Last month, Bath College hosted the regional final of the SkillBuild Stonemasonry competition in the stonemasonry workshop at the Somer Valley Campus.

Bath College students have been announced as the top two, Josh Underwood in first and Hartaj Hunjan in second.

Josh and Hartaj have worked incredibly hard to get to the top of the Regional Qualifiers and are now awaiting their final results, released in July, to see if they have made the top eight competitors who will go onto the UK National Final, held at the NEC Birmingham in November.

SkillBuild is the biggest and longest running multi-trade construction skills competition in the UK, delivered by CITB (Construction Industry Training Board).

Skills represented in the competition include: Bricklaying, Furniture and Cabinet Making, Carpentry, Joinery, Painting and Decorating, Plastering, Plastering and Drywall Systems, Roof Slating and Tiling, Stonemasonry and Wall and Floor Tiling.

Hartaj was delighted to come in second place in the competition: “I was quite surprised to finish where I did as I tried last year and didn’t quite make it. It’s great to see how much I’ve improved in a year.”

Hartaj has just finished the Stonemasonry course at Bath College and is an apprentice at A F Jones Stonemasons Ltd.

“I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as they are enabling me to hone my skills. It’s a great way to learn and improve, as eventually I would like to go self-employed.”

Josh is also doing an apprenticeship at a Stonemasonry business, his is with Phidias Neo Classical, based in Bristol. After his apprenticeship finishes he would also like to start a business.

Paul Maggs, Stonemasonry lecturer at Bath College was very impressed with his students: “We are incredibly proud of Josh and Hartaj who worked so hard for the competition.

“To have our only two competitors come first and second is a real testament to their talent.”

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