Construction Apprentices Put Their Skills To The Test
|After achieving gold, silver and bronze medals at WorldSkills 2011, the search for the top construction apprentices started again with one hundred competitors from all over the Province testing their skills at Skillbuild 2012 at North West Regional College, Greystone campus, Limavady.
Sixteen top construction apprentices from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) put their skills to the test and were judged by Skillbuild Northern Ireland judges in disciplines including bricklaying, cabinet making, carpentry, plastering, plumbing and refrigeration and air conditioning.
Providing a unique stage to showcase construction excellence and talent, Skillbuild NI is held annually each spring, with the top local construction apprentices competing to win coveted titles in twelve different construction craft areas. The winners may then go on to represent Northern Ireland in the UK Skillbuild Finals and potentially the UK at WorldSkills.
The apprentices were set a test project which was designed to challenge their ability to follow detailed instructions, produce accurate and neat work and be economical with materials while working to strict timescales – all essential requirements for today’s construction industry. Competitors were continuously assessed throughout the two day competition under the watchful eye of the judges.
When the results were announced, SERC Joinery apprentice Stephen Mooney from Belfast was celebrating after winning third place in the Cabinet Making category. Stephen was supported by Carpentry lecturer David Burleigh and employer William Dowling Ltd, Lisburn.
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Stephen Woodrow, Contracts Director at William Dowling Ltd, commented on Stephens’s success: "Stephen has represented himself, SERC and our company extremely well and we are very proud of his success. It is a privilege to be associated with SERC over the years as we are committed to supporting apprentices. The programmes provides us with a continuous stream of readymade, motivated young talent, whose skills and expertise can be ultilised within the company for many years."
Adam Lyness, from Dromore, was another successful apprentice beating off stiff competition to take first place in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning category. Gavin Murray from Aghalee took second spot while Ballyclare man Gareth McConnell made it a cool sweep for SERC taking third spot.
Andrew Gill from Saintfield made SERC Lisburn proud by securing second place in the plastering and dry wall systems category.
Downpatrick local Mark Hawthorne was celebrating after winning third place in the Carpentry catergory.
Stephen Peters, also from Downpatrick, was another successful taking third place in the Plastering category. Both students, who study at the Downpatrick Campus, hope that the experiences from the competition can act as platform for success throughout their career.
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