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The Corporation

Posted: 23/06/11

Tom comes tops with the trowel

A bricklaying student is celebrating after winning a skills challenge held to mark national VQ Day.

Seven students on West Nottinghamshire College's NVQ bricklaying courses took part in the competition to build a brick wall, complete with decorative panel in a snowflake effect, in one hour or less.

The challenge – held at the college’s Construction and Logistics Skills Academy in Kirkby-in-Ashfield – was won by level 2 bricklaying diploma student Tom Hallam.

Tom, 18, from Annesley, was presented with a certificate and a £25 voucher.

He said: “It was an interesting challenge to get involved in. I really enjoyed putting my skills into practice and was pleased with the results.  I always aim for high standards.”

The students' work was judged by college brickwork tutors, who are all Guild of Bricklayers accredited judges.

Tutor and judge, Mark Hatton, said: “The standard of Tom's work was very impressive.  The excellent decorative effect and cleanliness of his work, together with him receiving very few penalty points, reflected the dramatic improvement in his work during his two years at college.

"Competing in this challenge and representing the region is the recent SkillBuild competitions have shown Tom that he’s capable of much more in the future and we’re all very proud of his success to date."

After leaving college Tom plans to work for his father’s Hucknall-based company, Midland Trade Windows, where he will use his skills to lay bricks on the foundations for conservatories.

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

VQ Day, on Wednesday 22 June, saw schools, colleges and training-providers across the UK staging events and activities to raise the profile of vocational qualifications.