Construction students at Accrington and Rossendale College put their expertise to the test in the prestigious annual WorldSkills UK competition.

Eight students from Brickwork, Carpentry and Joinery, Painting and Decorating and Plastering took part in the hotly-contested WorldSkills UK North West regional heats in June, completing challenging tasks against the clock.

After completing an online assessment that will count towards their marks, the national finalists will be announced in September. The national finals will take place in November.

Renowned for Construction courses

Accrington and Rossendale College is renowned for its Construction trades courses. After a £4million campus improvement programme in 2019-20, the next phase of the College’s redevelopment work is a revamp of the Construction building.

Students who are on Construction trade courses at the College are also encouraged to take part in a range of national competitions to enhance their trade skills and improve their problem solving.

‘I prepared and felt ready’

Eugene Fenlon, 18, formerly of Mount Carmel RC High School is a Brickwork student at Accrington and Rossendale College. He was one of the students taking part in the WorldSkills UK competition.

Eugene said: “WorldSkills UK was really good. My task was to complete a wall with 2021 recessed into it. I put quite few hours in to prepare for it on examples from previous years so I felt ready for the competition. I finished within the time and was pleased with my work.

“I’m really enjoying learning my trade at Accrington and Rossendale College. My tutors are fantastic and I’m developing the skills I need for a successful career.”

‘Brilliant and knowledgeable tutors’

Destiny-Mya Robinson, 20, has just completed her Painting and Decorating Apprenticeship at Accrington and Rossendale College, and she is being retained by her employer Annie Get Yer Brush.

Destiny-Mya said: “WorldSkills UK was a new experience for me and it was one I relished. Completing a complex painting task in such a short space of time was a real challenge. I completed the task and was happy with it, so fingers crossed I reach the national final.

“My Apprenticeship has been an excellent experience and I would encourage others to consider the route while learning their trade. The tutors at College are brilliant and are knowledgeable.

“I began on a Multi-Trades course and have progressed all the way through the levels of Painting and Decorating. It’s a great feeling to be retained by my employer. Working for Annie is the best choice I could have made, we connect so well and work well as a team together.”

Stretching talent and ability

Phil Burgess, Curriculum Leader for Construction Traces and Motor Vehicle at Accrington and Rossendale College, said: “We were delighted to enter students to WorldSkills UK again which is something of an annual fixture in our calendar here at Accrington and Rossendale College.

“All eight students who competed were extremely worthy of their place in the competition. We actively nominate our Construction students for competitions as they are a great way to stretch their talent and ability. All eight were a credit to the College and performed well on the day.

“We must also thank Michelmersh for providing the bricks for the brickwork challenge, as we could not have entered this particular competition without their support.”

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