College trainee lands top spot in skills contest

Trainee Curtis Leigh Baker has been named regional SkillBuild winner.
Trainee Curtis Leigh Baker has been named regional SkillBuild winner.

A CONSTRUCTION trainee has brushed off the opposition to scoop a top regional award.

Doncaster College student Curtis Leigh Baker landed first place in the painting and decorating category of the Yorkshire and Humber regional heat of SkillBuild – the UK’s largest multi-trade competition.

Managed by CITB-ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board, the contest is part of its work to bring new blood into the construction industry and saw trainees build, plaster and paint their way to success.

Curtis works at Hexthorpe-based Togel Contractors which was recently named among Yorkshire’s fastest growing businesses and currently employs ten apprentices who are learning a range of trades.

The 17-year-old said he was proud of his achievement and appreciated the acknowledgement.

“The competition was really tough but it was a great chance for me to show some of the skills that I use every day and to have these recognised.

“I would definitely recommend taking part in SkillBuild as it’s great fun and you get to show off your skills to your peers, employers and the industry, which is good for your career,” he added.

Mick Hamill, regional delivery manager for CITB-ConstructionSkills in Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “In addition to encouraging excellence and helping to raise standards in training, SkillBuild allows competitors to showcase their skills, helping to boost their confidence and their careers. It offers employers the opportunity to highlight the calibre of their workforce and the high level of on-the-job training that they provide, helping to produce that all important competitive edge needed to win new business in a challenging market.”

SkillBuild is supported by local employers, many of whom sponsor the competition, including those which employ the entrants. It gives employers a chance to showcase their most talented trainees as well as demonstrating their commitment to training and excellence.

The highest scorers in the regional heats will now compete at the three-day SkillBuild UK final in September.