West Notts College to host region’s construction competitions

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STUDENTS from colleges across the Midlands will be bricklaying, furniture-making, plastering and tiling next week, when they compete in the UK’s largest construction skills competition.

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

Taking place at its Construction and Logistics Skills Academy in Kirkby, the event will see students from eight colleges across the region battling it out in a wide range of craft-based challenges.

West Notts College is entering 16 students into the heats who will be competing in bricklaying, carpentry, joinery and painting and decorating competitions.

The highest-scoring students will win a place at the UK final in September at Leeds College of Building, where they will be in with a chance of winning 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, due to take place in Leipzig, Germany, in 2013.

Associate director of learning for construction and building services at West Notts College, Julian Walden, said: “Each of the events are designed to challenge the students’ skills. They will need to prove that they can produce accurate and neat work and be economical with materials while working to strict timescales.

“I have every confidence in West Nottinghamshire College’s entrants and wish them well for the event.”

The event, which is being sponsored by Crown Paints Ltd, British Gypsum, Trend, Stabila and the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, is open for the public to attend. Those interested in attending should contact Suzanne Bagshaw on 01623 413331.

SkillBuild has been running for more than 20 years and is an opportunity to recognise the importance of trainees and their skills. Entry to SkillBuild 2011 is free and open to apprentices and full-time students, covering a wide range of crafts including bricklaying, carpentry, joinery, furniture making, painting and decorating, plastering and tiling.