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The Corporation

Posted: 19/04/12

Building skills for success

Students from colleges across the East Midlands will be battling it out in the UK's biggest construction skills competition next week.

West Nottinghamshire College is hosting the regional heats of this year’s SkillBuild, aimed at finding Britain’s best trainee tradesperson, on Tuesday (24 April).

Taking place at its Construction and Logistics Skills Academy, the event will see 113 students from 20 colleges competing in a wide range of craft-based challenges including bricklaying, furniture-making, carpentry, joinery, plastering and tiling, and painting and decorating.

The college – which is hosting the event for the second successive year – is entering 11 students into the heats.

Ben Thompson, Corey Ratclifffe, Scott Hayes and Liam Furness will compete in the carpentry and joinery competitions, while Rebecca Harrington, Anna Lodge, Jai Annable and Helen King will test their skills in the painting and decorating category.

Competing in the brickwork category are Natalie Gibson, Leigh Tugby and Jamie Hayes.

The highest-scoring students will earn themselves a place at the UK final from 12-14 September at Preston College, where they will compete for a chance to win the coveted title of Britain’s most talented construction trainee.

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

Members of the public are welcome to attend Tuesday’s event, which runs from 10am – 5pm at the venue in Julias Way in Kirkby-in-Ashfield.  Also attending to watch the action unfold and enjoy taster sessions are pupils from local secondary schools.

Head of construction and building services, Julian Walden, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming more than a hundred entrants from colleges throughout the region in this highly-anticipated event.

“There are sure to be some incredibly high standards demonstrated in a wide-range of crafts and each category will certainly put students’ accuracy and time management skills to the test.

“I have every confidence in our entrants and wish them every success and would like to extend a warm welcome to all members of the public and the building industry to this prestigious event.”

SkillBuild has been running for more than 20 years as a way of recognising the importance of trainees and their skills.