Illustration of an alarm bell

We are delighted to announce that Shrewsbury Colleges Group students have taken home gold and silver medals at the annual SkillBuild National Finals.

SkillBuild, delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board, is the largest multi-trade skills competition in the UK, and is commonly dubbed the ‘skills Olympics’, reflecting the level of competition on offer.

The results, which were announced by British journalist and presenter Steph McGovern, saw Charlie Kelsey and Cameron Zaman, who are apprenticed with Ricoh UK Products Limited (RPL), take home gold in the Manufacturing Team Challenge. An even greater achievement considering they competed as the only pair in a competition designed for teams of three.

This year’s manufacturing competition brief was titled ‘Marble Madness’, with participating teams having to design, manufacture and program a machine which could pick up and transport up to 1,000 8mm diameter magnetic balls within a 10-minute time frame, using no form of magnetism. There were also several ‘surprise challenges’ that tested the duo's wider engineering skills.

Ben Price (pictured), who competed for 18-hours to produce an extremely complex roof, collected a silver medal in the carpentry category, with the judges making note of both his excellent craftmanship, but also for aiding a struggling fellow contestant, persuading him to continue and talking him through a complex setting.
Commenting on the results, Curriculum Director for Construction Stuart Raine said: “Ben is a pleasure to teach, his thirst for developing skills is invigorating, and he has developed a very strong mindset amongst his peers.

“He is a credit to his company, and we are extremely grateful that he could compete at both regional and national level.”

Elsewhere, Charlie Oliver was recognised in the plumbing category, with the judges awarding him ‘highly commended’ for his efforts.

Everyone at the college would like to say a massive congratulations to all those who participated for their exemplary efforts.

Ben’s competition piece is currently being displayed in the Woodworking Machine Shop on campus.

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