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Alan OrchardOur Wall and Floor Tiling student Alan Orchard, is celebrating after making it through to the SkillBuild national finals taking place on 17th November at Birmingham NEC.

Following the regional heats held in May, Alan is the only one from a Northwest college to secure a place to compete for a place at the SkillBuild world finals in Dubai next year.

SkillBuild is the largest multi-skilled construction competition in the country covering ten craft occupations including, wall and floor tiling, bricklaying and plastering. The competition has been running for over 45 years and sees the very best in construction talent compete against each other to be crowned the SkillBuild winner in their chosen trade.

Alan Orchard, 31, from Thatto Heath, took home first place in the senior category and was overjoyed to hear that he had achieved his place at the national competition after gaining the 2nd highest mark in the country.

Speaking about the competition Alan said, “SkillBuild is a great experience to showcase your skills, I really enjoyed competing at regionals and was delighted to secure my place in the finals. I have always told myself that if you want to do something, do the best at it”.

Alan added “ I would really like to thank my tutors, especially Liam McArdle for his support and guidance in preparing me in the build up to the competition.”

St Helens College has dominated the regional competition for four years running, taking home a win every year.

Tiling tutor, Barry McDermott, was keen to praise the student for all his hard work leading up to the event. Barry said “I am very proud of all our students not just for winning SkillBuild but for their excellence in tiling. We are fortunate at this College to have the excellent facilities and talented tiling students to win at SkillBuild year after year. Alan has worked very hard, he is an excellent student who is determined to be the best, he is a credit to St Helens College.”

Alan who previously worked as a labourer before joining the course hopes to start his own business once he has gained his qualifications.

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Take part in industry competitions like SkillBuild. Our students have won every year.

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