Traditional Four Year Engineering Apprenticeships!

In 2006 WEC Group found themselves being unable to fill skilled positions; not due to a lack of applicants, but due to a lack of skilled applicants.

WEC Group Training Academy was founded as a way of bridging the industry's skills gap and as a way of providing individuals in Darwen and the surrounding area with an opportunity to gain welding and fabrication skills. In 2015, we also introduced new CNC machining and technical production engineering apprenticeships in Lancashire, Yorkshire and Merseyside.

About the Apprenticeship Scheme

Our four year apprenticeship schemes with the Group is available to people of all ages.

Our apprentices have constant access to state-of-the-art equipment five days a week, enabling them to learn and utilise the most modern practices and techniques whilst mixing with our existing staff to get a real taste for the workplace.

Over the first 12 months of the program, apprentices spend five days full time in the Academy to learn different types of welding, fabrication, sheet metalwork and CNC machining whilst applying their new found skills to engineering projects.

Following their initial 12 months, apprentices are deployed to a specialist division within WEC Group to spend four days on the shop floor and one day at college to provide them with the academnic knowledge they need to pursue a successful career in engineering.

Our Training & Development Manager, Kris Mercer, is just one of 50 globally recognised CSWIP certified Master Welding Instructors, and our Training Academy is one of only a few TWI (The Welding Institute) certified welder training centres in the North West.


We offer level 2 and level 3 apprenticeships in a range of disciplines, including trailblazer apprenticeships which can take up to 3 years to achieve. Apprentice welders/fabricators will also achieve BS EN 287 in coded welding in their first year and we currently have a 100% pass rate for this.

We now also offer higher level apprenticeships such as CAD programming at BTEC level 4 as well as level 2 business administration apprenticeships.