Construction apprentices put their skills to the test in the North West

After achieving gold, silver and bronze medals at WorldSkills 2011, the search for the top construction apprentices started again with 100 competitors from all over the Province testing their skills at Skillbuild 2012 at North West Regional College recently.

NRC is celebrating the success of four trainees in the competition. Aidan Glass who was awarded a gold medal and Joel Lamont a bronze medal in the Brickwork category both are studying at the Ballymoney Campus. Further success was achieved at the Ballymena Campus with the top accolade in the Lead Sheetwork category awarded to Neil Lavery and the bronze medal to Nathaniel McAllister for Industrial Heating.

Skillbuild NI is held annually each spring, with the top local construction apprentices competing to win coveted titles in 12 different construction craft areas ranging from brickwork to wall and floor tiling. The winners may then go on to represent Northern Ireland in the UK Skillbuild Finals and potentially the UK at WorldSkills.

The Skillbuild NI competition not only encourages trainees to improve their own skills, but provides an example of the high quality work being produced in training organisations and colleges across NI. The Skillbuild test pieces are designed to challenge the ability of apprentices, testing skills within tight timeframes and the competitors are being continuously assessed throughout the 2 day competition.

The competition has the support of local construction employers who sponsor each category and has the overall support from CITB-ConstructionSkills NI, Construction Employers Federation, Department for Employment and Learning, Haldane Fisher, Snickers Workwear and Colleges NI.