13th May 2022
Construction professionals of the future will be taking part in the largest multi-trade skills competition in the UK at South Devon College later this month (May 19th).
SkillBuild, delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), is a series of competitions where the very best construction apprentices and trainees compete in their chosen trade.
Competitors from across the area will take part in the regional qualifiers in bricklaying, carpentry, joinery, painting and decorating, plastering and roofing before going on to the national final.
As well as the SkillBuild competition, 400 local primary and secondary schoolchildren will be given the chance to have a go at different construction skills, overseen by professionals.
“It’s a really exciting day,” explained Dean Bowden, Head of Curriculum for Construction and the Built Environment at South Devon College. “The youngsters will get the chance to watch the SkillBuild competitors and then have a go at different trades themselves and talk to people working in the sector. This should go a long way in raising awareness of the job roles available in this growing sector.”
Lucie Wright, CITB Careers Strategy Manager, said: “I’m really excited to see the fresh talent coming through the regional heats this year. With the current skills gap in construction, it’s so important to encourage these young trainees to give the competition their best shot.
“If you’re serious about a career in construction, SkillBuild is a fantastic opportunity to sharpen and increase your employability skills. As highly skilled individuals, the competition could have a huge impact on competitors, but it could also inspire other young people considering a career in construction. CITB wishes everyone involved the very best of luck in the process.”
Partnering with South Devon College at the event is Build Torbay, a new TDA/Torbay Council initiative set up to inspire a future workforce to take up careers in construction.
Currently there are 1500 people in Torbay working in the industry, however due to the amount of redevelopment planned locally, 32,000 more construction roles will be created in the South West by 2025.
Swithin Long, Torbay Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing said:
“Build Torbay is working in partnership with South Devon College and other partners in the construction sector to promote training and careers to Torbay pupils and residents considering a career change.
“Torbay Council has been very successful in our recent funding bids for regeneration projects that are creating new spaces for people to thrive in Torquay, Paignton and Brixham.
“We’ll need around three times as many construction workers to deliver these schemes, so we want as many of our local residents as possible to benefit from the well-paid career opportunities.
“Construction offers around 180 different job roles with a variety of pathways suitable for all levels of entry. It’s an opportunity for Torbay residents to work in a well-paid sector that enables them to stay in the Bay or pursue a global career.”
WorldSkills UK Deputy CEO Ben Blackledge said: “Taking part in a WorldSkills UK competition can be a life-changing experience and I would like to wish all the construction competitors the very best of luck in their heats.
“WorldSkills UK’s competition-based development programmes offer students and apprentices the chance to pit their skills against the best of the best in the UK and potentially on the international stage at Lyon in the 2024 WorldSkills global competition.”
The 400 school pupils taking part in the event will have the chance to try a variety of construction trades in the well-equipped South Devon College classrooms, including an assignment delivered by TDA project manager, Dean Kelly, to construct building structures out of dried spaghetti and jelly babies.
Dean says: “It gets the pupils to think creatively and work together on planning and design.”
For more information about Build Torbay go to: www.buildtorbay.co.uk