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South Eastern Regional College Apprentice Scott Proving to be Top Spark

Scott Barr, a level 3 Electrical Apprentice at South Eastern Regional College’s (SERC) Downpatrick Campus, is proving to be top of his trade.

Scott, from Ballygowan, came first place in the SERC SkillBuild Electrical Competition early this year, seeing off competition from students at SERC’s Downpatrick, Newtownards, and Lisburn Campuses to secure the title.

From there, he competed against his peers from colleges across Northern Ireland in the WorldSkills Regional SkillBuild competition held at Belfast Met where he won Gold. Scott also won Overall Young Apprentice of the Year and was presented with the Haldane Fisher Cup which recognises the top Apprentice across all construction trades involved in the competition.

His lecturer, John Ambrose, nominated him for the SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year, a national competition which spans across 7 UK regions with entrants from over 70 colleges. Scott won Gold in the Northern Ireland Regional Finals. He was invited to the National Finals in England in March but was unable to attend due to the imminent arrival of his first child as he wanted to be close to home.

Scott will compete in the National Finals of WorldSkills this November in Birmingham. Speaking about his success he said, “I am delighted with the awards which are testament to my learning here at SERC. The competitions are a great way to show everything I have learnt through my Apprenticeship. I could not have achieved this success without the support of my employer BEC Electrical in Ballynahinch or the lecturing team at SERC who have encouraged me every step of the way.   It is a real confidence booster to win at the competitions as you know you are competing against the very best across the college and Northern Ireland.

He added, “I am looking forward to competing at the WorldSkills National Finals in Birmingham this year.   It will be another challenge, but I know I have the skills and support to take myself to the next level.”

John Ambrose, SERC Electrical Lecturer said, “We are so proud of everything that Scott has achieved. He is a hard-working student who has pushed himself to learn his trade and to be the best, providing inspiration for other students and potential students along the way. SERC students have enjoyed great success at WorldSkills, and we have every confidence Scott will be part of that continued success.”

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