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Blackburn College chosen as WEC Group’s provider of machining apprentices

Date posted: 08th April 2024

Blackburn College has been chosen by Lancashire fabrication company, WEC Group Ltd, to train machining apprentices within the business.  

Darwen-based WEC Group, one of the largest engineering and fabrication companies in the UK, has specialised in fabrication, laser and waterjet cutting, and CNC turning and milling for over 40 years. 

It employs over 900 staff working across aerospace, defence, oil and gas, nuclear, mining and automotive industries. 

The agreement between Blackburn College and WEC comes as the College looks to expand the opportunities for students looking to pursue careers in engineering through a Machining Apprenticeship. 

WEC was impressed by Blackburn College’s ‘work to classroom’ model.  The College will first offer a Level 3 Machining Apprenticeship, based on a day release, which includes one day of learning at the College and four days onsite at WEC over the course of four years. This working model means that students are able to learn continuously on the job as opposed to spending a block of time learning and a block of time on placement.  

Edd Belshaw, Group Apprenticeship Coordinator for WEC, said:

“Working with Blackburn College on the new Level 3 Machining Apprenticeship offer is a very exciting opportunity for us here at WEC.  

“The one-day-per-week College Day model fits perfectly into our busy work schedule, meaning our apprentices get the benefit of learning within our workshop and learning the theory side of things at Blackburn College.”

Suhail Khan, Engineering Development Lead at Blackburn College, said: “This apprenticeship model bridges the gap between theory and application. It allows us to work closely with local businesses and set our curriculum to their needs, rather than sticking to a standardised national curriculum.” 

Principal and Chief Executive of Blackburn College, Dr Fazal Dad, said:

“We’re proud to be working with WEC. The business has an impressive wingspan across the North and the Midlands, and to be a part of training their future generation of workers is a privilege.” 

Blackburn College has ambitious goals to expand its apprenticeship offer to students and have local businesses on board to help build curriculums around their needs. 

Browse the apprenticeships at Blackburn College:

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