Construction Industry Training Board NI (CITB NI) has launched its annual SkillBuild NI competition search for the top local construction apprentices from across Northern Ireland. Each year SkillBuild NI brings together the top and brightest talent in a bid to win in categories ranging from brickwork to wall and floor tiling. It also helps to shine a light on the enormous talent, professionalism and brightest recruits that exists across the industry.

The Skillbuild NI competition is designed to test skills, technique and ability within tight timeframes in order to win coveted titles in 10 different trade areas. It is a great opportunity to showcase and celebrate the high level of skills and the impressive talent within the workforce. It reflects the high standards of training in our local training network and the commitment to excellence demonstrated by the competitors. Skillbuild NI is about raising the status and standards of professional and technical education and training.

CITB NI will host Skillbuild NI National Finals 2020 on Tuesday 19 May 2020 at their Training Centre at Nutts Corner. Winners will have the opportunity to represent Northern Ireland in the Skillbuild UK or Skill M&E UK National Finals and potentially the UK at WorldSkills.

SkillBuild NI 2020 was launched during a series of NI wide events during the inaugural NI Apprenticeship week (#NIAW2020) 3-7 Feb. CITB NI’s involvement throughout the week provided the opportunity to showcase their commitment to encouraging skills and training for those employed or intending to be employed within the construction industry in NI as well as signpost employers to the range of support available to placing apprentices.

Highlights of CITB NI events during NI Apprenticeship Week 2020 included:

  • Promotion of The Apprenticeship Endeavor Award in partnership with Radius Housing which awards a construction craft apprentice who has overcome adversity to complete training. Winner will be announced at SkillBuild NI Finals in May. Closing date for entry is 14 February 2020.
  • Pop up mobile construction event in CITB NI’s bespoke Mobile Training Unit at Belfast City Hall, and other venues across NI, which provides advice and guidance on construction apprenticeships and careers.
  • Emerging technologies – 4 interactive sessions with 5 post primary schools who offer GCSE construction covering key areas of emerging technology and exploring the adoption and impact of these within the construction industry.
  • Tomorrow’s Engineers Robotics competition with Sentius featuring 24 schools competing using EV3 lego Minstrom robot. Students also had access to the view CITB NI’s virtual environment simulator, VET360.

Barry Neilson, Chief Executive, CITB NI said:

“ We are delighted to be taking part in the inaugural NI Apprenticeship Week. The construction industry needs apprentices to help the industry develop and grow. Offering young people apprenticeships gives businesses the chance to play an active role in moulding their future workforce and creating the future skills that they need to help their businesses develop. #NIAW2020 is an essential platform to enable us to share our apprenticeship success stories as well as encourage construction employers to place an apprenticeship as well as signpost them to the support available. During the week we also launched our annual construction skills competition – Skillbuild NI.  We are proud to have been involved in construction skills competitions for over 40 years and we have a record of success at skills competitions not only on a local level but also on a regional, national and world level.”

Barry added:
“Throughout the week we also promoted the inspiring Apprenticeship Endeavor Award in partnership with Radius House as well as looked into the future to get an understating on how emerging technologies will impact on the industry.  It is an exciting time for apprenticeships in the construction industry and CITB NI is committed to continuing with providing the industry with all the necessary development, training and support.”

For further details on SkillBuild NI and CITB NI support for apprenticeships and employers  visit

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