframe, however at least a week is recommended for working with new materials and at least two weeks for a new process. After the training you can proceed straight to completing a test.
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Advanced Training

The advanced program is for individuals looking to advance their skills, typically towards completing a 6G test using multiple processes and materials. Depending on the existing skill set, training can be a few days to a few weeks and will include theory to support the development of an understanding of the quality control aspect of welding at an advanced level.Along with this, JTSW is proud to offer a complete start-to-finish Weld Procedure Qualification plan for your business; We are on hand to source the right materials and consumables to coincide with your current projects and can undertake welding and monitoring of the test piece, as well as materials and consumable certification.Finally, our-in-depth knowledge and experience in welding metallurgy, allows us to offer an expert consultation service; Our own CSWIP welding inspector is available for hire for various duties such as writing new WPS’s monitor activities and collate documents for client approval.
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