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Highlands students to show their skills at inter-island contest

13 March 2019

Construction tools

​Four Highlands College students will take part at an inter-island competition this week to showcase the skills they have learnt during their apprenticeships.

The Skills Test Competition, organised by University College Isle of Man, will take place on Friday 15 March. Now in its fourth year, the contest brings together around fifty apprentices from across the islands to compete against each other in an exciting construction challenge.

The students are provided with materials, then have six hours to demonstrate skills in their area of expertise including brickwork, plumbing, or electrical installation. Industry representatives then judge the students’ work to determine which apprentices have the best construction skills.

The four apprentices representing Jersey are

  • Hannah Willcocks – plumbing apprentice, working for Amalgamated Facilities Management Ltd
  • Reece O’Donohoe – painting and decorating apprentice, working for Tower Shopfitting and Construction Ltd
  • Ben Le Cornu – electrical apprentice, working for DIS Electrical Contractors
  • Thomas Myhill – carpentry and joinery apprentice, working for Heritage Joinery.

All four students will fly to the Isle of Man to take part in the contest, sponsored by Garenne Construction.

Marc Burton, Chief Executive of Garenne Construction in the Channel Islands, explained that the contest will allow students to showcase their construction-related skills. He said: “The Garenne Construction Group is proud to be supporting students heading to the inter-island skills competition in the Isle of Man as part of our ongoing commitment to Highlands College. The competition tests skills in brickwork, carpentry, electrical installation, painting and decorating, and plumbing, and we wish the students the best of luck when they participate in their category.”

Hannah, a second-year plumbing apprentice, said that she is excited to take part in the competition. She said: “I am looking forward to putting into practise the skills that I use at work, in particular working with copper. In order to prepare myself, I have been using the specification from last year’s competition. They used copper pipe and fittings to create an acronym of the university’s name using various methods such as pipe bending and soldering.

“The competition will be great for Highlands College and I hope it will encourage more people to consider construction as a career option, an industry I am very proud of. Learning a trade is such a valuable skill.”

More information about the competition can be found on the University College Isle of Man website.

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