Apprentice engineer to compete for UK in USA

By Tim Aldred

15 Sep 2022

kieran-mcshane.jpg

An apprentice engineer is set to jet out to Ohio in the United States to compete in the WorldSkills competition which has been delayed and rescheduled various times due to global events.

Welding and fabrication apprentice Kieran McShane has been preparing to represent the UK at the 'engineering Olympics' as far back as 2020.

The event was set to be hosted in Shanghai but the Covid-19 pandemic caused it to be postponed until 2021, then later to 2022. And now, due to ongoing restrictions in China, the organisers have taken the decision to host the various competitions in various locations outside of China.

With a date and a location now set, Kieran, who is employed by WEC in Darwen, can look forward to competing in the Construction Metalwork category.

He has been training for the event at WEC Group's new state-of-the-art Engineering Academy in Blackburn. The new facility is the first Lincoln Electric UK Centre of Welding Excellence and is equipped with the latest welding technology for apprentices to train on during their apprenticeships.

As part of his final preparations for the competition, Kieran will be travelling to Finland this week as part of SquadUK to take part in an International Pressure Test against fellow international WorldSkills competitors.

He said: "I was really disappointed when I was told that the Shanghai event was cancelled, however when I found out that the Construction Metalwork category has now been moved to Ohio, I was over the moon, it's definitely going to be an amazing experience.

"I’m really looking forward to competing against talented welders from across the world and I’m hoping to bring home a medal!”

Kris Mercer, WEC Group's training manager, added: "The whole of WEC Group is incredibly proud of Kieran’s achievements, having a WEC Group apprentice represent the UK for the second time running is a great testament to our ongoing commitment to training the next generation of engineers.

"Kieran is an absolute credit to our Engineering Academy and has shown how hard work and determination can lead to incredible progression and life-changing opportunities. This is a fantastic opportunity and we are looking forward to following him on his journey and his future successes. We will all be cheering him on to bring a gold medal back to the UK!"

The Special Edition 2022 WorldSkills event which Kieran will attend will consist of 61 international skill competitions taking place across Europe, North America, and East Asia from September to November 2022, with over 1,100 competitors from 57 countries and regions expected to participate.

The WorldSkills competitions encompass a wide variety of vocational trades, ranging from hairdressing, bricklaying, cooking, floristry and aircraft maintenance.

The last edition of the event was held in Kazan, Russia in 2019 and saw fellow WEC apprentice Tyler Atkinson proudly represent the UK against competitors from China, USA, Korea and Brazil amongst others.

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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