The best apprentices in the construction sector!

SERC's electrical apprentice, Scott Barr, wins the overall title at this year’s Skillbuild NI finals

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Over 80 local construction apprentices gathered their tools to compete against each other in the annual Skillbuild NI National Finals, held at Belfast Metropolitan College, Castlereagh, on March 22.

Skillbuild NI, organised by CITB NI and supported by the Department for the Economy and local sponsors, helps assist with maintaining and raising the status and standards of professional and technical education and training.

This year, electrical apprentice, Scott Barr from South Eastern Regional College’s Downpatrick campus was the winner of the Haldane Fisher Cup awarded to the best overall Skillbuild NI young apprentice. Southern Regional College claimed a double award for having the highest number of medals overall and the highest number of competitions, meaning that SRC retained both the The Skillbuild NI Chairperson’s Cup and Skillbuild NI Department for the Economy Cup, while the dedication of Northern Regional College’s Ian Forsythe was also recognised with the presentation of the Hugh Gettinby Memorial Award for Excellence in Training.

The competition is held annually each spring, with many winners progressing further to represent Northern Ireland at World Skills UK Live and, potentially, at WorldSkills. It is also supported by local construction employers who sponsor each trade category.

The Skillbuild NI competition is designed to test skills, technique and ability within tight timeframes in order to win coveted titles in 10 different trades ranging from brickwork to wall and floor tiling.

Maurice Johnston, Chairman CITB NI, said, “CITB NI is proud to have been involved in construction skills competitions for over 40 years and we have a record of success at skills competitions not only on a local level but also on a regional, national and world level.

“Skillbuild NI is a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate the high level of skills we possess and the impressive talent of our workforce. It reflects the high standards of training in our colleges and the commitment to excellence demonstrated by the competitors.

“Congratulations to everyone who has taken part and those who have excelled in their trade. Skillbuild NI couldn’t happen without the support of the local sponsors and the training network, and we extend our thanks to all who have helped the apprentices to be able to compete at this competition. “Our young people are more ambitious now than ever and we hope that Skillbuild NI National Finals will be part of their journey and future careers within the construction industry.”

Winners

  • HALDANE FISHER CUP FOR THE BEST OVERALL SKILLBUILD NI YOUNG APPRENTICE Scott Barr, SERC
  • THE SKILLBUILD NI CHAIRPERSON’S CUP Southern Regional College
  • SKILLBUILD NI DEPARTMENT FOR THE ECONOMY CUP Southern Regional College
  • HUGH GETTINBY MEMORIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN TRAINING Ian Forsythe, Northern Regional College

Brickwork
Gold – Christoper Doyle – SRC
Silver – Ashton Logan – NRC
Bronze – Brandon Grant – NRC

Cabinet Making
Gold – Tommy Helliwell – SRC
Silver – Richard Walsh – SERC
Bronze – Issac Bingham – SRC

Carpentry
Gold – Thomas Ellison – BMC
Silver – Patrick McCloskey -NRC
Bronze – Finn Steadman – Carter Workshops

Electrical Installation
Gold – Scott Barr – SERC
Silver – Calvin McDonagh – SWC
Bronze – Sean Bradley – NWRC

Joinery
Gold – David Fairley – SERC
Silver – Matthew Patterson – SERC
Bronze – Jake McNabb – SRC

Painting & Decorating
Gold – Robbie Graham – SRC
Silver – Adam Kernaghan – SERC
Bronze – Gary Greer – SRC

Plastering
Gold – Scot Mitchell – SWC

Plastering & Drywall Systems
Gold – Brendan Duddy – NWRC
Silver – Kalem Kerrigan – Errigal Training Academy
Bronze – Jack Barr – NWRC

Plumbing
Gold – Abigail Reilly – NRC
Silver – Jacob Reid – SRC
Bronze – Ethan Whyte – SRC

Wall & Floor Tiling
Gold – Dylan Gillanders – SRC
Silver – Dylan Calvert – Orchard Clay & Rock
Bronze – Aaron Gillespie – SRC