Josh wins gold in EuroSkills welding competition in Sweden

Josh Peek, gold medal winner in the Euro Skills competition

Josh Peek, gold medal winner in the Euro Skills competition - Credit: WorldSkills UK.

A Great Yarmouth apprentice who has overcome a broken back in a motorsport accident lifted a gold medal for his masterful welding skills.

Josh Peek, 20, an apprentice at Yarmouth College competed for TeamGB in the European final of World Skills in Gothenborg, Sweden this week.

He first entered the Skill Weld competition in the qualifying stages In 2014 and despite then suffering his accident he managed to walk again and compete, achieving a bronze medal in welding! Josh then qualified at the NEC to compete for a place in the GB squad.

And by winning the European top medal he now goes on to the world finals in Abu Dhabi next year.

Douglas Lawrence, Josh’s tutor was absolutely delighted: “This is a massive achievement for a young man who started off winning the regional semi-finals after breaking his back and then unfortunately losing his father on the day he had to compete in Birmingham for the UK finals. I am so pleased for him and his family.”

Josh is an apprentice welder at L&G Engineering in Norwich, spending a day a week in the welding workshop at Yarmouth College. Josh continues to go from strength to strength, and has won a series of competitions and awards including becoming the college’s apprentice of the year this year.

He said: “I managed to set my gloves alight, that hurt – but I just got on with the job.”

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“I am in shock. I thought I had done well – but when I heard the words ‘gold goes to the United Kingdom’ I was totally stunned. This is for my family, my training provider Great Yarmouth College and my colleagues at work who have all been brilliant.”

Mr Peek, who has spent several years training in preparation for the competition, received his award in front of 10,000 people at a ceremony on December 4 after beating competitors from 15 other countries.

EuroSkills gives young people across Europe, up to the age of 25, the chance to showcase and develop their vocational skills by compete against one another in a range of categories.

Dr Neil Bentley, CEO of WorldSkills UK, which oversees the Team UK selection said: “We are overjoyed – our best ever performance – just at the moment when we really need it.

“These young people are going back in to their workplaces and sharing that knowledge and experience – which helps businesses thrive and that’s what’s going to help businesses compete with others across the world.”