Lakes College students win big at SkillBuild regionals

Two Lakes College students have won first and third place at the regional heats of SkillBuild 2017. They competed against students from across the North West at the competition held at Darlington College.

Vincent Rourke competed in the Senior division of the Bricklaying competition and won first place. The Senior division is designed for those who are studying a minimum of NVQ level 2 in their chosen craft occupation. Vincent is currently studying for his Level 2 Brickwork qualification, and is an Apprentice with Brickwork Solutions Ltd in Cleator Moor. Last year, Vincent won the New Entrant division at SkillBuild, as well as winning Learner of the Year at the 2016 CN Golden Apple Awards.

Vincent, 28, from Clifton, comments, ‘I’m chuffed to bits with winning. It’s a tough competition but I enjoyed it more this year because I knew what to expect.’

Rees Pattinson, a Level 2 Joinery Apprentice, competed in the Senior division of the Joinery competition and won third place. On the day, he had six hours to set out, mark and produce a half glazed panel door with an angled head.

Rees, 17, from Dearham, says, ‘It was a really good experience. My employer, Jonathan Taylor Joinery, were really pleased I won third place.’

As entrants in the Senior competition, both Vincent and Rees may have the opportunity to go to the national SkillBuild Finals held in Birmingham later in the year, depending on the results of the upcoming regional heats.

Lloyd Wise, a Level 1 Brickwork student also studying at Lakes College, competed in the New Entrant category of the Bricklaying competition and finished just outside the top three.

Lloyd, 17, from Maryport, comments, ‘I was excited about the competition but nervous. I’m really pleased with my result but it’s taught me that I need to learn to take my time. I’ll definitely try again next year.

SkillBuild aims to showcase the best talent in the construction industry, and is run by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). The competition comprises of regional heats from April to June each year, with a national final held in the autumn. The competition has been running for over 45 years and sees the very best in construction talent compete against each other to be crowned the SkillBuild winner in their chosen trade.

Robert Johnson, Lakes College Bricklaying tutor, says, ‘Vincent’s work ethic and attention to detail is second to none. Winning the regional competition is a great accolade for him. Lloyd acquitted himself really well for his first competition – he was put forward for the competition because he recently passed all four of his exams with Distinctions. Hopefully he can compete next year as well.’

Stephen Wilkinson, Lakes College Carpentry and Joinery tutor, adds, ‘Rees did exceptionally well, especially considering his age and what they had to do in such a short space of time. Its set Vincent and Rees up for competing next year, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed they get to go Birmingham in November.’