15th June 2018
Students from across the region gathered on Thursday 14th June to compete in the South West Heat of SkillBuild 2018.
SkillBuild is a national construction competition delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). The competition has been running for over 45 years touring the country looking for the best in regional talent from the construction industry. Trainees were put through their paces during the day showcasing the very best skills in all disciplines under the watchful eye of expert judges.
Approximately 80 competitors took part from colleges across the South West region. Trades such as carpentry, cabinet making, brickwork, plastering, joinery and painting and decorating were all represented. The standard of entries at the competition was exceptional, with everyone involved competing for the right to participate in the national finals which will be held at The Skills Show, Birmingham NEC in November 2018.
In addition to the competition, there were numerous ‘Have a Go’ activities. Over 200 primary and secondary school pupils from the local community had the chance to engage in fun and exciting activities, all organised by Kier, BAM, Redrow, Willmott Dixon and Midas. There was also a trade show with 15 local companies offering information, demonstrations and activities for all.
Chris and Jules from BBC’s DIY SOS were invited to attend the SkillBuild competition. They took part in the ‘Have a Go’ activities and were happy to share their hints and tips with the students.
Chris Frediani and Julian Perryman said, “South Devon College is doing a great job in laying the foundations for the next generation of construction workers. It is so important to inspire students at a younger age to highlight the potential of a career this industry can provide. Supporting further education and apprenticeships is vital to ensure this industry continues to prosper.”
The South West regional heats have become one of the largest in the SkillBuild calendar. Tibby Singh, former Skillbuild winner and now a Skillbuild judge, said, “As always it was a great heat and very well organised. The Skillbuild competition is the biggest trade competition throughout the UK, ran by CITB. It is a great platform for competitors to expand on their trade and pursue their career even further, and employers really value the experience competitors get from it.”
There was an electric atmosphere at the College as students and guests visited the construction workshops throughout the day to see the students compete.
South Devon College students from both the Paignton and Newton Abbot Campus celebrated victories on the day. In total 2 gold medals and 3 bronze medals were won in what was a fantastic achievement for the College and its construction students. The winners included:
|Carpentry New Entrant
|1st Place – Lewis Rhodes
|3rd Place – Thomas Rowe
|Painting and Decorating Advanced
|3rd Place – Courtney Baker-Edwards
|Roofing Slating and Tiling Advanced
|1st Place – Gregory Thomas and 3rd Place Jacob Dix
Stephen Criddle OBE, Principal of South Devon College said, “We were delighted to be chosen to host this regional heat of the SkillBuild competition, and welcome some of the best talent in the South West to our campus to showcase their skills. We would like to thank the many partners and organisations that supported us on the day and helped make the event such an incredible success from start to finish. It is great to see young talent coming forward in this key sector and also such enthusiastic primary school pupils.
As part of our ongoing commitment to address a skills gap in the construction industry, this was a fantastic opportunity to highlight some of our exceptional learners and their skills, who will no doubt go on to make great contributions in industry. I would like to personally congratulate everyone involved, and wish those competing in regional heats up and down the country the best of luck.”
The event involved a number of students from across the College who were on hand to help. Food was provided by the Catering and Hospitality students. Students from the Youth Work Practice course acted as mentors for the school children, and Construction and Travel & Tourism students were happy to act as tour guides for the day. A-level and High School photography students were on hand to capture the day.