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Northern Regional College Hosts Inter-Campus Skills Competitions


Group of students with awards

Fifty apprentices and trainees attending Northern Regional College participated in the annual inter-campus heats of SkillBuild NI 2024. SkillBuild NI is the largest multi-trade competition in the UK for young students and apprentices. The annual competition, governed by the Construction Industry Training Board NI (CITB NI), covers construction-related disciplines. The joinery, carpentry, cabinet making, plumbing and electrical installation competitions were all held at the College’s Newtownabbey campus, while the brickwork competition was held at the Farm Lodge campus in Ballymena.

The inter-campus heats of are the first stage of a journey that could take talented young apprentices and trainees all the way to the UK national finals later this year. The top competitors in each skill category could qualify for the Northern Ireland regional heats in South West College, May 2024 with an opportunity to represent Northern Ireland at WorldSkills UK finals in November.

Congratulating all the competitors, David Russell, Curriculum Area Manager for Construction in the Department of Advanced Technologies at Northern Regional College, acknowledged the support that the apprentices and trainees had received from their employers.

He continued: “The SkillBuild NI competitions are a great opportunity for young people to demonstrate their skills and knowledge gained in their specific curriculum skill area.

“We have some highly skilled apprentices and trainees at the College and the SkillBuild NI competitions allows them to see how their skills measure up against those of their peers.”

All competitors received participation certificates and the top three competitions in each category were presented with Screwfix vouchers.

Rachel Dorovatas, Director of Industry Training and Support at CITB NI, who attended the event said: “We are consistently impressed by the skills demonstrated by the apprentices and trainees who take part in Northern Regional College’s intercampus heats of SkillBuild NI. 

“Thanks to the high standards of training and the commitment of the competitors and staff, the College continues to be at the forefront of driving talent in the construction industry.”

“Congratulations to all those who took part the SkillBuild NI inter-campus competitions, especially to those who excelled in their category and will have a chance to further demonstrate their talent in the SkillBuild NI Finals in May.”

Apprentices from Mivan had a clean sweep in the Joinery category with Charlie Fleck from Broughshane, Andrew Mackenzie, Ballymena and Jamie Matthews from Ballyclare placed in first, second and third place respectively.

The other category winners were:

Carpentry: 1st Jeremiasz Guzik, Coleraine (Whiterock Log Cabins); 2nd, Joseph Wylie, Ballymena (James Wylie); 3rd, Jonas Lear, Ballymoney (Whiterock Log Cabins).

Cabinet Making: 1st, John Cross, Ballynure (John Cross Sen); 2nd, Kyle Johnston, Glengormley (McCue); 3rd, Cody Fyffe, Belfast (McCue), all attend Newtownabbey campus.

Brickwork: 1st, Lewis Vance, Antrim (David Patterson); 2nd Pawel Cedrzynski, Rasharkin (O’Connor Scaffolding); 3rd, Cameron Fitzpatrick (Antrim).

Electrical Installation: 1st Kyle Highlands, Limavady (M&M Electrical); 2nd Ross Nicholl, Coleraine (AC Electrical); and 3rd, Quillan Reid, Dunloy (Nevin Electrical).

Plumbing: Joint 1st, Ewan Hood, Antrim (BSH) and Morgan Finney, Newtownabbey (Hanna Mechanical), 3rd, Luis Finlay, Newtownabbey (LM Services).