Persistence pays off at Skillbuild
A third-year plastering student from Accrington & Rossendale College has proved that persistence pays off, by walking off with the top plastering prize in the national 2006 Skillbuild competition, at his second attempt.
Rikki Gray, who made it to regional level in last year’s competition, beat off 12 other 2006 Regional Finalists to triumph in the prestigious Skillbuild plastering competition, which is sponsored by British Gypsum.
The annual Skillbuild competition, designed to recognise excellence amongst young craftspeople in the UK, is a challenging and prestigious experience for young trainee plasterers, and for their colleges. It offers an opportunity to compete in regional heats, with the winner going through to the 3-day final. The finalists are set a variety of practical skills to demonstrate, from skimming and single coat plastering to running and fixing ornate plaster mouldings and coving.
Commenting after the final, held this year at Barnfield College in Luton, Rikki said,” It’s a great experience for trainees like myself – a real pressure environment, but it teaches you about yourself, and you learn something new each time you compete. I’d encourage all colleges to enter their trainees”.
Jonathan Cherry, Manager of British Gypsum’s Drywall Academy, who presented Rikki with a cheque for £250 and a special Thistle plasterers toolkit, said, “British Gypsum has been sponsoring and supporting the training of plasterers and dryliners in the UK for 40 years, and has always been particularly keen to attract and support young tradesmen, on whose shoulder the future of the industry will depend.
“As a measure of our involvement with the competition, we have just appointed last year’s winner, Adam Lockyer, as a trainee instructor for our new Erith training centre. Adam is our youngest-ever appointment to this role, and the work he did for the competition was a major factor in our decision to offer him the post”.
The awards were presented on the 13th October at Bedfordshire’s Whipsnade Wild Animal Park.