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The Corporation

Posted: 17/06/11

Bricklaying students build up their vocational skills

Bricklaying students at West Nottinghamshire College are getting their bricks, mortar and trowels ready for a skills challenge to mark a national celebration of vocational qualifications.

Nine second year students on the NVQ Level 2 Bricklaying Diploma will be tasked with building a brick wall, complete with decorative panel, in one hour or less using contrasting colours to produce a raised snowflake-effect.

The competition is being held on Wednesday 22 June as part of VQ Day, which will see schools, colleges and training-providers across the UK staging events and activities to raise the profile of vocational qualifications.  It takes place at the college’s Construction and Logistics Skills Academy in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, with the competitors aged 17 to 23.

College brickwork tutors, who are all Guild of Bricklayers accredited judges, will judge the students’ work, looking at the quality of the finished brickwork including accuracy levels, cleanliness, plumbing, face plane alignment and overall appearance.

Curriculum manager for construction crafts, Mike Wynn, said: “This will be an exciting challenge for our students that will test their skills while raising the profile of vocational qualifications. Adding a decorative element to the competition will really stretch their bricklaying abilities and highlight this artistic aspect of their course.”

There are currently 20,870 students currently studying one or more vocational qualification at West Nottinghamshire College.

A vocational qualification is a recognised qualification at any level relating to a particular line of work or specific job role, with an emphasis on the assessment of practical skills and knowledge. Examples include BTECs, City & Guilds, NVQs, OCR Nationals, Apprenticeships, HNCs, HNDs and degrees with a largely vocational content.

VQ Day – which is led by Edge, the independent education foundation – was launched in 2008 and has grown into a major UK-wide event.