CITB prepares for construction skills competition finals

CITB prepares for construction skills competition finals

Colleges across the UK are preparing to host the largest and longest-running construction skills competition, as approximately 1,000 students will compete in the SkillBuild 2023 regional qualifiers this year.

SkillBuild is delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and showcases some of the brightest talent, as highly skilled learners and apprentices go head-to-head to be crowned winner of their chosen trade. Competitors will be tested on their technical abilities, time management, problem solving and skills working under pressure. However, the prestigious competition comes with many benefits, being proven to improve technical and employability skills, as well as advancing career options.

There are 15 regional qualifiers taking place across the UK from 27 April through to the end of June. Running alongside the competition, venues will host a Construction Showcase event, inspiring young people to consider a career in construction. With thousands of primary and secondary school children due to attend, alongside local and national employers, the events will feature hands-on interactive activities and learning opportunities and showcase the amazing opportunities available to those who choose a career in construction.

Following the regional qualifiers, the top eight scoring competitors from each trade category will be invited to take part in the UK national final. For the first time, this year’s national final will take place at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes on 21, 22 & 23 November 2023. The arena has previously played host to the National Badminton Championships, darts tournaments and various music concerts.

CITB’s recent Construction Skills Network (CSN) report states that almost 225,000 extra workers will be required to meet UK construction demand by 2027. It also highlights that construction is expected to remain a sector where there is demand for workers, despite the current economic uncertainty. Covering 10 different trades, SkillBuild is a fantastic opportunity to alter perceptions and promote the diverse range of roles available.

Jade Oakes won gold in the painting and decorating category last year. Speaking about the competition, she said: “The whole experience from beginning to end was fantastic. I was able to compete against some of the best across the country, meet professionals in our trade and make so many new friends along the way. It felt like a dream come true to win gold at such a prestigious competition!

“For those about to compete, I would say enjoy every second! It’s not all about competing, it’s about putting yourself into an environment to thrive and meet so many amazing individuals along the way. Good luck, have the best time and paint your very best!”

Tim Balcon, CITB chief executive, said: “I always look forward to the SkillBuild regional heats, as it’s the first glimpse we get into the fantastic variety of young talent coming through to industry. SkillBuild is a wonderful initiative which aims to attract a diverse range of recruits, and with the current skills gap, it places even greater importance on the competition and its ability to promote construction careers to a wider audience.

“SkillBuild not only helps young people to grow personally, increasing their confidence and social skills, but it’s also proven to assist them professionally by developing their technical and employability skills. While a challenging experience, if you’re serious about a career in construction, SkillBuild is an excellent opportunity. I wish all competitors the very best of luck for the heats this year!”

CITB would like to thank all the fantastic sponsors of this year’s SkillBuild, which include Albion Stone, BAL Adhesives, Band of Builders, British Gypsum, Institute of Carpenters, Crown Paints, Forterra, The Keystone Group, Nicholls & Clarke, NFRC, Schluter, SPAX, Stabila, Stone Federation, TARMAC, The Tile Association, The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers and Weber.

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