Skillbuild contest in Portadown

Richard Shannon Gold winner in Joinery and Skillbuild NI Overall Young Apprentice of the Year 2017 with Sarah Travers
Richard Shannon Gold winner in Joinery and Skillbuild NI Overall Young Apprentice of the Year 2017 with Sarah Travers

Over 75 local construction apprentices gathered their tools to compete against each other in the annual Skillbuild NI National Finals held in Southern Regional College, Portadown recently.

Skillbuild NI, which is now in its 40th year, is supported by the Department for the Economy helping to assist with maintaining and raising the status and standards of professional and technical education and training.

The competition is run and governed by CITB NI, is held annually each spring with many winners progressing further to represent Northern Ireland in the Skills Show UK and potentially at WorldSkills.

The Skillbuild NI competition is designed to test skills, technique and ability within tight timeframes in order to win coveted titles in 11 different trades ranging from brickwork to wall and floor tiling.

The competition has the support of local construction employers who sponsor each category.

Maurice Johnston, Chairman CITB NI said: “CITB NI is proud to have been involved in construction skills competitions for 40 years. Skillbuild NI is about raising the status and standards of professional and technical education and training. We have a proud record of success at skills competitions not only on a local level but also on a regional, national and world level. Skillbuild NI gives all the competitors a chance to showcase their skills and we congratulate everyone who has taken part and those who have excelled in their trade. Skillbuild NI couldn’t happen without the support of the local sponsors and the training network and we extend our thanks to all who have helped the apprentices to be able to compete at this competition.

“We would also like to extend our best wishes to the Northern Ireland competitors who will be taking part in UK team selection for WorldSkills Abu Dhabi in October.

“Our young people are more ambitious now than ever and we hope that Skillbuild NI National Finals will be part of their journey and future careers within the construction industry.”

Brian Doran, Chief Executive, SERCsaid, “We at Southern Regional College are privileged to have been selected to host this year’s prestigious Skillbuild NI National Finals. I congratulate the competitors, many of whom have travelled long distances to participate in this event. For competitors, this is an important stepping stone to future skills competition success throughout the UK and WorldSkills competitions. I wish all the competitors every success in the future.”