28th April 2023
The largest and longest-running construction skills competition in the UK returned to South Devon College for the South West regional heat.
SkillBuild is delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and showcases some of the brightest talent, as highly skilled students and apprentices go head-to-head to be crowned winner of their chosen trade. Competitors will be tested on their technical abilities, time management, problem solving and skills working under pressure. However, the prestigious competition comes with many benefits, being proven to improve technical and employability skills, as well as advancing career options.
There are 15 regional qualifiers taking place across the UK from 27 April through to the end of June. Following the regional qualifiers, the top eight scoring competitors from each trade category will be invited to take part in the UK national final. For the first time, this year’s national final will take place at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes on 21, 22 and 23 November 2023. The arena has previously played host to the National Badminton Championships, darts tournaments and various music concerts.
CITB’s recent Construction Skills Network (CSN) report states that almost 225,000 extra workers will be required to meet UK construction demand by 2027. It also highlights that construction is expected to remain a sector where there is demand for workers, despite the current economic uncertainty. Covering 10 different trades, SkillBuild is a fantastic opportunity to alter perceptions and promote the diverse range of roles available.
Robin Luscombe, a student at South Devon College, competed in the regional heats last year. Speaking about the competition, he said: “My goal is to be self-employed, taking on work that I want to do and enjoy doing. I think SkillBuild will help towards this, as it will be a completely new challenge – I am looking forward to seeing how it helps me evolve as a carpenter. I believe it will be a good experience for me and another addition to my CV.”
Tim Balcon, CITB Chief Executive, said: “I always look forward to the SkillBuild regional heats, as it’s the first glimpse we get into the fantastic variety of young talent coming through to industry. SkillBuild is a wonderful initiative which aims to attract a diverse range of recruits, and with the current skills gap, it places even greater importance on the competition and its ability to promote construction careers to a wider audience.
“SkillBuild not only helps young people to grow personally, increasing their confidence and social skills, but it’s also proven to assist them professionally by developing their technical and employability skills. While a challenging experience, if you’re serious about a career in construction, SkillBuild is an excellent opportunity. I wish all competitors the very best of luck for the heats this year!”
To find out more about SkillBuild and the regional qualifiers, visit Go Construct.