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BAL supports SkillBuild finals

BAL has continued to support SkillBuild – the UK’s biggest construction skills competition – in its most successful competition to date.

SkillBuild is now in its third year and is run by the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board). The competition sees the very best students from Regional Heats compete in ten construction occupations, including tiling, to be crowned the overall SkillBuild winner in their chosen trade.

The SkillBuild 2014 National Final was held in front of more than 74,000 people at The Skills Show 2014 at Birmingham’s NEC from 13 to 15 November.

Competitors were judged on their tiling techniques and ability over the three-day event, which saw students being set tiling challenges including a complex design incorporating the Brazilian flag and a visual depiction of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio De Janeiro statue.

BAL provided materials and sponsored the 3rd place prize, while Dave Rowley, BAL Training Manager, acted as Lead Judge at both the Finals and the 8 Regional Heats throughout the year.

Winner of the overall wall and floor tiling competition was Armondas Tamulis from Southern Regional College in Northern Ireland, with Malcolm Worley from St Helens College taking home the silver medal and Paul Walker, a tiling student from Cardiff and Vale College, who won the bronze medal.

Armondas and Malcolm will now go onto the International Shortlist and compete for a chance to represent Squad UK at the WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi in 2017. Unfortunately Paul is above the age threshold to represent the UK at WorldSkills.

Les Inkpen, SkillBuild Project Manager, commented: “The standard at the event was extremely high, with many talented tilers proving that the future of the profession is in good hands.

“Armondas, Malcolm and Paul proved worthy medallists, with their tiling skills being rated significantly higher than the scoring threshold to represent the UK at WorldSkills.

“We had nearly 100 tilers enter the competition at the Regional Level , which is a significant increase from a few years’ ago, however  we are always looking to boost the number of competitors.

“ I would like to thank BAL for their support over the years, and it is fantastic that they are involved again this year.”

BAL has sponsored regional and national SkillBuild tiling competitions since 2009, while Dave Rowley has acted as Lead Judge since 2003.

Commenting on the final, Dave said: “We were delighted to once again provide support and sponsorship at the SkillBuild 2014 National Final and to take such an active part in judging the competition, while we are looking forward to supporting the 2015 competition.

“It was extremely hard to judge as all the competitors had been trained to a very high standard and performed exceptionally well under such difficult and tense conditions.

“At BAL we value training and innovation highly with more than 50 years of technological development and training experience behind us, so to lead the judging at the SkillBuild was a real honour.

“Continuing professional development and training is key to ensuring the industry continues to meet the highest standards, which is why we have invested in a state-of-the-art Innovation and Technology Centre which is due to open in March 2015.”

For more information on the Innovation and Technology Centre and upcoming courses call 01782 591120.

Entries for the 2015 SkillBuild competition are being accepted from February until March. For more information visit www.citb.co.uk/careers-in-construction/experience-it/skillbuild/

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