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Young Somerset Stonemason wins SkillBuild gold at “UK’s construction Olympics”

December 2021

The winners of SkillBuild ’21 - the “UK's construction Olympics" – have been described as having “the skills everyone is crying out for”.

Lewis Evans was one of fifty-three competitors from across the UK who took part in SkillBuild, the annual construction contest, held this year at the National Construction College in Bircham Newton, Norfolk.

 

Over three intense days of competition the best construction trainees & apprentices from across the UK were tested, against the clock, in their chosen trades.

Lewis Evans, 27, from Shepton Mallet won the gold medal in the stonemasonry competition. Lewis, who has completed his apprenticeship is now taking an advanced course at Bath College, whist working as a Banker Stonemason for Wolff Stone Limited.

Lewis said: “The competition was intense but enjoyable. It was good to be put under pressure and use hand tools and get back to basics.”

“I am very lucky to be working where I am and I am hoping to be kept on after my training as this is a trade that takes many years to master.”

The SkillBuild medallists were announced on Friday at an online national celebration event and crowned (virtually) by TV presenter Steph McGovern from her Packed Lunch studio.

Announcing the SkillBuild medallists Steph McGovern said: “The winners would be part of the best contact book you could ever have. If you’re looking for a bricklayer, or another trade, you’re going to go for one of the country’s best if you’ve got the choice. These are the skills that everyone is crying out for.”

SkillBuild is managed by the CITB, in collaboration with WorldSkills UK.

Commenting on this year’s competition CITB Careers Category Manager Stephen George said: "SkillBuild brings the best out of the UK’s most promising construction trainees and apprentices. It teaches them to use their skills under pressure, to work to deadlines and to produce high quality work. The talent on display in this year’s competition was a credit to competitors and their trainers. It augurs well for industry, too.

"There are great opportunities for skilled construction workers in the UK. Demand for labour is high as the economy recovers from the pandemic. CITB estimates that over 217,000 new construction jobs will be created between now and 2025. It’s important that we increase the number of people in construction, the example of SkillBuild competitors will help do that. I wish all the competitors the very best in their careers."

Deputy CEO of WorldSkills UK, Ben Blackledge, says that success in UK-wide finals is a litmus test for the future of the economy. He said: “These young people are a real inspiration. They are an example to us all and are to be congratulated. To have excelled after such a difficult year shows their dedication and drive is second to none. Skills are the lifeblood of every economy, creating high quality jobs, rewarding careers, inward investment and growth.”

The full list of Gold, Silver, Bronze & Highly Commended contestants is on the Go Construct site along with a film of the virtual Skillbuild and World Skills UK award ceremony presented by Steph McGovern.

 

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