Construction competition

Chance to climb first rung of ladder for career in construction

Jim Parker

Construction professionals of the future will be taking part in the largest multi-trade skills competition in the UK at South Devon College.

SkillBuild, delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board, is a series of competitions where the very best construction apprentices and trainees compete in their chosen trade.

Competitors from across the area will take part in the regional qualifiers in bricklaying, carpentry, joinery, painting and decorating, plastering and roofing before going on to the national final.

As well as the SkillBuild competition, 400 local primary and secondary schoolchildren will be given the chance to have a go at different construction skills, overseen by professionals, in the competition at the college today (May 19).

“It’s a really exciting day,” said Dean Bowden, Head of Curriculum for Construction and the Built Environment at the college. “The youngsters will get the chance to watch the SkillBuild competitors and then have a go at different trades themselves and talk to people working in the sector. This should go a long way in raising awareness of the job roles available in this growing sector.”

Partnering with the college at the event is Build Torbay, a new TDA/Torbay Council initiative set up to inspire a future workforce to take up careers in construction.

Currently there are 1,500 people in Torbay working in the industry. Due to the amount of redevelopment planned locally, 32,000 more construction roles will be created in the South West by 2025.

Swithin Long, cabinet member for economic regeneration, tourism and housing said: “Build Torbay is working in partnership with South Devon College and other partners in the construction sector to promote training and careers to Torbay pupils and residents considering a career change.

“Torbay Council has been very successful in our recent funding bids for regeneration projects that are creating new spaces for people to thrive in Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. We’ll need around three times as many construction workers to deliver these schemes, so we want as many of our local residents as possible to benefit from the well-paid career opportunities.”

The 400 school pupils taking part in the event will have the chance to try a variety of construction trades in the well-equipped South Devon College classrooms, including a real-life quantity surveying assignment delivered by TDA project manager, Dean Kelly.

For more information about Build Torbay go to: