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The Corporation

Posted: 06/04/11

College scores in region’s construction competitions

Students from colleges across the West Midlands got to grips with bricklaying, cabinet making, carpentry, joinery and painting and decorating yesterday during the UK's largest construction skills competition (5 April).

West Nottinghamshire College hosted the regional heats of this year’s SkillBuild – aimed at finding Britain’s best trainee tradesperson.  Students from nine other colleges in the region battled it out in a range of craft-based challenges.

West Notts saw three of its own students receiving awards in the bricklaying and painting and decorating competitions.  Securing first place in the senior painting and decorating competition was 20-year-old James Evans from Sutton-in-Ashfield.

James said: “Today’s competition was challenging and I had a tricky design plan to follow but I felt I had done well throughout the day.  I am a bit nervous about going to the finals but quietly confident too!”

James has secured his place at the UK final in September at Leeds College of Building, where he will be in with a chance of winning the coveted title of Britain’s most talented construction trainee.

In the new entrants’ bricklaying category, 20-year old Michael Gamblin from Stanton Hill took second prize. Meanwhile 18-year old Brandon Nettleship of Mansfield scooped the 3rd prize in the new entrants’ painting and decorating competition.

Mick O’Flynn, regional delivery manager for CITB-ConstructionSkills in the West Midlands, said: “This regional heat has been a great success and we’re really proud of James who came top in his field. This success is a testament to his ability and dedication, the quality of training and skills taught at West Nottinghamshire College and the support of his employer.”

Associate director of learning for construction and building services at the college, Julian Walden, said: “We’re very proud of all of the students who competed on the day and they all worked incredibly well in this competition. 

“The success of all the students is a testament to their ability and dedication, and also highlights the importance of the vocational training and skills taught at the college within the construction and building school of learning.  It was an honour to host this prestigious event and I’d like to thank all the staff who supported competitors from each college for their enthusiasm, commitment and dedication.”

Outstanding competitors from this year’s competition could potentially be selected to represent the UK at the next international WorldSkills competition, due to take place in Leipzig, Germany in 2013.