Otley students

OTLEY-based apprentices scooped six medals at the regional heat of this year's SkillBuild - the UK's biggest construction skills competition.SkillBuild, which is organised by ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry, aims to find the UK's best apprentice across a variety of trades including: bricklaying, carpentry, joinery and painting and decorating.

OTLEY-based apprentices scooped six medals at the regional heat of this year's SkillBuild - the UK's biggest construction skills competition.

SkillBuild, which is organised by ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry, aims to find the UK's best apprentice across a variety of trades including: bricklaying, carpentry, joinery and painting and decorating.

Otley College apprentices achieved one gold medal, two silver medals and three bronze medals in various categories at the event, held at North Hertfordshire College.

The apprentices competed against each other in their given trade to complete a set piece of work within the day, which challenged the trainees to produce accurate and high quality work within a strict timescale. The work was assessed by a panel of technical experts at the end of the day when the winners in each trade were announced.

Jason Middleditch, who won a gold medal in carpentry, said: “Today has been a great experience. It was a real honour to take away the gold for the Carpentry category. It was a real challenge and I am really proud of what I have achieved.”

Georgina Bill, ConstructionSkills Apprenticeship Manager for the East of England said: “SkillBuild is a fantastic opportunity to encourage and recognise excellence, as well as help develop the future talent of the industry. This heat was a great success and showcased the skills of the construction industry on offer here in the East Anglia. We are really pleased with the high quality and standard of workmanship being undertaken by these people - it is testament to their hard work, and that of their colleges and employers.”

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Some of the students will now be flying the flag for the East Anglia and will have their chance to compete against the other UK regions at the SkillBuild national final, which will take place October 7 to 9 at South Lanarkshire College in Scotland. National winners from this year's competition will then have the opportunity to represent the UK and compete in the 2011 international WorldSkills competition in London.

Other winners were: Nick Hodges (plastering, 2nd), Toby Downing (senior entrant bricklaying, 2nd), Grant Adams (senior entrant bricklaying, 3rd), Patrick Norman (new entrant bricklaying, 3rd), Jonathon Ling (plastering, 3rd)