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20/11/2023

Leeds College of Building Students Prepare For SkillBuild National Final

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After more than 1,000 registrations and 17 regional heats, the top construction trainees from across the UK have been named as competitors at the SkillBuild National Final 2023.

Delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), SkillBuild showcases some of the brightest talent in construction. The prestigious competition brings together highly skilled learners and apprentices to battle it out to be crowned winner of their chosen trade.

The West Yorkshire regional heats took place in June at Leeds College of Building across eight different disciplines. This year, a record number of Leeds College of Building students were selected for the national final and the largest cohort from any single college in the UK.

Archie Kitching (Brickwork), Daniel Fairclough and Nathan Richards (Plastering & Drylining Systems), Newton Robinson and Wesley Proud (Plastering), George Jewitt-Knott, Aeron Murray, and Daniel Sperry (Roof Slating & Tiling), and Sam Cowgill (Wall & Floor Tiling) will all represent Leeds College of Building at the competition.

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For the first time, this year’s final will be held at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, England on 21, 22 & 23 November 2023. The arena has previously played host to the National Badminton Championships, major darts tournaments and various music concerts, and will now see 80 of the best construction trainees demonstrate their expertise.

Across the three days, competitors will be tasked with constructing a project designed by an expert panel of judges, within an 18-hour timeframe. The project will test the individual’s knowledge and skills, as well as their ability to work under pressure, ensuring they adhere to health and safety protocols.

CITB's latest Construction Skills Network (CSN) report states that almost 225,000 extra workers will be required to meet UK construction demand by 2027. SkillBuild is a fantastic opportunity to alter common misconceptions of the industry and promote the diverse range of roles available.

Mark Sims, Leeds College of Building Skillbuild Coordinator, said: "This year, we had 24 of our learners compete at the regional competition. We were overwhelmed and proud to have nine of these participants secure their place in the national finals.

"The dedication, hard work, and commitment applied by both learners and staff is second-to-none and evidenced by the standard of work produced in the training sessions leading up to the national finals. We, as a college, would like to wish each and every competitor the best of luck and hopefully our learners will secure some medal places."

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