- Apprentices compete in largest construction skills competition
West Suffolk College students have put their skills to the test in the SkillBuild regional qualifier – in a bid to be named the top craftspeople in their trade on the world stage.
Five students from multiple disciplines carried out skills based challenges over a live virtual link, which saw competitors’ work being assessed in timed intervals by College staff.
The successful candidates will be announced at the end of August and will go on to take part in the SkillBuild UK national final. The next round is the EuroSkills competition, where they will compete with 29 other European countries. The final WorldSkills competition will take place in Shanghai in 2022 – representing the best and brightest in their trades.
The students from West Suffolk College competing in the SkillBuild regional qualifiers, were:
- Brickwork apprentices, Ashley Edgar, 18, of Bury St. Edmunds, employed by GJ Bream Ltd and Dominic Bell-Tye, 18, of Diss employed by Bloor Homes.
- Painting and Decorating student Ella Cummins, 17 of Ely.
- Carpentry apprentice Felix Jones, 18, of Lackford, employed by FA Valiant and Son Ltd.
- Joinery apprentice Danny Featherstone, 18, from Eye, employed by Woodland Carpentry.
Martin Cribb, Technician Demonstrator in Brickwork and 14-year SkillBuild veteran, said:
“SkillBuild is a great opportunity for our students to show off their technical skills and build on their character strengths at the same time. It’s competitions like this that allow them to see just how far you can go if you really apply yourself.”
In the past five years, two West Suffolk College students have gone from strength to strength after their success at the competition. Connor Willmott, former Joinery student was selected to compete at EuroSkills 2016 and won a medal in the WorldSkills 2017 competition in Abu Dhabi in 2017. He has since gone on to become a judge in the competition while Alex Howe, also a former Joinery student, and is set to represent the UK in the 46th WorldSkills competition in Shanghai in September 2022.
West Suffolk College has recently partnered with the WorldSkills UK Centre of Excellence scheme - with ‘high performance coaches’ delivering 60 hours of sessions at the College, working with staff and students to share their globally acquired knowledge.