Leicester College will be hosting one of the regional SkillBuild heats on Tuesday 27 June from 9am, at Freeman’s Park Campus.

SkillBuild is a competition, organised by Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), and has been running for over 45 years.

The contest is split into new entrants and seniors, and sees the greatest construction students compete against each other, to be crowned the SkillBuild regional champion in their chosen trades.

The competition consists of ten construction craft occupations, including painting and decorating bricklaying, plastering, and carpentry.

Leicester College lecturer, Kirk Staines, picked up the painting and decorating title exactly 20 years ago in the same venue.

Kirk Staines

He is now training the next cohort to of apprentices to enter from the College.

Kirk Staines, Programme Lead for Painting and Decorating said:

“I won the SkillBuild competition in 1997 and it catapulted my career. Due to my success I was given National press coverage and had the opportunity to appear in various TV programmes too. This enabled me to get recognised and be offered the opportunity to decorate someone’s house. This opened the doors for me to start my own business and I ran this successfully until one of my ex-lecturers at the College remembered me saying that I would love to teach when I was a learner and invited me to come back and teach after gaining valuable trade experience and I have not looked back since. SkillBuild was a life changing opportunity for me and I am really excited to train the next cohort 20 years later and at Leicester College.”

He is currently helping to train Bridie Kilby, Luke Phillips for the senior level stages and Lewis Smith for the junior stages.

SkillBuild 2017

Junior level competitor Lewis Smith said:

“I decided to enter with some encouragement from our lecturer Kirk. I was worried that I would not be good enough but with some extra practice, I now feel ready and excited.”

Senior level competitor Bridie Kilby said:

“I competed in the junior category last year and came second. I decided to compete again this year but at senior level in order to challenge myself further. It was really exciting last year and I got to learn a lot in a short space of time. I am keen to see what challenges this year brings and what new skills I will learn along the way.”

Luke Phillips said:

“It is the first time I am entering the competition. Kirk really gave me the confidence to put myself forward. I have learnt skills I would not have otherwise explored. I am aiming to network and try my hardest. I can’t wait for the whole experience.”

Running alongside the competition will be a Careers in Construction event from 2pm. This will give spectators/public a chance to meet and talk to industry-leading professionals to learn about careers and apprenticeships within the construction sector. Representations from a variety of construction organisations, many of whom will have current vacancies, will have individual stands.

Oliver Farrell, SkillBuild Manager at CITB, said: “SkillBuild is an excellent way of showcasing the talented young people in the construction industry.

“This is a chance for the young people to develop their skills and compete against fellow apprentices. If they are successful, they could reach the SkillBuild National Final and then potentially WorldSkills.

“Just like Kirk, SkillBuild can be the start of a successful, rewarding career in construction.”

Darren Roome, Director of Construction at Leicester College, said “We are thrilled to host the SkillBuild regional competition and can’t wait to welcome the mass of talented construction students taking part. It’s an amazing opportunity for the College to showcase our outstanding construction facilities and the skilful talent of our own learners.”

Members of the public, students and schools are welcome to attend SkillBuild.

For further information, please visit https://leicestercollege.ac.uk/events.