TOP construction trainees from around the UK have been named as competitors at the SkillBuild National Finals 2022 at Edinburgh College.

Known as the ‘skills Olympics’, SkillBuild is delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) in partnership with WorldSkills UK.

Preparations for this year’s finals are now in full swing, taking place at Edinburgh College and concluding on Thursday evening (15 to 17 November), marked by a closing ceremony.

This is the first time the annual event is being hosted at Edinburgh College, with last year’s held at CITB’s National Construction College in Bircham Newton, Norfolk.

With an 18-hour project to complete, participants will be tested not only on their technical abilities, but on their time management, problem solving and skills working under pressure.

Tim Balcon, CITB chief executive, said,“The current skills gap, as well as a demand for more workers present huge challenges. SkillBuild is just one of the many initiatives detailed in our Business Plan that aims to address the skills demand, by focusing on attracting and retaining new talent into industry.

“SkillBuild is a fantastic opportunity to sharpen and increase your employability skills, providing a platform for the best of the best in construction technical education. To make it through to the National Finals is a fantastic achievement, and all the competitors should be incredibly proud of themselves. I wish them the very best of luck as they take to the stage in Edinburgh this week!”

Ben Blackledge, deputy director of WorldSkills UK, added, “Good luck to all those competing at Edinburgh College. WorldSkills UK’s competition-based programmes help apprentices and students grow personally and professionally by developing their technical and employability skills, as well as shining a light on the amazing skilled potential in the UK.”

Audrey Cumberford, Edinburgh College principal and CEO, said, “We’re delighted to be hosting WorldSkills UK National Finals with SkillBuild at our Granton Campus.

“Skills competitions like these are terrific spectacles and offer a platform for apprentices and students to thrive, and for other young people and those perhaps looking to change jobs to learn more about careers in these highly-skilled disciplines – supporting the need to plug skills gaps within the construction sector.

“We look forward to welcoming competitors, lecturers and delegates from all four corners of the UK to our College for what is set to be a fantastic week of competition finals.”

Gracie Brill, SkillBuild joinery finalist, added, “I have really enjoyed the competition so far! The regional heat was super fun, and a really enjoyable challenge. I tend to overanalyse and spend too long perfecting things, so it was great to be able to push myself in a different way through engaging in a timed challenge.

“Honestly, I couldn’t quite believe I’d got through to the finals! It’s such an interesting, unique opportunity, which I have already learnt so much from – I’m really excited to have the chance to compete at the finals!”

School groups from across Edinburgh and the Lothians will also be attending to see the competitions and to take in a visitor experience exhibition, which will provide further insight into careers in construction and life at college. Winners of the SkillBuild National Finals 2022 will be announced on 25 November from 4pm, live on the Channel 4 show, Steph’s Packed Lunch.


Soiurce: Project Scotland

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