Gareth Evans, WorldSkills UK Expert for Carpentry and Centre Co-ordinator at Construction Wales Innovation Centre

The skills shortages facing construction firms in the UK has been well documented in recent times, with the issue being cited as one of the main barriers to the industry’s ability to successfully deliver cost effectively on future projects.

However, the issue is far wider than simply a shortage of available workers, construction firms are desperate for highly skilled individuals.

Impacting further on the issue of recruitment, is that still not enough is being done to promote the benefits of apprenticeships to young people, their parents and teachers. There are thousands of terrific and diverse careers in construction with entry points for people of all different abilities, but unfortunately many young people are still being failed by ill-informed prejudices and poor careers advice. This is something we are very aware of at the Construction Innovation Centre and we are working in partnership with the CITB, the Welsh Government and local schools to try and change the perception of apprenticeships in the construction industry.

For me personally, there is no better way of showing young people just how far you can go with a career in construction than by getting them involved in SkillBuild, run by the CITB, and part of the WorldSkills UK Competitions programme.

Designed by industry experts, the competitions test not only an apprentice’s technical skills, but wider attributes as well. In a recent survey, over 80% of competitors felt competing had increased their confidence, team working, time management and ability to work under pressure.

Having been a competitor myself in Team UK winning Gold in Carpentry at EuroSkills 2012, Europe’s largest international skills competition, I know that is the preparation for and the experience of competing that enables apprentices to gain the high level employability skills that will drive the construction industry forward. That is why, as a sector, we must use WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, the world’s toughest international skills competition which takes place from 14 to 19 October, to inspire those already in training and also those considering a career in construction.

In just over a month, Team UK will compete against 1000 of the world’s most talented apprentices in skills ranging from carpentry to cooking and cyber security. For the 34-strong team it will mark a huge milestone for them, for which collectively they will have completed over 71,000 hours of additional training on top of their apprenticeship. For me, it will be the completion of a two-year development programme in which I have been mentoring and training Cameron Nutt, the UK’s top carpentry apprentice.  

Cameron, who is completing his apprenticeship with North West Regional College in Northern Ireland and who works for J & R Snodgrass, will compete against 21 other apprentices from countries including Denmark, South Korea and Germany. Cameron won’t know the exact tasks he will need to complete in Abu Dhabi until the first day of the Competition. It is this unknown element which is required to effectively test the skills and knowledge of the world’s best apprentices. All tasks must be carried out to exact measurements, at what equates to Level 7 and in timed conditions. And that is the difficulty for competitors. Being just a few millimetres out can result in points being dropped a medal lost.

To help prepare Cameron, I have hosted training sessions at the Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) where I work, North West Regional College where Cameron trains and at venues throughout the UK including Chichester College. Hosting training sessions at different college facilities shows why WorldSkills is more than just a competition.   When we are at different colleges, you will find other apprentices and training staff coming to watch Cameron in action. Often, they can’t quite believe the level of task being carried out, but it shows them if their peers can achieve it after working hard, so could they.

What is great to see is that more and more employers and suppliers in the construction industry believe skills competitions should be used to develop the future workforces and they are working with colleges and training providers to get involved.

Dewalt, Festool, North West Regional College and Construction Wales Innovation Centre are supporting Cameron in his training and without their support I know WorldSkills UK, who manages Team UK, would struggle to enter the Carpentry competition at an international level.

Cameron and the rest of Team UK are important role models. By showcasing the UK’s success The Skills Show and at a global events like WorldSkills, it shows young people how they can go further, faster in their career.

Please show your support for #TeamUK at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 which takes place from 14 to 19 October.
Gareth Evans, WorldSkills UK Expert for Carpentry and Centre Co-ordinator at Construction Wales Innovation Centre.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Community Connected Learning #EdgyThinking Livestream 4

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 1 hour 16 minutes ago

Make it for Real - UA92

We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to Make it for Real, so we are offering a FREE package worth £5,000* to support you in accessing Higher...

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page