From education to employment

Apprentice Welder Proves his Mettle

An apprentice from NPTC Group of Colleges has been recognised as one of the most skilled young welders in the country. Declan Kenny, a fourth year apprentice with Boccard UK, has taken the silver medal at the WorldSkills SkillWeld 2017 competition final in Birmingham.

In 2016, Declan was crowned the Best Young Welder in Wales in the WorldSkills Welsh final. He has consistently impressed his employer and College lecturers with his highly-developed skillsets, and earlier this year wowed the judges at the SkillWeld Passive Heats and Regional Semi-Final to secure his place in the National Finals.

The biannual WorldSkills Competition is the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world. At the National Finals, the largest skill-based camp in the country, almost 500 apprentices from disciplines as diverse as Aircraft Maintenance and Cyber Security battled for a place in Team UK.

Twenty-year-old Declan, from Blaengwynfi, was thrilled with his placing. Speaking before the competition, he said:

“This is an amazing experience. I cannot believe my skills have been recognised at this level. I have been practising advanced welding techniques in preparation, but I know I am up against some incredibly talented welders.”

Taking the silver medal, Declan has now qualified for the UK squad, and has his sights on EuroSkills 2018 in Budapest and WorldSkills Russia the following year.

Carl James, Head of School of Engineering, said:

“It’s incredible that Declan has achieved this silver medal. We know the hard work and dedication Declan has put into honing his welding skills, not just for this competition but also for his employer. His place in the British squad is testament to this. I wish Declan every success in the future.”

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