Apprentices from Tyne Metropolitan College (TyneMet) are building portfolios to impress after enjoying success in the North East regional round of the UK’s largest multi-trade competition for young construction trainees.
Five secured top three spots – including one first place - at SkillBuild 2018, an annual event delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) that puts the country’s best young talent head to head.
Connor Joyce, an apprentice with Mite in Cramlington, Northumberland won plaudits for his ability and dedication to learning after triumphing in the advanced plastering category.
James Hindmarsh, who works at Seaton Deleval based GE Clark Ltd was second in the Joinery junior section, the same position achieved by Thomas Sutherst, a full-time Level 2 Diploma student, in the plastering junior category.
But success did not end there with Liam Czerwinski, an apprentice with Kier North Tyneside, claiming third place in Advanced Joinery, and Rory Hindhaugh, an apprentice with Berwick-upon-Tweed firm K Dixon Building Services, third in Advanced Plastering.
Michael Marvel, a joinery apprentice with Hanson Building & Joinery Ltd in North Shields, and bricklayer Marc Bullock, who is with Wallsend company Shaw Construction Management Ltd also competed but finished just off the podium places.
Their success at a competition, which takes place from April to July each year and has regional rounds throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, leading to a national final, was praised by Alyn Carr, Deputy Head of Construction at TyneMet, which is part of Tyne Coast College.
He said: “SkillBuild is the biggest and longest running construction skills competition in the country and it looks to identify the best young talent in the sector.
“Our apprentices and trainees proved that they have the skill, ability and commitment to learning that will put them in very good stead for long and successful careers.
“Construction is an in-demand and highly competitive employment sector, which was proven by the talent shown by those who took part in SkillBuild.
“Connor did fantastically well to win first place but all one of our learners can be proud of their efforts in what is a very tough and demanding competition.
“It is a mark of the quality of the tuition delivered at TyneMet College that so many of our learners finished in the top three of their respective categories.
“The college has the facilities and expertise to support young people into all areas of the construction industry.
“Our apprentices have done us proud, delivering results that also reveal the commitment of staff to their success.”
SkillBuild, whose North East round was held at Newcastle College, is based around a series of competitions that see the best trainees and apprentices compete to be crowned a winner in their chosen trade.
As each level of competition progresses, competitors are tested on their technical abilities, time management, character and commitment, with the competition also building their confidence, self-esteem and life skills.
For competitors in the advanced competitions, those with the highest scores are invited to take part in the UK National Final, held over three days.
Gold, silver and bronze medals are handed out at an awards ceremony after the final day of competition, with the CITB saying the winners can consider themselves the UK’s best in their industry.
The highest scoring medal winners can then progress to Squad UK, with the potential to be selected to compete at an international level.