A Woman’s Weld at WorldSkills 08

Girls at WorldSkills 2008, like Carah, prove that women are better at welding than men!

About Welding:

There are 22 competitors in the welding category with Carah being the only female. They don’t make a practical project that can be used; they are tested purely on the welding skills. At the end of the competition all material is then recycled.

Day One: Competitors weld plates and pipes in various positions to attain accreditation to Australian standards. The plates and pipes are then x-rayed to check the welding.

Day Two: Competitors assemble and weld a pressure vessel. They are visually assessed and then a hydrostatic pressure test is performed on the vessel to check it works.

Day Three: Competitors make a stainless steel and aluminium sheet metal project.

About Carah, the female welder:

Carah Fraser first became interested in metal work after she landed a job as a temporary receptionist at a steel fabrication company. When it was quiet around the office Carah would ask the boss if she could have a go on some of the machines and when the regular receptionist returned Carah began her apprenticeship as a fitter machinist.

After having a go at welding Carah decided she liked that even more and transferred her apprenticeship over in her first year. Carah first learnt of WS08 when one of the boys at TAFE mentioned it and she harassed her teacher to find out more about it! After getting the information needed, Carah entered in the regional competition and came 5th in the structural engineering category and then learnt there was a welding category and entered herself in it.

After Carah had started her welding apprenticeship, she was told by her grandmother that when her mother was pregnant with Carah she had just started a course as a welder - this was the first Carah had ever heard of her mother doing this. Must be in the genes!

VJ Edith Veilleux