News

News

November 22nd, 2011

Game promotes welding trade careers

Recent research has shown that finding skilled workers is set to prove a challenge for engineering companies. To help meet supply, a new and innovative approach is needed to attract our youth into vocational careers. One solution is to introduce students to career options through gaming. Gaming and school work are not usually two activities you would associate together – but gaming is increasingly present in schools as the new way to engage and educate. Coined ‘edutainment’ – combining education and entertainment – ‘TIG Welder’ is a welding game which teaches and inspires, but is also fun. The game was developed by Competenz, the industry training organisation for the engineering and manufacturing sector, and is available now to play online in Flash on any computer or as an iPhone app. You can access the game now by going to www.tradesgamer.com The TIG Welder game supports the bid to increase the supply of tradespeople by exposing students and the public at large to what a career in the welding trade entails. In the game, players must perform a series of TIG, or tungsten inert gas, welds with the aim to join together three sections to form a steel wall, strong enough to protect from a deadly swinging demolition ball. The game is scored on an accuracy basis and requires a fair amount of skill to weld to a standard worthy of a high score. TIG Welder not only promotes trade careers but also educates students about key welding concepts relevant to their course curriculum. The basic TIG Welder game is free for the world to play online. A premium version of the game can be purchased by individuals, and schools can purchase a license to cover multiple students for their technology or engineering classes. The premium package includes a series of informative videos showing how to perform basic TIG welding tasks in the real world, plus welding and general workspace safety advice every budding tradesperson needs to know. A quiz is also embedded throughout the premium version of the game to make sure key TIG welding skill and safety messages are being picked up by the player. Students are taught valuable lessons by breaking the ‘rules’ of the game. For instance, failure to put your helmet’s visor down results in the message “you have been blinded!” – a relevant health and safety concern for a welder in a real welding situation. Trades attract those interested in hands-on careers, so it’s only logical that the way to learn about these trades takes the same approach. Anyone can go to www.tradesgamer.com now to play TIG Welder for free, and to register or find pricing options for the premium package. Click here to read more on mechanical engineering trades training. Or ‘like’ our Facebook page The Guild – Competenz Alumni Group to stay informed. The skills shortage issue is a reality; 64% of engineering and metal manufacturers surveyed by Competenz earlier this year said they need at least one more skilled staff member within the next two years. This translates to a potential shortfall of 4,519 new skilled tradespeople needed by 7,062 companies within these sectors by 2013. Welding is one of the key trades experiencing skill shortages. Currently 444 welding and fabrication apprentices are in training on-the-job nationwide and Competenz hopes its TIG Welder game will help introduce more ‘new blood’ from school to industry, to meet industry’s significant skills gap.