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City College Plymouth Hosts SkillsBuild Construction Skills Competition

City College Plymouth Hosts SkillsBuild

City College Plymouth (@cityplym) was proud to host SkillBuild 2024 on Thursday 25 April – the largest multi-trade skills competition in the UK for construction trainees and apprentices.

Delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), SkillBuild showcases some of the brightest emerging talent in the industry, where highly skilled learners and apprentices go head-to-head in a bid to be crowned winner of their chosen trade. Students travelled from across the country to be involved in the South West’s regional competition and competed in trades including bricklaying, carpentry, painting and decorating, plastering, and joinery.

Competitors were tested on their technical abilities, time management, problem-solving and working under pressure. The competition assesses students’ and apprentices’ functional skills against real life work scenarios, alongside providing a unique way of combining teaching, learning and assessment to achieve real results for learners of all ages and abilities. The prestigious competition is proven to improve competitors’ technical and employability skills, as well as advancing career options in the future.

The day was also marked by a visit from DIY expert, Craig Phillips. The British reality star and TV presenter rocketed to fame in 2000 as a contestant of Channel 4’s Big Brother, and has since made a name for himself as a reputable TV personality, alongside his successful construction business.

Craig said: “Being in the construction industry at this moment in time has a prosperous future for anybody. I’ve been in the industry for 34 years and I’ve seen a lot of changes, but I often say to students that once you’ve got a trade, that’s going to stay with you for life. They can take that anywhere in the world and really build their career from that.

“This is why competitions like SkillBuild are so important. There’s constant innovation of different materials, tools and there’s the demand for those in the industry to understand things like technical drawings, and SkillBuild really prepares those students for that experience and gives them an opportunity to put themselves out there as well.”

The College currently has five students in the top three scoring competitors for each trade category, who are hoping to score within the top eight nationally to qualify for a place at the three-day SkillBuild National Final. 

Terry Such, Curriculum Lead & Development Officer for Construction & the Built Environment at the College, emphasised the event’s importance:

“Hosting SkillBuild was a great opportunity not only for the College as a whole, but for our students, too. The competition saw 60 competitors travel from ten colleges and employers across the country, so we were privileged to be selected as a venue for the regional qualifiers. 

“It was a perfect opportunity for our students and staff to witness first-hand the work that not only the construction department, but our students, have been up to this year. The competition created a real buzz around campus and we can’t wait to see where the final takes our students.”

SkillBuild highlights the College’s commitment to creating a platform where young professionals can not only refine their skills but also gain critical exposure to industry standards and expectations, and further solidifies its role as a pivotal training ground for skilled professionals who are ready to meet the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow’s workforce.

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