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SkillBuild 2023 – why you should enter your learners as huge demand for construction skills remain


The largest and longest-running construction skills competition in the UK returns, with registration now open for SkillBuild 2023..

The SkillBuild competition is delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and offers an opportunity for talented apprentices and learners of all ages to compete regionally against one another in various trade categories.

Prospective competitors can enter now to compete in one of 13 regional qualifying heats run UK-wide, from April to June. During the one-day event, competitors will be tested not only on their technical abilities, but on their time management, problem solving and skills working under pressure. Those who excel in the qualifiers will be invited to take part in the SkillBuild National Finals, taking place in November 2023.

Apprentices and learners can compete in 10 different trade categories: bricklaying, carpentry, joinery, painting and decorating, plastering, plastering and drywall systems, roof slating and tiling, stonemasonry, wall and floor tiling and furniture and cabinet making. Level 1 competitions are also available in wall and floor tiling and bricklaying.

Zara Dupont from Leeds College of Building won Gold in the plastering and drywall systems category at last year’s SkillBuild National Final.

“I was over the moon when I found out I was a finalist as it gives me so many opportunities to learn and fulfil my career goals.

I would say to anyone thinking about entering SkillBuild to go for it and do your best!”

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 such a huge variety of trades, SkillBuild is a fantastic opportunity to alter perceptions and promote the diverse range of roles available in construction.

Tim Balcon, CITB Chief Executive, said: 

“We know the next 18 months won’t be easy with the current skills gap and demand for more workers. As a result, recruitment, training, development, and upskilling remain major priorities for the industry for 2023 and beyond.

“SkillBuild is just one of the many ways CITB is providing support to directly attract a diverse range of recruits for industry. It’s a wonderful initiative that not only helps young people grow personally, increasing their confidence and social skills, but it’s also proven to assist them professionally by developing their technical and employability skills.”

The SkillBuild competition offers colleges the opportunity to empower students to learn new skills and work efficiently under pressure, as well as showcase the quality of training programmes through success in competitions. The competition also provides a unique way of combining teaching, learning and assessment to achieve real results for learners and apprentices of all ages and abilities.

Learners are given the opportunity to improve technical and employability skills, test themselves against others and compete in a friendly, diverse and inspirational environment.

If you have a student or apprentice who would like to participate in this year’s competition, please visit the Go Construct website for more information and to register. Registration is open until 1 April 2023.

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