Life-changing moment for skilled elite from WEC Group

A welding and fabrication apprentice from Darwen based WEC Group, is setting out on the Road to Shanghai following his selection to Squad UK for the international WorldSkills Competition.

Kieran McShane, 17 from Accrington, has been invited to join the prestigious WorldSkills UK Talent Development Programme after excelling in the construction metalwork category in the national skills competition, the finals of which were held in November at WorldSkills UK LIVE at the NEC in Birmingham.

The WorldSkills Competition, which will next be held in Shanghai, China in 2021, takes place every two years and is known as the ‘Skills Olympics’. The competition will feature over 1000 of the world’s most talented apprentices and students competing in over 50 different skills as they battle it out to be named the World Champion in their chosen skill.

Ben Blackledge, Deputy Chief Executive, WorldSkills UK said: “Congratulations to Kieran. This is a life-changing moment for him. Kieran has already excelled in the WorldSkills UK regional and national competitions – and now he faces an even tougher test as he looks to secure his place to represent the UK on the world stage. He has already dedicated hundreds of hours improving his skills to get to this level – and he will have many months of hard work ahead with our training managers – enabling him to transform his career.”

Kieran will now undertake an 18-month training programme with WorldSkills UK, supported by WEC Group and Burnley College and will face the ultimate selection test in Spring 2021 when the team that will compete at WorldSkills Shanghai will be named.

Kris Mercer, Training & Development Manager at WEC Group commented “We are immensely proud of Kieran for his performance and determination in the national finals. He has a natural talent and flair for metalwork and securing his place on the Road to Shanghai will provide him with a rare experience and opportunity to boost his career prospects and confidence. We all wish him the best with his future training towards Shanghai 2021”

Director of Themis at Burnley College Neil Burrows also commented “Congratulations to Kieran on a truly outstanding achievement. His success in this renowned international contest is testament to his skills, commitment and determination to be the very best – all attributes we look for in Themis Apprentices”

“Our Themis Trainers have a wealth of knowledge and industry expertise, which, combined with WEC’s excellent workplace training, is a winning combination – as already shown by the success of Tyler in reaching the WorldSkills finals in Russia 2019.”

In August last year, WEC Group and Burnley College student, Tyler Atkinson, represented the UK in the Construction Metalwork category in Kazan, Russia, in which Team UK secured 19 medals. By competing in the competition, WorldSkills UK is able to identify global best practice, research and insight that will help the new UK government to deliver world class standards in technical education.