A Saintfield apprentice has won a silver award in the UK’s biggest construction skills competition – SkillBuild 2012.
The competition, which took place at Preston College, saw more than one hundred gifted young people compete in their respective trades in order to be named UK’s most talented trainee. The construction trainees battled it out with competitors at an intense three-day final.
Providing a unique stage to showcase construction excellence and talent, Skillbuild is held annually each autumn, with the top local construction apprentices competing to win coveted titles in twelve different construction craft areas.
When the results were announced, SERC Plastering apprentice Andrew Gill from Saintfield was celebrating after winning a silver medal, beaten only by two marks in his category. Andrew was supported by SERC Plastering tutor Malachy Noade and employer William Gill Contracts Ltd.
The national heats involved students working on test plans which took 2.5 days to complete. The test pieces were designed to challenge the ability of the apprentices to follow detailed instructions, produce accurate and neat work outputs, be economical with materials while working to strict timescales from drawings that were unveiled at the start of the competition – all essential requirements for today’s construction industry. Competitors were continuously assessed throughout the competition under the watchful eye of the judges.
Commenting on his success, Andrew said: “I’m absolutely delighted. The competition was tough, but it’s been worth all the hard work and preparation. I’d like to thank my tutor for all his support and help it’s been a really great experience.”
Andrew, who studies at the SERC Lisburn Campus, hopes that the experiences from the competition can act as platform for success throughout his career.
Principal and Chief Executive of SERC Ken Webb said: “At SERC we have a proud history of taking part in the SkillBuild competitions and our learners have achieved real success in the regional and national finals. To have one of our apprentices win a silver medal demonstrates our high standing within the competition and our reputation for excellence in construction.”
Commending the competitors on their hard work and dedication shown in their area of expertise, John Nixon Head of School for Construction and Engineering at SERC said: “I would like to congratulate Andrew on his success. Taking a silver medal at a national competition is something to be proud of and I hope he cherishes this achievement for a longtime. He is a credit to the College, his family and his employer, I have no doubt that he will continue to develop his skills within the industry and will have a very successful career.”
Brian McMullen, Competitions Manager for SERC added: “Andrew has represented himself and the College extremely well and has demonstrated just how exciting, challenging and rewarding a career in construction can be. For Competitors it’s the experience of a lifetime and recognition of outstanding achievement and ensures the quality of our professional and technical training is recognised worldwide. This success will also gain them an edge in the very competitive jobs market.”
For further information about how SERC can help give you the edge, please call 0845 600 7555, visit www.serc.ac.ukor find us on Facebook, search: South Eastern Regional College.