Michael shows he’s got the skills

Michael Surgeoner from NRC Newtownabbey, who took first place in the Skillbuild Brickwork competition, is congratulated on his success by NRC Chief Executive, Trevor Neilands. INNT 13-522CON
Michael Surgeoner from NRC Newtownabbey, who took first place in the Skillbuild Brickwork competition, is congratulated on his success by NRC Chief Executive, Trevor Neilands. INNT 13-522CON

NEWTOWNABBEY student Michael Surgeoner was among more than 100 competitors from all over the province who tested their skills at Skillbuild 2013, which was held at the Northern Regional College’s Newtownabbey campus on March 20 and 21.

Skillbuild NI is held annually each spring, with the top local construction apprentices competing to win coveted titles in 12 different construction craft areas ranging from brickwork to wall and floor tiling. The winners can then go on to represent Northern Ireland in the UK Skillbuild Finals and potentially the UK at WorldSkills.

Michael was the top performing Newtownabbey student, taking a hard-earned first place in the brickwork competition.

Presenting trophies to the winning competitors, Dr Stephen Farry, Minister for Employment and Learning said: “Skills competitions are a great way to showcase our vocational skills and demonstrate to employers and future investors the high standard of training provision which exists in our colleges and training organisations.

“We have a proud record of success at skills competitions, not only on a local level but also on a regional, national and world level. Northern Ireland’s strong representation on Team UK is testament to the high standards of technical and professional training in our colleges. We look forward to building upon past successes, and hopefully bringing home more medals from WorldSkills in Leipzig, Germany this summer.”

Ronnie Laverty, NRC Head of Faculty, Built Environment added: “We were delighted to host the Skillbuild NI National Finals at our Newtownabbey campus which offers the most up to date construction facilities completed recently as part of a £10 million new build project. Of course the competition wouldn’t be a success without competitors who are enthusiastic and committed to achieving the highest standards possible.

“Taking part in these competitions is not easy and the competition has been an intensive two days which involves working to a tight timescale but striving to maintain the highest standard of work. On behalf of NRC I would like to wish all the winners every success as they go on to represent Northern Ireland in the UK and further afield.”