North Cork apprentices show their metal at the World Skills Ireland competition

Dermot Doyle, MD, Blackwater Engineering; apprentice Ronan Sheehan; John Doyle, technical director, Blackwater Engineering, apprentice Aaron Cremin and Colman Doyle, operations director, Blackwater Engineering. Photo: Sean Jefferies.

Bill BrowneCorkman

A pair of fourth-year apprentices with Mallow-based Blackwater Engineering did the north Cork region proud competing in the recent national finals of the World Skills 2022 Ireland competition.

Aaron Cremin and Ronan Sheehan, both past pupils of Mallow’s Davis College, competed in the welding section of the competition – with Aaron scooping the overall winner’s spot and Ronan coming second after three-days of intensive competition.

Both Aaron and Ronan were nominated to take part in the prestigious competition, which tests the skills of apprentices across various sectors including construction, manufacturing/engineering, creative arts, hospitality & tourism and automotive, by the Waterford ETB as part of their ‘off the job’ training.

The competition, which took place over three-days in mid-September at the RDS in Dublin is organised by World Skills Ireland, a partnership between Government, industry and the education sector that aims to raise the profile and recognition of skills and apprenticeships while also preparing the talent of today for the careers of the future.

Aaron said he was delighted with the win, adding that all the dedication and hard work over the past few years had paid off.

“I am now looking forward to completing my apprenticeship and starting a long career in metal fabrication,” said Aaron.

Founded in Mallow in 1968 , family-run Blackwater Engineering is a leading suppliers of stainless-steel process vessels, silos, road tankers and process systems for the food, dairy, beverage and pharma industries.

Aaron and Ronan are the latest in a long line of apprentices that have successfully completed their training in metal fabrication with the company over the past 50-years.

Blackwater Engineering operations director Colman Doyle said many of their apprentices have gone on to win accolades at the World Skills competition, the first of these coming back in 1973.

“We take great pride in the fantastic achievements of our apprentices and always encourage them to compete in the annual competition,” said Mr Doyle.

“Anyone interested in apprenticeship with Blackwater Engineering is encouraged to contact us on 022 21795 or email,” he added.

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