Apprentices from Darwen-based Engineering firm WEC Group have been putting their new skills to the test in order to manufacture and install a new bench for Hoddlesden Village.
The historic tram stop which houses the newly installed bench, was restored in 2009 after years of disrepair and neglect to be used as a bus shelter and a place for shoppers to escape the rain.
The bench is made from steel and was designed and manufactured by the first-year apprentices at The WEC Group training academy, who are taking part in their advanced five year apprenticeship with the company.
In order to manufacture the 3.7m long octagonal shaped bench, which mirrors the shape of the historic tram stop, the apprentices used advanced welding and fabrication processes including TIG and MIG Welding skills. The bench took two weeks to manufacture and paint before being finally installed onsite by the apprentices on Thursday 13th February.
James Mason, 23, who is a first year apprentice in the WEC Training Academy said “I really enjoyed working on this project. It was a fantastic opportunity to build my skills with the other apprentices in the academy and understanding the value of teamwork”
The unusual shape of the bench posed challenges for the Apprentices as they had to complete advanced geometric calculations so the bench reflected the complex shape of the tram stop.
Mr Mason added “The shape of the tram stop certainly made the design more complicated. It was a great experience as I learnt and developed brand new fabrication techniques. I am delighted that we have had the opportunity to design and create something that will be used by the local people of Hoddlesden”
We are accepting applications for our september 2020 intake of apprentices, visit our dedicated WEC Academy page to find out more and download an application form.