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Talented construction apprentices take on colleges from across the North West

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Talented construction apprentices from Warrington & Vale Royal College put their skills to the test when they took on students from across the North West as part of the annual SkillBuild Competition, coming home with three second place awards.

Brickwork apprentice Jack Bircham and carpenter Anthony Greer came second in the senior category, whilst brickie Rick Caple came second in the new entrant competition.

The trio were joined by fellow carpentry apprentices Ben Walsh and Conor Smith, who also competed in the new entrant category.

SkillBuild takes place each year and is organised by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). It sees young construction apprentices from across the country battle it out in their chosen trade, with skills including bricklaying, carpentry & joinery and painting & decorating all being put to the test.

For Jack, a former University Academy Warrington pupil, competing in such competitions is becoming a regular occurrence, with the 19 year old having previously competed in the Guild of Bricklayers contest and the North West regional heat of SKillBuild last year, where he came second as a new entrant.

Andy Atkin, Curriculum Manager for Construction Trades at the college, said: “All of our brickies and joiners who took part in SkillBuild this year should be incredibly proud of themselves. Being able to compete in such a prestigious tournament is a fantastic achievement and shows just how much hard work and dedication they have put into their trade.

“Having our students take part in competitions like SkillBuild allows us to build on a long tradition of encouraging young people to develop their skills and craftsmanship and achieve the very highest standards. For Jack, Rick and Anthony to place second is an incredible feat and shows how far we push our students to reach those standards.

“A huge thank you has to go to Forterra UK for their constant support and sponsorship of our brickwork students in preparation for SkillBuild, as well as our dedicated construction tutors and employers partners.”

Andy added: “The next step for Jack, Rick and Anthony is waiting to hear if they have scored highly enough in the regional competition to be one of the finalists in the national competition later this year.”

To find out more about the opportunities available at Warrington & Vale Royal College, visit wvr.ac.uk

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