Lancashire welder to represent Great Britain at engineering competition

Kieran McShane, a third-year apprentice with Themis at Burnley College and WEC Group in Darwen, has been selected to represent Great Britain at the WorldSkills Competition.

The 20-year-old is one of 39 Team UK competitors travelling to Shanghai in China for the competition. His skills will be tested against top welders from up to 85 countries in the highly competitive Construction Metalwork category.

Kieran is keen to surpass former Themis at Burnley College Apprentice Tyler Atkinson, who finished in an impressive 11th place at the previous championship, which was held in Kazan, Russia, in 2019.

He said: "This is a huge competition and I am absolutely over the moon to have been selected to represent the UK. The format is really tough – we’ll get sheet steel and tools and be given around 20 hours to build whatever they give us the plans for.

"Everybody will get the same plans, but it’s going to be really tough. The standard is exceptionally high, and we’ll be judged on everything, from welding and bending to cutting and fabrication. I can’t wait to take on this challenge."

Neil Burrows, who leads on apprenticeships, employer engagement and adult skills at Burnley College, said: "We have a very impressive history sending Themis Apprentices to the WorldSkills Championship, and we have every faith in Kieran to produce some exceptional work and perform well under pressure.

"The North West has always had a proud manufacturing history and, with young people like Kieran leading the way, our region will continue to be at the forefront of British industry. We know he will do us, and himself, proud.”