WEC collects third apprentice training award

Darwen-based WEC Group has been named North West Large Employer of the Year in the National Apprenticeship Awards 2020 for the third consecutive year.

The engineering and fabrication company has now advanced to the national competition, hoping to secure the National Large Employer of the Year award on November 25th.

WEC's training academy opened in 2006 and has since skilled up more than 200 apprentices in various advanced disciplines including welding and fabrication, mechanical engineering and CNC machining. More than half of the group's welding workforce in Lancashire are current or former apprentices trained at the academy.

Despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, the group is proceeding with plans to build a 25,000 sq ft Training School in Blackburn which will double the number of apprentices trained while diversifying the skills taught.

Apprentices have begun fabrication of the structural steel work for the building which is expected to be erected by December 2020. 

Kris Mercer, training and development manager at WEC Group, said: "Being recognised as the Top Employer in the North West for the third year in a row is a testament to all the hard work that we have put in to develop our successful Apprenticeships scheme and in-house welding academy.

"Apprenticeships are at the heart of our continued growth and success and we believe that our apprenticeship programme is leading the way to bridge the gap between education and the actual needs of engineering employers locally. Over 200 apprentices have now trained in our Academy and many of them have progressed within the organisation allowing our company to treble in size."

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