WEC Group Celebrates Apprentice Success at Annual Apprentice of the Year Awards

WEC Group Ltd held their ninth annual Apprentice of the Year awards on Thursday 28th November at the Red Rose Suite in Ewood Park, Blackburn. With esteemed guests including: the Deputy Mayor of Blackburn Cllr Iftkahar Hussain, Deputy Mayoress Ms Hussain, Darwen Council Mayor Lillian Salton and delegations from training provider Burnley College, the event celebrated the apprentices’ success over the past year.

Apprentice awards were given for various categories including Outstanding Academic Achievement, Machining Excellence, Welding Excellence, and Commitment as well as the coveted Apprentice of the Year title. Those who qualified and took part in this year’s WorldSkills UK event and those who had completed their 5 year course were also rewarded.

The awards ceremony celebrated success of apprentices from their training academies in Darwen and Rotherham. MTL Advanced, a subsidiary of WEC Group, created their training academy mirroring the success of the Darwen based advanced engineering academy.

With numerous talented apprentices receiving recognition on the night, it was Kieran McShane and Leon Gillam who were eventually named as the WEC Group and MTL Advanced Apprentices of the Year respectively for 2019.

Kieran McShane, 17, a welding and fabrication apprentice in Darwen, won this year’s Apprentice of the year after being praised for his natural ability and outstanding work ethic, resulting in an excellent portfolio for his end point assessment. Kieran also represented the North West at the national WorldSkills UK Finals earlier this month and received a silver medal after only 12 months of training, fighting off tough competition from older apprentices.

MTL’s Apprentice of the Year, Leon, has been described by his line manager as “a pleasure to teach, with perfect time keeping and attendance and a natural ability with both the practical and academic side of his apprenticeship. He is a proving to be a valuable member of our fabrication team” and is therefore a well-deserved winner.

Kris Mercer, WEC Group Training and Development Manager said: “This year’s awards were quite possibly the best yet. We have an extremely talented group of apprentices and choosing the winners was especially difficult this time around.”

“It is incredibly important for us, as a company, to celebrate and reward our apprentices for their hard work and commitment. It is also a wonderful opportunity for our apprentices to invite their families and loved ones to find out more about the fantastic achievements they have made over the past year and to celebrate those achievements with them.”

“We would like to thank everyone who attended the evening, including our guest presenter Peter Roberts who is a previous employee of WEC Group and helped found the Training Academy alongside our Managing Director, Steve Hartley. Without the support of them both, the training academy would not be the great success that it is today”.

A special award was also presented to Tyler Atkinson, who recently represented the UK in the WordSkills Competition in Russia. Tyler, who competed in the Construction Metalwork category, attended various boot camp sessions across the world in a two year extensive training programme leading up to the competition. The competition is held every two years in various countries around the world, with the next event taking place in Shanghai in 2021.

This apprentice awards evening follows WEC Group representing the North West region and being awarded Highly Commended in the National Apprenticeship Awards held in London the evening before. Having already been named winner at the regional competition earlier this year, the success at the National Apprenticeship Awards 2019 is testament to the excellent apprenticeship programme that is provided at the Group’s company-funded, in house Training Schools.

For more information or for pictures, please contact:
Louise Cross – Marketing & PR
E: louise.cross@wecl.co.uk
T: 01254 773 718
Photos from the event: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wecgroup/albums/72157711988711833

To find out more about the apprenticeship programme, please visit the dedicated page here: http://www.wec-group.com/wecacademy.html