• 22 June 2024
  • Darwen, BB3 2RB

WEC Engineering Academy

WEC Group Training Academy

Apprenticeships & Training

WEC Engineering Academy

Apprenticeships are at the heart of the continued growth and success of the WEC Group.

The WEC Group Training Academy provides a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility like no other in the UK. Here, you will discover the essential tools to kickstart your manufacturing career and contribute towards shaping the future of the industry.

A member of The AWFTE (Association of Welding & Fabrication Training & Education) and a TWI (The Welding Institute) certified welder training centre, our advanced five-year apprenticeships in welding/fabrication, CNC machining, laser cutting/press brake operating and Technical Engineering provide individuals with the skills and qualifications required to carve out a successful career in Engineering.
WEC Engineering Academy


Employee Benefit Loans (FairQuid)

Free Parking

Refer a Friend Scheme

Local gym membership discount

Healthcare & Wellbeing Scheme

25 days holiday + bank holidays

Expression of Wish (death in service)

Cycle to work Scheme

Company Pension


Investing in the Future

We’re fully committed to investing in apprenticeships for our growth and success. Our Training Academy opened in 2006, and since then we’ve grown from 200 to 850 employees, thanks to fresh talent and skills. Apprentices are key to our long-term strategy.

WEC Group built an in-house Training Academy in 2006 to address the shortage of skilled welders/fabricators and provide a practical alternative to college/university. We expanded our apprenticeship programme to fuel our company’s growth, including IT, Marketing, & Business Admin, and now accept 30 local school leavers per year. We also employ 2 full-time dedicated welding teachers.

We joined RoATP (Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers) as an Employer Provider and now have full control of our apprentice programme. We can shape the future of our apprentices’ careers.

WEC Group’s welding academy offers industry-level training in Blackburn with state-of-the-art facilities. Courses include apprenticeships and are taught by leading mechanical experts. Gain critical skills and nationally recognized qualifications. First-year apprentices train full-time in the academy and are deployed to a specialist division after 12 months. Our high level of training ensures confidence in this craft with a supportive environment for all students.

WEC Academy
Welding Apprenticeships

Awards & Competitions

Every year we enter our apprentices into the prestigious WorldSkills UK competition, and as a direct result of the world class training they receive at the academy, apprentices have won multiple gold and bronze medals as well as achieving some of the highest scores in the country.

Continuously high performing apprentices may get the opportunity to compete to represent the UK at the International WorldSkills Competition.

An annual Apprentice of the Year Awards ceremony is held to recognise the achievements and progression of the apprentices. Attendance, punctuality, teamwork, personal development and a formal testing of skills are all part of the criteria for assessing who will be “Apprentice of the Year”. WEC Group are extremely proud to have been recognised in the UK's Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list in 2014, 2016, and 2017. The National Apprenticeship Service Top 100 List recognises excellence in businesses that employ apprentices and showcases the breadth of employers who now offer apprenticeships. The Academy also won a range of awards over the past few years, including the BAE Systems Award for Large Employer of the Year in the Liverpool, Cumbria and Lancashire region finals in 2016, 2018 and 2019. We were also awarded the National Highly Commended Award at the National Apprenticeships Awards 2018 and 2019.

WEC Group accepts projects from the local authorities every year, free of charge, to benefit the local community and to enable apprentices to develop their new engineering skills. Apprentices have worked on a number of high profile projects, including a £100,000 stainless steel Spitfire memorial sculpture which was donated to the town of Darwen, Lancashire to commemorate the town’s war efforts during WW2. Recent work has also seen students create a 5ft stainless steel statue in tribute to the famous artist LS Lowry which has become a seaside visitor attraction on the Wyre coast, as well as multiple major components for an 8 metre research space rocket for Starchaser Industries. Apprentices also work on exciting community projects throughout the year with local authorities, charities and residents to develop their skill sets. Recent work has seen apprentices create a 5ft stainless steel statue in tribute to LS Lowry, a replica weathervane which was donated to a local church after the original was damaged in a storm, as well as a research space rocket for Starchaser Industries.