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National Construction College hosts SkillBuild regional heat

The largest and longest-running construction skills competition in the UK kicked off two weeks ago, with the SkillBuild 2022 regional heats currently underway.

SkillBuild is delivered by CITB and forms a part of WorldSkills UK, often dubbed the ‘skills Olympics.’ There are 16 heats happening at various colleges across the UK until the end of June, covering several different trades including, bricklaying, carpentry, and joinery.

Amongst the colleges is CITB’s National Construction College (NCC) in Bircham Newton, which will be hosting the heat for competitors in or near the East of England today (10 May). Top scoring competitors will move onto the second stage in the competition, qualifying for the National Final later this year. Due to restrictions around Covid-19 last year, qualifying rounds were held remotely at competitors’ colleges, resulting in 54 of them making it through to the National Final, which was hosted by the NCC in Bircham Newton last November.

The competition takes place at a time when there is a skills shortage and demand for more workers in the construction industry is high. CITB’s recent Rethinking Recruitment report highlights the need to attract more individuals into construction, and encompassing a variety of trades, SkillBuild presents a fantastic opportunity to alter perceptions and promote the diverse range of roles available.

WorldSkills UK Deputy CEO Ben Blackledge said:

"Taking part in a WorldSkills UK competition can be a life-changing experience and I would like to wish all the construction competitors the very best of luck in their heats.

"WorldSkills UK's competition-based development programmes offer students and apprentices the chance to pit their skills against the best of the best in the UK and potentially on the international stage at Lyon in the 2024 WorldSkills global competition."

Jonathan Chivers, CITB Director of Product Management, said:

“The Regional Qualifiers are a really exciting stage in the SkillBuild competition, as it’s our first glimpse of the huge variety of skills and talent coming through to industry. From carpentry to painting and decorating, and right through to roof slating and tiling, these trainees are showcasing the very best of construction technical education, which can act to inspire many other young people.

“The competition is without a doubt a challenging experience, but CITB is hugely proud of everyone that participates and wishes them all the very best of luck as the heats get underway for this year.”