Apprentices make it into national final

THREE trainees from Chichester College are set to compete at the final of Skillbuild, a prestigious construction competition organised by the Construction Industry Training Board.

19-year-old Henri Couch from Chichester is in the final of the bricklaying category
19-year-old Henri Couch from Chichester is in the final of the bricklaying category

The successful apprentices will head to Birmingham’s NEC on November 21 to compete in the SkillBuild 2015 final, having excelled in their trade categories at the regional heats.

Henri Couch, 19, from Chichester is a finalist in the bricklaying category, while Peter Bailey, 20, from Hayling Island and Jack Bateman, 19, from Arundel are competing in the cabinet making category.

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Held at the Skills Show, the national final will see more than 70 young construction trainees, selected across 13 regional heats, battle it out to be named the best in their chosen trade.

19-year-old Jack Bateman from Arundel is in the final of the cabinet making category

Skills such as bricklaying, wall and floor tiling, and painting and decorating will all be put to the test.

The apprentices from Chichester College will be competing against trainees from Bristol, Leeds and Liverpool.

Janette Welton-Pai, the training board’s sector strategy manager for the south east, said: “After seeing the abundance of construction talent on show at the regional heats, we’re looking forward to seeing what our apprentices can do on the national stage.

“SkillBuild is all about the way that people setting out on their construction career work. Most of the competitors are still learning so it’s not just about the finished article, it’s about the whole process that they go through.

“We’re hoping the final at Birmingham’s NEC will showcase the outstanding construction talent the UK has to offer, and give finalists an opportunity to excel in their chosen trade.

“It’s a great time to be in construction, as the industry continues to see impressive growth. There’s a wide range of rewarding careers on offer for both new workers and those returning to the sector.”

SkillBuild is the longest running and largest construction skills contest in the country, having taken place for over 40 years.

The competition is organised and supported by CITB, the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board for the construction industry.

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