Last night the annual WEC Apprentice of the Year Awards took place at the Whitehall Hotel, Darwen. Guests included Darwen MP Jake Berry, the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Mayor of Darwen.
The evening recognised the success of our students who attend the WEC Welding & Engineering Training Academy. We presented our best apprentices with awards based on their attendance, commitment and welding excellence, and also rewarded those who have successfully completed the 5 year course.
We are extremely proud of our apprenticeship program and recognise the contribution this makes to employment in Blackburn with Darwen and the surrounding area, providing skills to young people who may otherwise not get the opportunity to possess these qualifications.
Ten percent of our total workforce is now made up of apprentices who have trained at the academy, keeping employment local and highlighting the success of the program which was set up eight years ago. The academy was founded by Steve Hartley, Managing Director of WEC Group and Kris Mercer.
WEC Group's training academy was also recently recognised as a top 100 apprenticeship employer.
Kris Mercer, Welding and Engineering Instructor at WEC Group, said: "The Apprentice of the Year awards night really is a testament to all of the hard work our apprentices put it on a daily basis.
"We think it's important to reward them and it's fantastic that they made the trophies using their new fabrication skills."
In recent years, there has been a lack of investment in apprenticeship programs in many areas of industry, particularly Engineering. In the current economic climate it is more important than ever for businesses to support young people and provide real career opportunities upon leaving school.
At WEC, we provide such opportunities and continue to invest in apprentices throughout these tough times.
To see this images from the awards night, please visit the WEC Group Training Academy Facebook page.