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Darren McLean is hoping to keep up his successful streak in Spray Painting


Greenock Motor Vehicle Student, Darren McLean, 24 from Paisley is celebrating his recent success in the World Skills competition being selected to attend the IMI Skill Auto National Qualifier at 3Ms workshop in Warwickshire.  He has made it down to the final 18 contestants in Britain for this fiercely competitive event which will take place on 23rd May. Darren hopes to be successful in this final qualifying round which will take him to WorldSkills UK Live finals at the Birmingham NEC from 21-23 November 2019 which is the nation's largest skills and careers event and helps to shape the future of a new generation.

Darren has had a fantastic college career so far studying within the Motor Vehicle department at our Greenock campus. So far he has successfully passed qualifications in Diploma in Vehicle Accident Repair Paint Principles, Diploma in Vehicle Accident Repair Body Principles and IMI Level 3 Diploma in Vehicle Accident Repair Paint Principles. Having completed and passed a bespoke Knowledge assessment for Vehicle Refinishing, with a high pass mark, he won his place in this prestigious competition.

Ryan Horn, Curriculum Quality Leader for Motor Vehicle at our Greenock campus said,

“I am pleased for Darren to have reached this stage of the competition and represent West College Scotland at this event. He has worked hard throughout his qualifications displaying a high level of skills and knowledge which are now being recognised at the highest level. I hope his success continues.“

Darren said he always wanted to be a Spray Painter since he left school because of his love of cars. After starting work training as an electrician he realised it wasn’t for him and when he saw the spray painter course at our Greenock campus he knew that was for him! After starting with the College at Level One in 2016 he hasn’t looked back.

Darren commented,

“The course has been absolutely fantastic. The lecturers help you out so much and they give you a hand throughout.” 

He continued, “I seriously couldn’t pick one good thing about the course- it’s all been great. The equipment is very good, the learning environment is excellent, everything is top quality stuff and you’re training with good products too.”

His advice for anyone thinking about doing this course would be definitely do it! He said,

“It opens up a lot of opportunities for you to get into employment. I don’t think I would be so appealing to employers if I hadn’t got the experience I have whilst studying at College. It’s a versatile learning environment - I learned how to weld,  panel beat, and spray paint. If you’re in employment you’d maybe only learn one, but I’ve learned all three at College. Also, it’s worth mentioning that the course does not restrict you to just painting cars, you can also go onto painting other transport vehicles such as  boats planes and trains.” 

Speaking of his WorldSkills experience and recent success he said,

“Whilst I was studying  I entered into the World Skills Competition and I am one of only 18 from all over the UK to get through the first stage Heats. The next stage is the Qualifier, and myself and a lecturer head down to Warwickshire on 23 May. Only a handful go down for the finals in November – I’m hoping I’m one of them.”

He continued, "Since I updated my CV about my World Skills success, I’ve had two interviews come through which is really encouraging and just shows you how valuable these extra curriculum competitions can be to your employability. I’d highly recommend this course."

We wish Darren all the best of luck for the Qualifier and can’t wait to hear how he gets on! For more info on the competition visit -

If you are are interested in a career in the Vehicle Body Repair and Spray Painting industry, we offer state of the art Motor Vehicle facilities inclusive of a dedicated accident repair workshop at our Greenock campus. Within the workshop we have access to desktop computers, spray booth, paint mixing room, aluminium repair bay and vehicle re-alignment bench. We also offer delivery of a comprehensive list of units to meet industry standards through the Institute of the Motor Industry.

All of our courses are offered through an ePortfolio giving opportunity to complete course work through Smart devices such as mobile phones.

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