WEC Apprentices training for gold with Themis at Burnley College

Seven Themis at Burnley College Apprentices from Darwen-based Advanced Manufacturing employer WEC Group have reached the National finals of the WorldSkillsUK Construction MetalWork competition.

The seven Advanced Apprentices were chosen out of 84 competitors from 14 different training centres across the UK, after submitting a high scoring test piece during the regional heats of the WorldSkills UK Construction MetalWork competition.

The test piece itself was a crane base, and forms the basis of their upcoming challenge in which the crane’s jib and grab will both be constructed at the WorldSkills UK National Finals in November 2016. The team of seven WEC Apprentices have been training in the Themis Centre of Engineering Excellence to prepare for the final by creating test pieces and honing their skills under the watchful eyes of Kevin Scott, national training manager on behalf of the Association of Welding, Fabrication and Training and Education (AWFTE), The Welding Institute (TWI) and Semta, the organising partners for the WorldSkills UK Construction MetalWork competition.

A team of the top ten ranking WorldSkills UK finalists will construct these test pieces at the National final, with seven of the ten being WEC Apprentices.

What’s more, the top three age eligible competitors may also get the opportunity to be selected for Squad UK and have the chance to compete at the WorldSkills International competition in Kazan, Russia 2019.

Themis have worked with WEC since 2013 and their Apprentices have reached the WorldSkills UK finals every year since then. To add to their accolades, one of this years’ seven finalists from WEC, Johnny Holding, won the WEC Apprentice of the Year award in 2015.

Simon Jordan, director of Themis said: “To have Themis Apprentices in with a chance of winning a prestigious award for a third year in a row is an amazing achievement. Each Apprentice has worked and trained extremely hard to get to the high level they are now working at and I wish them all the best for the finals in Birmingham later this year.” Kevin Scott said: “It’s a huge honour for WEC Group’s Apprentices to be competing in the Construction MetalWork WorldSkills UK National finals. The team have been training tirelessly over the summer to prepare themselves for the National finals, which has been going exceptionally well. By November we will have seven very capable Fabrication and Welding Apprentices each with every chance of being chosen to represent the UK in Kazan, Russia 2019.”