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Building Idol is the search for Britain’s top trade talent

On 16 April, David Lammy MP launched this year’s SkillBuild - Britain’s biggest skills competition to find the best young builders across a range of construction trades.

Peter Rogerson, Deputy Chairman of ConstructionSkills and Chairman of the SkillBuild board, says: “For the first time, SkillBuild is under new management by ConstructionSkills, the sector skills council for the construction industry. This is Britain’s biggest skills competition, and we want to see it grow exponentially over the next three years.

In 2011 the skills ‘Olympics’, WorldSkills, will be held in London. ConstructionSkills aims to build the profile and increase entries to the competition over the next three years, with the aim of having winning British competitors on the stage in London.

With the construction industry booming and more than 88,000 new entrants needed per year to sustain its growth, SkillBuild is part of an ongoing initiative by ConstructionSkills to encourage more young people to consider a career in the industry.

Former competitor and bespoke cabinet maker Philip Bastow always encourages his apprentices to enter SkillBuild. Last year’s SkillBuild gold medal winner Liam Gardner is the fifth apprentice he has trained, and Philip says he believes the competition is great for boosting the confidence of young apprentices and giving them a goal to work towards.

“SkillBuild gives apprentices the impetus to achieve the best that they can, says Philip. “As well as increasing their confidence, through competing they are able to learn more about real life working conditions such as completing projects within set time frames and with a fixed amount of materials.

“There is a real need to provide support for apprentices training in the construction industry and to encourage a wider range of youngsters to consider a career in construction trades in the first place. “

SkillBuild will run throughout April, May and June with 12 regional heats across the country, leading to a major national final to be held at Leeds College of Building in October.

Entrants will compete in a wide range of construction trades including bricklaying, carpentry, cabinet making, joinery and painting and decorating.

The competition is open to the tens of thousands of 17 to 21 year olds who are currently training in construction, through FE colleges or work-based apprenticeships at S/NVQ level 2-3.

Contestants can visit to find out how to enter. Then all they need to do is bring their tools on the day.

To keep up to date with all the latest news on what ConstructionSkills is doing and find out more about how your company can get involved in helping secure the future of the UK construction industry register for the Skills Update.

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