WEC apprentice sets sights on Shanghai

Kieran McShane, a welding and fabrication apprentice from Darwen based WEC Group, is to undertake a training programme which could see him represent the UK at an international skills competition.

The 17-year-old has been invited to join the WorldSkills UK Talent Development Programme after excelling in the construction metalwork category in the national skills competition in November.

The ‘Skills Olympics’ feature more than 1,000 of the world’s most talented apprentices and students competing in more than 50 different skills, hoping to be named the World Champion in their chosen skill.

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.

Now Kieran has the opportunity to represent the UK in Shanghai, China, in 2021. He will undertake an 18-month training programme with WorldSkills UK, supported by WEC Group and Burnley College, ahead of the team's selection in Spring next year.

Ben Blackledge, deputy chief executive of 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.

Kieran has already excelled in the WorldSkills UK regional and national competitions and now he faces an even tougher test

"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.”

Kris Mercer, training and 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.

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