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Apprentice skills showcased

SERC apprentices gathered their tools to compete against each other in the annual inter-campus Skillbuild competition which was held at the Lisburn Campus.

The event is designed to test and challenge the ability of its apprentices working in the construction trades including, joinery, plastering and carpentry.  

The test pieces challenge the ability of apprentices to follow detailed instructions, test skills within tight timeframes, and produce neat and accurate work – all essential requirements for today’s construction environment.  

The apprentices were set a test project which took a day to complete.  At the end of the day their projects were judged and scored. The winners, who qualify from the Inter Campus Competitions, will represent the College and compete at the annual Skillbuild NI Regional finals later in the year. Winners may progress further to represent Northern Ireland in the Skills Show UK and potentially at World Skills.  

David Copper from CITB congratulated the apprentices on their achievements. Prizes were kindly sponsored by S.G Jones Lisburn, Jim’s DIY, JP Corry, D.E. Services, and Murdock’s Building Supplies.  

When the results were announced, local students Graham Smyth and Jordan Hamill were celebrating taking home first and second place respectively in the plastering category.

In the cabinet making category Richard Walsh was also celebrating after winning the category, while in second place came Ben Davis and Conor Woods who finished third place. Matthew Patterson, Darren Rafferty and Martin McIntyre, finished first, second and third place respectively in the joinery category. Meanwhile in the carpentry category Ryan Fitzsimons, Nathan Simons and Curtis Sanlon finished first, second and third.  

John Nixon SERC Head of School for Construction and Engineering commented on how Skillbuild benefits the students: “Skillbuild provides a unique stage for trainees to showcase their skills and motivates them to reach the highest standards in trade careers.

 “The competition couldn’t happen without the support of the local employers and sponsors and we extend our thanks to all who have helped the apprentices to be able to compete at this competition and sponsored the prizes.

“SERC students are encouraged to get involved in competitions as it demonstrates to future employers the level, skill and commitment they have within their industry.  Past winners have successfully progressed into employment, because they have an edge over other students, having been involved in these types of competitions.”

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