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UK National Final

SkillBuild UK National Finalists from Northern Ireland announced 2023

After more than 1,000 registrations and 17 regional heats, 16 top construction trainees from across Northern Ireland have been named as competitors at the SkillBuild National Final 2023 and are on their way to the finals.

SkillBuild is delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and showcases some of the brightest talent in construction. The prestigious competition brings together highly skilled learners and apprentices to battle it out to be crowned winner of their chosen trade. Following the Northern Ireland regional heats, which took place in North West Regional College, Limavady, in May earlier this year, the final will see the top eight highest scoring competitors from each category compete.

For the first time, this year’s final will be held at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, England on 21, 22 & 23 November 2023. The arena has previously played host to the National Badminton Championships, major darts tournaments and various music concerts, and will now see 80 of the best construction apprentices demonstrate their expertise. It is planned these finals will remain in this venue for 2024

Across the three days competitors will be tasked with constructing a project designed by an expert panel of judges, within an 18-hour timeframe. The project will test the individual’s knowledge and skills, as well as their ability to work under pressure within strict timelines, ensuring they adhere to health and safety protocols.

Members of the public are invited to attend the competition to both observe and try their hand at a range of activities at the designated careers experience hub, the Construction Showcase. Visitors can test their hand-eye coordination skills at the decorating station, build their own bird box at the woodworking station, or even get involved with virtual reality games and simulators. There will also be an opportunity for visitors to attend Continual Professional Development sessions, which will be hosted by the expert panel of judges across all 10 trade categories.
CITB’s latest Construction Skills Network (CSN) report states that an extra 4,450 workers will be required to meet NI construction demand by 2027. SkillBuild is a fantastic opportunity to alter common misconceptions of the industry and promote the diverse range of roles available. CITB NI host the SkillBuild NI Regional Final annually in partnership with one of the local colleges and it is an important event for competitors, supported by colleges, their trainers/lecturers and local sponsors.
Barry Neilson OBE, Chief Executive CITB NI “. We wish all the competitors from NI good luck in the SkillBuild National Finals, it is an achievement in itself to compete at this level and be ambassadors for the colleges, employers and their trades.
Our young people are very resilient and to compete at this national level is exceptional, especially with all the disruptions and difficulties they have faced in recent years. SkillBuild helps young people to grow personally and professionally within their trade area and is an excellent yet challenging experience. We look forward to seeing the high level of skills on show in the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes later this month.”