Themis Apprentices prove they are among the best in the country at finals of WorldSkills UK

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A group of seven highly-skilled and motivated Themis at Burnley College Apprentices are heading to Birmingham this week to take part in the finals of WorldSkills UK, where they will take on the very best Apprentices from across the country.

 The committed Apprentices have earned their places in the finals by overcoming the competition in a series of regional heats, where they have shown their ability to work to the very highest standards within strict deadlines.

The Themis Apprentices who have made the finals are:

Sheet Metal Work Technology

Callum Bullough

Callum (20), from Wigan, is an Advanced Sheet Metal and Fabrication Apprentice at Steeltech Kinetix, Todmorden. He chose a Themis Apprenticeship after leaving Fearns Community Sports College and is celebrating reaching the finals of WorldSkills UK for the second consecutive year, consolidating his position as one of the UK’s top young Engineers and making huge progress to his ultimate career goal of being a #futureboss in the aerospace industry or to be self-employed. He said:

“To reach the finals of WorldSkills UK for the second time is a great achievement for me both professionally and personally and I’m proud to be representing both Themis and my Employer. Engineering is a great career and my current role means I’m producing stainless steel products – from handrails to bespoke pieces – which are used at venues across the UK, including Manchester Airport and the Trafford Centre.”

Aaron Butschok

Aaron (19), from Burnley, is an Advanced Sheet Metal and Fabrication Apprentice at The Canopy Company, Rossendale. A former pupil at Blessed Trinity RC College, Burnley, he chose a Themis Apprenticeship as the ideal way of gaining the vital skills and knowledge he needs for a successful career in Engineering. He said:

“I’m proud to have reached the finals of WorldSKills UK and am looking forward to competing against the best in the country. The skills I’m learning now will ensure I’m in the best possible position to progress my career and my goal is to work within the aerospace industry.”

Bradley Parfitt

Bradley (21), from Burnley, is an Advanced Sheet Metal and Fabrication Apprentice at Castle Sheet Metal Ltd, Sabden. He chose a Themis Apprenticeship after leaving Ribblesdale High School, Clitheroe, as he was keen to launch his career in Engineering, learning from expert Trainers and Tutors and gaining vital experience in the workplace. He said:

 “Reaching the finals of WorldSkills UK has been the highlight of my career so far. I enjoy the diversity of my role: I spend time in the workshop fabricating and welding items and then fit them where they are needed, that could be in commercial buildings, at local farms or even children’s playgrounds.”


Construction Metal Work

Sam Carter

Sam (22), from Blackburn, is an Advanced Level Welding and Fabrication Apprentice at WEC Group, Darwen. He chose a Themis Apprenticeship after completing his studies at St Bede’s High School, Blackburn, as his goal is to work abroad or within the oil industry: he is already gaining the vital skills, knowledge and workplace experience he needs to achieve this. He said:

“WorldSkills UK is a great way for me to make my mark in the industry and shows how I can put my skills into practice in a high-pressure situation. As a Themis Apprentice I’m earning while I’m learning and feel that I’m already making huge steps towards my ultimate career goal.”

Kieran McShane

Kieran (17), from Accrington, is an Advanced Level Welding and Fabrication Apprentice at WEC Group, Darwen. A former pupil at St Christopher’s High School, Accrington, Kieran is proud to have reached the finals of WorldSkills at such an early stage of his career and is looking forward to taking his skills to the next level through higher level study following his Themis. He said:

“It’s a huge achievement for me to reach the finals of WorldSkills UK and I’m really looking forward to competing at the NEC in Birmingham. My Themis Trainers and Tutors are using their expertise to ensure I have the skills and knowledge that make me a specialist in my chosen field and this, combined with the experience I’m gaining at WEC, will mean I can be a leader of the future.

James Seddon

James (24), from Blackburn, is an Advanced Level Welding and Fabrication Apprentice at WEC Group, Darwen. He is a former pupil at Witton Park High School, Blackburn, and chose a Themis Apprenticeship as he enjoys working on large-scale practical projects which challenge his problem solving skills and his ability to work with the utmost accuracy. He said:

“Reaching the finals of WorldSkills UK is a proud moment for me and I’m ready for the challenge. My career goal is to be highly-skilled Engineer working on oil rigs around the world, using the expertise I’m gaining as a Themis Apprentice to ensure the highest safety standards are met and oil supplies are maintained.”


Furniture and Cabinet Making

Dylan Ferguson

Dylan (21), from Glusburn, is an Intermediate Level Furniture Production Apprentice at Eastburn Country Furniture, Steeton, producing high-quality furniture for customers around the UK and Europe. A former pupil at South Craven Academy, he is passionate about developing the joinery skills needed to make an impact in the furniture industry globally. He said:

“I’m excited about competing in WorldSkills UK and would like to thank my Tutors and Trainers at Themis, as well as my Employers, for giving me the opportunity to really stretch my skills and knowledge.  As a Themis Apprentice I’m learning both traditional and modern methods of furniture production which mean I’ve got an in-depth knowledge and the skills that make me stand out from the crowd.”

The dedicated Themis Apprentices are aiming to follow in the footsteps of Tyler Atkinson, a Higher Level Construction Metalwork Apprentice who reached the international finals of WorldSkills, hosted in Russia this summer. The ambitious Themis Apprentice, who is studying for a HNC to take his skills to the next level, uses his expert knowledge and experience on key projects for his Employers WEC Group Ltd.

The expertise and industry-leading skills and knowledge of Themis Tutors is also being represented at WorldSkills UK. Andy Wych is a highly-skilled Engineer with 24 years’ experience in his chosen sector and has been passing on his expertise and specialist Engineering skills to the Engineers of tomorrow in a 15-year career in training and education. He said:

“Being invited to judge at WorldSkills UK is a great honour and a highlight of my career.  Themis has forged a strong relationship with WorldSkills over many years: we are recognised as a centre of excellence due to our industry-standard facilities and expertise which allows us to host regional heats for the contest.

“I am constantly inspired by the innovation, dedication and motivation of Themis Apprentices and am looking forward to seeing them test their skills against the very best in the UK. As a Tutor, I take immense pride in the achievements and career successes of all our Themis Apprentices and am confident that the future of Engineering is in safe hands.”

Neil Burrows, Director of Themis at Burnley College, added:

“Congratulations to all the Themis Apprentices whose skill and dedication have seen them earn places in the WorldSkills UK finals. I wish them every success in this prestigious competition which is instrumental in creating a new generation of high flyers who will actively play a part in boosting the UK economy.

”2019 is proving to be an exceptional year for Themis in WorldSkills with Tyler Atkinson representing GB in Russia this summer; seven Apprentices proving they are among the best in the UK by reaching the national finals and our respected Engineering Tutor Andy Wych’s expertise and passion for Engineering being recognised as a judge.”

Do you have the ambition to be among the best in the UK in your chosen industry? Discover how a Themis Apprenticeship can propel you to career success and support you in gaining the recognition you deserve. Find out more at the Themis Apprenticeship Careers Event at Themis at Burnley College, in Princess Way, Burnley, on Wednesday, 29 January, 2020, 5.30pm to 8pm; contact 01282 733005 or email apply@themis.ac.uk.


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