Having triumphed in the South West regional heat of SkillBuild – the UK’s largest multi-trade competition – three of college’s construction trainees, Thomas Whitehead (22), Darek Malecki (32 ) and Edward Shaw (30), from Weymouth, Cheddar and Chichester are off to Preston next week, to compete in the national final; SkillBuild 2012.

Thomas, who works at Albion Stone, Portland, Marek, Wells Cathedral Stonemasons and Edward, Cathedral Works Organisation, will be competing in the Stonemasonry category against the best trainees in the country. The three day competition is staged by CITB-ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board for the construction industry and will see over 100 talented individuals battling to be crowned the best in their field in a range of skills including Bricklaying, Joinery, Painting and Decorating and Carpentry.

Gillain Cain, Regional Delivery Manager for CITB-ConstructionSkills in the South said: “We’re so pleased to be able to bring together and motivate the country’s most promising construction trainees in this nationwide competition. SkillBuild encourages excellence, helps to raise standards in training and is an exciting way to showcase the outstanding talent coming into the construction industry.”

SkillBuild is run by CITB-ConstructionSkills as part of its commitment to training and excellence and ongoing efforts to bring new blood into the construction industry. This year’s final will be hosted by Preston College and will take place from 12 – 14 September, with winners announced at a closing dinner reception at Preston Guild Hall on 14 September. In addition to category winners, the best bricklayer in the competition will be awarded the Peter Vickers Shield and the best overall competitor will win the Frank Eaton Award.

This year will also see the introduction of a new award ‘Best Performing College’ which celebrates the College that enters the highest scoring competitors in the competition. Stonemasonry lecturerDarren Lawrence said on behalf of the College: “The Stonemasonry department would like to wish Thomas, Darek and Edward the best of luck in the forthcoming competition. We are extremely proud of all three of them!”

If you would like to know more about stonemasonry courses available with Weymouth College; please visit www.weymouth.ac.uk or call 01305 761100 for details.

The main sponsors for this year’s SkillBuild are British Gypsum, Crown Paints Ltd and Stabila. For more information about SkillBuild please go to www.cskills.org/skillbuild