An engineering construction apprentice has praised the ECITB’S Train to Retain support scheme for giving him confidence to bounce back into work after furlough.

Liam McShane, apprentice pipefitter with Laker-Vent engineering stands outside container in full PPE.

Liam McShane, apprentice pipefitter with Laker-Vent engineering.

Liam McShane, an apprentice pipefitter with Laker-Vent engineering, was furloughed in September 2020 as social distancing measures reduced the headcount in the fabrication workshop.

The company used the ECITB’s Train to Retain scheme – which provides training grants to employers to support more than 400 apprentices, trainees and graduates unable to pursue their industry training during the pandemic – to keep Liam’s training and development on track.

Liam said: “Being furloughed was disappointing as it would hinder my progression with my pipefitting apprenticeship. I was really pleased when the chance to use Train to Retain came about, as I was keen to get back into work.”

He took a four-month welding course, which has given him a new spark to take back to the business as normal working practices resume.

“This has given me a chance to gain a new skill and take on welding alongside my pipefitting,” said Liam.

“The four months I spent on Train to Retain were really educational and gave me a good insight into welding. I gained radiograph passes in all welding positions on mild steel and stainless steel. This gave me great confidence. Overall, the programme has given me new skills which I will keep for life and gives me something to build upon”

Chris Claydon, ECITB Chief Executive, said: “I’m really proud that we have been able to support several hundred young engineers like Liam to continue learning vital workplace skills during an extremely challenging time for our industry.

“By helping to keep hundreds of young engineers around the country in work and learning new skills, the ECITB is making a real investment in the future of our industry.”

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