SkillBuild Success

Stoke on Trent College has achieved unprecedented success in the regional stages of prestigious competitions which focuses on the building services.

Students competing at the 2015 West Midland heats of SkillBuild, staged at South and City College in Birmingham, scooped eight awards in bricklaying, carpentry, joinery, electrical, and painting and decorating. The trainees from Stoke-on-Trent College were so successful that they came first or second in every single category they entered.

It is a record number of winners for the college in the annual competition, which is run by Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). The students will now have an anxious wait to learn the final results nationally, before finding out if they have been selected for the SkillBuild National Finals, held at the SkillsShow in November.

SkillBuild has been running for over 45 years and sees the very best in construction talent compete against each other to be crowned the SkillBuild winner in their chosen trade.

Stoke on Trent College student Kurt Malpass who competed in the Senior Bricklaying competition claimed 1st place, with fellow students James Shaw scooping 2nd place in the same category. Student Aaron Findlow also claimed 2nd place in the New Entrant Bricklaying group.

In carpentry, student Ian Ritchie clinched 1st place in the New Entrant class, with Ben Handley placing 2nd. In the senior category it was Cameryn Shingler from the college who scooped 2nd place.

Ian, aged 26, from Blythe Bridge, said: “I had to draw and make a model of a pitched roof for it. The most challenging bit was working out how I wanted to do it.”

He has been in the building trade since he was 19, but this is his first year as an apprentice.

Ian splits his time between college and working for Stoke-on-Trent based builders Croftshine.

In Painting and Decorating Senior, Hayley Grindon claimed 2nd place and in the Senior Electrical category Ben Brookes saw success, claiming 2nd place.

Hayley, 26, from Cheddleton, said: “We had to follow a design and paint it. It also involved stencilling.” It was the latest in a string of awards for Hayley, who runs her own decorating business.

Pete Walters, Lecturer in Painting and Decorating at Stoke on Trent College, said: “This is an excellent result for Stoke on Trent College, which is a credit to the staff and students who have trained in their own time in preparation for this.

“The SkillBuild competition is a prestigious event which gives learners right across the UK, from a range of trades, the opportunity to shine and showcase their skills.

“Taking part really helps boost student confidence and is a great stepping stone for the future. Success at this level has also proven to have a positive impact on an individual’s career.

“We now have the nervous wait to see how many will be selected to represent the college on the national stage later this year.”

Full list of winners from Stoke on Trent College:

  • Aaron Findlow             Bricklaying                     New Entrant             2nd place
  • Kurt Malpass               Bricklaying                     Senior                       1st place
  • James Shaw               Bricklaying                      Senior                      2nd place
  • Ian Ritchie                   Carpentry                        New Entrant            1st place
  • Cameryn Shingler       Carpentry                        Senior                      2nd place
  • Ben Handley               Joinery                            New Entrant            2nd place
  • Hayley Grindon           Painting & Decorating    Senior                     2nd place
  • Ben Brookes               Electrical                         Senior                     2nd place.

Anyone wishing to find out more about construction and building services courses at Stoke on Trent College should call 01782 2082082 or visit www.stokecoll.ac.uk.

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