New College Swindon bricklaying apprentice competes in national “skills Olympics”

05 Dec 2022

After nearly 80 construction trainees went head-to-head over three days, the winners of the SkillBuild National Finals 2022 have been announced. Whilst New College apprentice Joe Gleed did not win a medal, he had a fantastic experience competing in the Bricklaying competition.

SkillBuild, often dubbed the ‘skills Olympics’, is delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) in partnership with WorldSkills UK and offers a chance for trainees to compete in a bid to be crowned winner of their chosen trade.

Following the Regional Qualifiers, which were held at various colleges across the UK earlier this year, the National Finals took place at Edinburgh College on 15 – 17 November. The event attracted roughly 1,000 school visitors from across Edinburgh and the Lothians, exhibiting the variety of skills and career opportunities available within the industry.

SkillBuild is the largest multi-trade competition in the UK for construction trainees and apprentices, and as competitors progress through each stage, they are tested on their technical abilities, time management, character, and commitment. The competition is viewed by many as an opportunity to develop confidence, self-esteem, and life skills, along with the potential for the highest-scoring eligible competitors to join ‘Squad UK’ and compete internationally.

Carole Kitching, Principal and CEO of New College Swindon said:

“We are delighted for Joe and would like to congratulate him on a massive achievement in reaching the national finals. He has worked incredibly hard for this. The College strives to provide our apprentices and employers with the best possible teaching to support their careers and development, and it’s great to see him get so far”

Joe Gleed, Bricklaying apprentice said:

“It was good to have won the South West competition and be the best bricklaying apprentice in the region, and great to compete nationally. My tutor, Steve, works really well with us all to make us better bricklayers. There are really good facilities, and I’ve had the opportunity to work in a less pressured environment to improve my skills.

"This means a huge deal for me in potentially building up a future business and has really boosted my confidence.”