Preston construction students reach ‘Skills Olympics’ finals

Posted on - 16th September, 2021 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Competitions, Education, People, Preston News, Schools
South Devon College’s Skillbuild regional heats 2016. Pic: Richard Lee Photography

Three Preston students will join fifty-four finalists at a construction competition this November.


Mitchell Proctor, Kieran Oglethorpe and Billy Messent will join top construction trainees from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland at CITB’s SkillBuild National Finals 2021.   

The finalists all made it through the qualifying rounds, held remotely at their respective colleges during the summer.

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From 16-18 November, they will battle it out at SkillBuild, the UK’s largest multi-trade construction competition, taking place at the National Construction College, Bircham Newton, in Norfolk, in partnership with WorldSkills UK. 

Stephen George, CITB Careers Product Manager, said: “SkillBuild showcases the finest young talent in the sector, and this year, the competitors will have come through an unprecedented and uncertain time to be learning their trade.  

“I’d like to wish all the finalists the very best for their competitions and their future careers in this exciting and rewarding industry.”

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The competitions and finalists are as follows:   

Bricklaying – Mitchell Proctor, Preston College; Harvey Enwright, York College; Rhys Howells, Coleg Sir Gar; Kieran Oglethorpe, Preston College; Michael Topham, York College; Daniel Greenwood, Bishop Burton College; and Charley Evans, Weymouth College 

Carpentry – Sammy Young, Neath College; Matthew Connor, Belfast Metropolitan College; Luke Turner, Wirral Met College; Danny Oliver, RNN Group; Charlie Reeve, E N Suiter and Sons Ltd; Leonie McDonagh, Belfast Metropolitan College; and Thomas Hogarth, Burnley College

Furniture and Cabinetmaking – Jack Talbot, Burnley College; Ciaran Baggott, Moulton College; Thomas Knowles, Chichester College Group; Tom Slerin, Burnley College; and Issac Bingham, Southern Regional College 

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Joinery – William Zuk, Bolton College; Sam Abbott, North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College; Steffan Thomas, Coleg Ceredigion; Dion Evans, Coleg Ceredigion; Nell Tomlinson, Carlisle College; and Danny Featherstone, West Suffolk College 

Painting and Decorating – Nicole Smith, Bell Group UK; Sophie Graham, City College Plymouth; Jacqui Hawthorne, Southern Regional College; Kieran Evans, The College Merthyr Tydfil; Claire McPhillips, Bell Group UK; and Steven McMaster, City of Glasgow College  

Plastering – Joshua Hutchings, South Devon College; Kieran Jones-Rees, Coleg Sir Gar; Paul-Anthony Smith, City of Liverpool College; Kieron Thomas, Coleg Sir Gar; Steven Price, City College Plymouth; and Sam Dean, Wigan and Leigh College 

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Plastering and Drywall Systems – Liam Watson, Errigal Contracts; Matthew Connolly, Errigal Contracts; Ignas Kurasovas, Errigal Contracts; Tommy Falco, West London College; Zara Dupont, Leeds College of Building; and Billy Messent, Preston College 

Stonemasonry – Kane Frith, Bath College; Lewis Evans, Bath College; Ben Nicolson, Edinburgh College; and Corrie Kettrick, Edinburgh College

Wall and Floor Tiling – Christopher Parry, City of Glasgow College; Tony Kane, Southern Regional College; Aaron Gillespie, Southern Regional College; Morga Nutt, North West Regional College; Laura Jones, Cardiff and Vale College; Aaron Brady, Leeds College of Building; and Conor Nugent, Southern Regional College  

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Sponsors of SkillBuild include BAL, Stone Federation, British Gypsum and Crown, with Michelmersh joining to support the bricklaying competitions.

CITB said they are grateful to all of the organisations and agencies that are helping to showcase the potential of the next generation of tradespeople.   

CITB’s SkillBuild competition operates under the WorldSkills UK national competition framework. The WorldSkills International competitions run every two years, and the delayed 2020 event will run in Shanghai in 2022.

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