20-year-old Level 3 NVQ Plastering Apprentice, Cory Bruce, from Gateshead, has secured first place in the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Skill Build 2017 senior competition at Leeds College of Building.
Cory, who works four days per week at specialist construction services company, MGM Limited in Team Valley and studies one day at Northumberland College's Ashington Campus, competed against other colleges from across the North last month and now stands a strong chance in securing a spot in the National Finals, after placing first in the senior plastering heat.
The competition, which is organised by CITB, has been running for more than 45 years and sees the very best in construction talent compete against each other to be crowned the Skill Build winner in their chosen craft occupation.
The senior competition, which Cory competed in, is designed for those who are studying a minimum of NVQ Level 2 in their chosen craft occupation.
Prior to the competition, organisers request competitors to cut out a panel mould, which is used for the duration of the heat. Competitors are allocated six hours under exam conditions to then create a specific decorative housing piece, using their pre-made profile.
Cory said: "Coming first in this competition has given me a lot of confidence and I am so proud of my achievement.
"The course I am currently doing at College has provided me with the advanced skills to be able to take part in such a competition, whilst also developing my employability skills for going forward within the industry.
"The tutors here are excellent, so friendly, supportive and experienced. They encouraged me to compete, which is great and I know now having such a skill on my CV will be beneficial to my career within the industry."
Cory had been working in the plastering industry for over a year, and returned to College as an Apprentice to gain further qualifications to be able to advance in the plastering trade, which include modules on heritage craft techniques that are used within period property restoration,
David Hancock, plastering tutor at Northumberland College said: "Northumberland College are the only College in the area who specialise in this course.
Cory completely embraced the skill build competition and he fully deserves his first place award."
Sam Mitchell, Apprenticeship Officer said: "Cory has been an exceptional apprentice from day one of his apprenticeship; with an infectious passion and enthusiasm for his trade as well as being extremely conscientious, determined and demonstrating excellent skill. Cory is excelling in College and on site and is without a doubt one of the best apprentices I have worked with to date, he is a credit to CITB, Northumberland College and MGM and should be proud of his accomplishments thus far."
The National Final will take place in November and if Cory has secured enough points from his regional heat, he will be competing against other finalists from across the UK.
Students on a NVQ Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Plastering study a range of modules and techniques including how to install dry lining and plasterboard products to interiors, produce plaster components, position and secure fibrous plaster components, apply plaster materials to produce complex internal and external surfaces, from screeds and granolithic finishes and how to prepare and run in-situ moulds.
Facilities in Northumberland College's brand-new Technology Park boast the latest industry-standard equipment across both the Construction and Engineering and Renewables Academies.
Following an Ofsted inspection that was carried out in May 2017, Northumberland College was praised for its clear vision to deliver high quality learning and its findings confirm the college as one of the best in the region.
Northumberland College are currently enrolling for September 2017.
To find out more about courses in construction at Northumberland College please visit www.northumberland.ac.uk