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Welder Jessica makes sparks fly with top awards

Jessica with Mother and Boyfriend

Former Hartlepool College of Further Education Fabrication and Welding student Jessica Hough has showed she has the right mettle to succeed in a traditionally male-dominated career by winning not one but two prestigious awards, she was voted Welding Student of The Year by both The Welding Institute’s Northumbria Branch and GE Oil & Gas.

Jessica started at Hartlepool College in September 2013 and secured an apprenticeship with Caterpillar in Peterlee, which she completed earlier this year. Throughout her apprenticeship she demonstrated her diligence and dedication by consistently achieving high grades, with all members of teaching staff recognising and admiring her abilities and work ethic.To increase her professional technical knowledge and improve her employability prospects, Jessica progressed to and successfully graduated from the HNC in Fabrication and Welding and is now a full time employee at Caterpillar’s Peterlee plant.

A popular and highly trusted member of staff, Jessica has also drawn much praise from her colleagues and mentors. Jim Richardson, Rear Chassis Fabrication Manager, said “Due to her positive ‘can do’ attitude she earned the respect of both her work colleagues and team leads. She really went the extra mile to make things happen”. Rob Thornton, Dump Body Fabrication Manager, described Jessica as “one of the best apprentice welders we have had the pleasure to work with and train”, while Graham Anderson, Fabrication Group Manager, summed up her qualities by saying “Jess is an inspiration, a great example of diversity within the industry we work in. Her attitude, application and dedication are second to none.”


Jessica’s recent awards required all candidates to participate in a thorough selection process carried out by both The Welding Institute and GE Oil & Gas respectively. The judges found Jessica’s welding capability, technical knowledge, understanding and overall commitment to be truly outstanding.
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19+ adult
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