We are delighted to announce that Adrian Hawkins has been appointed OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List, published on Friday 1st January 2021. Adrian will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to business, and in particular the welding industry, as founder of Weldability Sif and Managing Director of Welding World.
Adrian said “I am so pleased to receive this honour. Business and Industry have been important tenets in my life, through which I have sought positive, sustainable outcomes for my colleagues and my community. This award is a humbling recognition of a lifetime of effort in building a successful business — and working to support others in building theirs, through my role as Managing Director of Welding World and Chairman of biz4Biz”.
Adrian attended school and college in Stevenage and married Jennie in 1977. Together they have two children: The eldest, Gareth, is married to Shelley; and Alexis, who is married to Tristan Bond. The families continue to live locally and, during 2020, gave birth to grandsons, Elliott and Greyson.
Adrian’s career in industry began in 1975 with the British Oxygen Company (BOC) and he founded Weldability Sif in 1981, which he grew from supplying one branded product in the UK, to many thousands internationally today. The company became a highly successful and respected source for a full range of welding products, trading as Weldability, and in 2008 acquired Sif – a British welding consumables company started in 1925. In March 2019 Weldability-Sif was acquired by Indutrade AB, a NASDAQ-listed corporation.
In recent years Adrian has been a school and college Governor and Chairman of a multi-academy trust. In his tenure, Adrian established the Weldability-Sif Foundation, a charity that today supports more than 40 Welder-Training Studios across the UK, which have so far delivered 18,000 welder qualifications. The foundation works alongside awarding-bodies, incorporates the services of FE colleges and partners with businesses such as MakeUK and EDF, to address industrial skills pipelining for the UK workforce.
Adrian is also the Chairman and Founder of biz4Biz, an organisation established to support business owners and leaders, as well as a patron of business clubs, working alongside Hertfordshire MPs and Local Authorities and engaging with local business leaders.
From 2014 to 2020 Adrian was appointed to the main board of the Hertfordshire LEP, serving his full six-year term and he has served as Deputy Chair of the Hertfordshire LEP from 2017 to 2020. Adrian continues to Chair the Hertfordshire LEP’s Skills and Employment Board (SAP), has championed the delivery of the Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal (HOP) and, in collaboration with the University of Hertfordshire, delivered a voluntary supporter’s network to provide a support service to businesses during the COVID pandemic.
In March 2020, Adrian was appointed the independent Chairman of the Stevenage Development Board. A lifelong advocate for Stevenage — having been born in his parents’ council house and subsequently started his first business in the New Town — Adrian is leading the Board on a £50M funding bid from the Government’s Towns Fund. If successful, the bid is expected to release a further £600M in private funding for the regeneration of Stevenage, the UK’s first new town.