James is the ‘tap’ man after winning competition

A SOUTH Eastern Regional College student from Dromore was celebrating after taking first place in a day-long Inter Campus Skillbuild competition.

James Gracey was the top man in the plumbing discipline and is hopeful that his experiences from the inter-campus competition can act as platform for success at the regional finals.

The event was one of a series of Skillbuild Northern Ireland Inter-Campus College competitions taking place throughout the province. The event is designed to test and challenge the ability of its apprentices working in the construction trades.

Competitors representing Lisburn, Downpatrick and Newtownards Campuses were judged by Skillbuild Northern Ireland judges in disciplines including bricklaying, cabinet making, carpentry, electrical, industrial pipework, joinery, plastering and refrigeration and air conditioning.

The apprentices were set a test project which took a day to complete. At the end of the day their projects were judged and scored by Skillbuild Area Managers. The winners, who qualify from the Inter Campus Competitions, will represent the College and compete at the annual Skillbuild NI Regional finals due to be held in March 2013 in Newtownabbey.

John Nixon Head of School Construction and Engineering for SERC commented on how Skillbuild benefits the students: “Skillbuild provides a unique stage for trainees to showcase their skills and expertise and motivates them to reach the highest standards in trade careers. It was a very successful competition with around seventy of our students participating. I was impressed with the high standard of workmanship displayed and this was commented on by the various judges.

“The success and hard work by both the students and staff was very evident throughout the competition and we look forward to the forthcoming Regional Skillbuild events.

Brian McMullen, Competitions Manager for SERC had this to say; “Our intercampus Skillbuild competition has given trainees and staff an opportunity to demonstrate the high standard of training on offer at all campuses and I’m certain that the winners of each category will go forward to the NI regional finals and National finals later this year and continue to win their share of medals as has happened consistently down through the years and I would like to take this opportunity to wish the students the best of luck in the NI Regional finals in March.”

He continued: “SERC has a proud record of success in skills competitions at a national and international level.”

SERC provides a range of full and part-time courses designed to give students ‘the edge’ through industry projects and a range of work placements to give them the skills needed to succeed in their chosen career. To find out how SERC can help you ‘get the edge’ call 0845 600 7555, visit www.serc.ac.uk or find us on Facebook, search: South Eastern Regional College.