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Northern Regional College Construction Students build a Bright future at Skillbuild NI Final

Northern Regional College Construction Students build a Bright future at Skillbuild NI Final

Students from Northern Regional College took part in The Construction Industry Training Board NI (CITB NI) annual SkillBuild NI Finals 2023 competition at NWRC, Greystone Campus, Limavady.

The competition is designed to test skills, technique, ability within tight timeframes, and identifies the top performers in 11 different trade areas within construction apprenticeship programmes from across Northern Ireland. It is a showcase of the wealth of talent, professionalism, and the brightest recruits throughout the industry.  

Over 90 finalists within construction programmes from across Northern Ireland competed against each other in the following categories:  Brickwork, Cabinet Making, Carpentry, Electrical Installation, Joinery, Painting & Decorating, Plastering Dry Wall Systems, Plastering, Plumbing, Wall & Floor Tiling.

Northern Regional College 2023 SkillBuild Final winners were:

  • Carpentry: 1st Bailey Gibson (Larne)
  • Joinery: 1st Jamie Matthews (Ballyclare), 2nd and Overall Apprentice of the Year, Conor Dallas (Corkey) and 3rd Ryan Bowman (Newtownabbey); and
  • Plumbing: 3rd Morgan Finney (Newtownabbey)

Winners may have the opportunity to represent Northern Ireland in the Worldskills UK national final which, for the first time, will take place at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes on 21, 22 & 23 November 2023.

Supported by the Department for the Economy and local construction companies, the competition provides an opportunity to showcase the high level of skills and the impressive talent within the workforce, as well as raising the status and standards of professional and technical education and training.

David Russell, Curriculum Area Manager for Construction in the Department of Advanced Technologies at Northern Regional College, said “The SkillBuild competitions are a fantastic opportunity for our students to demonstrate their skills and knowledge gained in their specific curriculum skill area.

The College has some highly talented apprentices and trainees and the competitions give them a chance to see how their skills measure up against those of their peers.

Congratulating the apprentices on their success in the regional finals, Christine Brown, Vice Principal for Teaching and Learning, said “This is a great achievement for all apprentices and their employers, and for Northern Regional College, as it truly is a testament to the commitment and high standards of training delivered by the Carpentry & Joinery and Plumbing teams.  We look forward to following our apprentices as they progress in their career journey and wish them luck in the next stage of the competition.

Barry Neilson, Chief Executive CITB NI, said:

“A huge congratulations to all the apprentices who took part in the annual SkillBuild NI 2023 competitions. There was an incredible amount of talent on display.  It was great to see the enthusiasm and commitment from a new generation of construction industry leaders – the future of the industry is looking very bright!  Apprentices at all levels are a vital component to helping the construction industry develop and grow. Offering young people apprenticeships gives businesses the chance to play an active role in developing their future workforce as well as creating the future skills that they need to help their businesses develop.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank our partner NWRC for the fantastic showcase of the NI talent pool throughout the competition and we look forward to the SkillBuild UK National Finals in November.”

For further details on SkillBuild NI and CITB NI support for apprenticeships and employers visit and for full details on apprenticeships offered at the College visit

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