Posted on 05 December 2023

Leeds College of Building is celebrating after three students took podium positions at the SkillBuild National Final 2023 - the largest multi-trade skills competition in the UK for construction trainees and apprentices.

Newton Robinson achieved 1st place in Plastering, while Archie Kitching and Aeron Murray both placed 3rd in their respective Brickwork and Roof Slating & Tiling categories.

The competition winners were announced after 78 construction trainees went head-to-head over three days. The event attracted around 1,000 visitors, exhibiting the variety of skills and career opportunities available within the industry.

SkillBuild is delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and showcases some of the brightest talent in construction. The prestigious competition brings together highly skilled learners and apprentices to battle it out to be crowned winner of their chosen trade.

Following the Regional Qualifiers held at various UK colleges, including Leeds College of Building in June this year, the National Final took place at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes on 21 – 23 November.

Across the three days, competitors were tasked with constructing a project designed by an expert panel of judges within an 18-hour timeframe. The project tests the individual’s knowledge and skills, as well as their ability to work under pressure, ensuring they adhere to health and safety protocols.

Leeds College of Building has an exceptional track record in SkillBuild competitions. Three students also took medal positions at last year’s national final. At a special award ceremony presented by Steph McGovern in her Packed Lunch studio, apprentice Zara Dupont received gold in the Plastering and Drywall Systems category.

Fellow students Kyron Sharlotte and Aaron Brady also took 3rd place positions in Roof Slating & Tiling and Wall & Floor Tiling respectively, while Aeron Murray received Highly Commended in Roof Slating & Tiling.

Tim Balcon, CITB Chief Executive, said:

“SkillBuild is a wonderful initiative which aims to attract a diverse range of recruits, and with the current skills gap, it places even greater importance on the competition and its ability to promote construction careers to a wider audience. SkillBuild not only helps young people to grow personally, increasing their confidence and social skills, but it’s also proven to assist them professionally by developing their technical and employability skills.”

Learn more about courses, training, and apprenticeships on the Leeds College of Building website or register for the next College open night in February.