Medals were strewn liberally about for construction students at the Welsh Regional SkillBuild Championships held in Wales, with the celebration descending upon Coleg Llandrillo for the third year in a row.

The host college enjoyed a great deal of success. Gold medals in two senior events were awarded to Adam McMaster from Gwespyr and Jack Thomas from Rhyl. The pair will now progress to the National Finals. Adam is no stranger to success in the competition; this is the second year in a row that he has received a gold medal. From all of the winners, Coleg Llandrillo Cymru students took gold, silver and bronze in the Painting & Decorating Senior event, gold in the Trowel Occupations Senior event, gold in the Painting & Decorating Junior event, silver in the Plastering Senior event and bronze in the Joinery Senior event.

The Awards

Demand for skilled workers in general is growing, with events such as the Olympic Games of 2012 demanding a massive increase in building and construction projects, and the attendant fully skilled workers. The competition, Skillbuild, is an annual competition that is now in its 25th year. Endorsed by CITB-ConstructionSkills, the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and UK Skills, it is a contest that celebrates the successes and experiences of apprentices in the construction industry.

The competition forms a part of the larger National Skills Competition and aims to demonstrate excellence across construction, in fields such as bricklaying, cabinet making, carpentry, joinery, painting and decorating, plastering and wall tiling. After the regional heats, the national final is to be hosted by Barnfield College in Luton from the 11th "“ 13th of October 2006.

Commentary

Opening the event was Coleg Llandrillo Cymry Principal Huw Evans O.B.E., who said: "We are pleased to be hosting the Skillbuild Welsh finals for the third year in succession. It is now the premier construction event in Wales. If it compares to last years event, it will be exceptional. I wish all of todays competitors, who represent colleges from all over Wales, the best of luck."

The head of the construction programme at the college also spoke of the achievement felt at repeatedly hosting the regional finals. Mike Jervis, Head of Programme for Construction at Coleg Llandrillo Cymru said: "By hosting this event over the past 3 years we have definitely seen an increase in the quality and standards of student work. This can only have positive effects for the Construction Industry in North Wales."

Special praise was reserved for the two students from Coleg Llandrillo who were awarded the gold medals. Belinda Barclay, the Project Director for Skillbuild, said: "Adam and Jack have shown their skills to be of the highest standard. They are a credit to their trade and an example to all young trainees. Skillbuild strives to highlight Britains young talent and encourage new blood into the construction industry."

Jethro Marsh

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