Top roofing apprentice strikes Gold at finals

Kyle in actionA former Cornwall College St Austell student has struck gold at the WorldSkills UK roofing, slating and tiling final held in Birmingham after he beat off stiff competition from some of the best competitors across the United Kingdom to take first place.

Twenty-three-year-old Kyle Friendship, former roofing, slating and tiling apprentice at the College and employed by Graham Barker Roofing Services Ltd, progressed to the final after winning the South West heat of the competition back in June.

Competing against eight of the top roofing students in Birmingham, Kyle had 19 hours to complete two different roofing tasks: a plain tile rig and a slated rig, which were marked to the millimetre and assessed on seven different categories, including the precision of the battens, tiles, health & safety and overall appearance.

Roofing lecturer Sean Sullivan said: “Congratulations Kyle! This is the third year running that Cornwall College has won this category and each year the competition gets harder and harder. Kyle stayed very focused during the task; he kept his head down and did what he had to do, and as his lecturer I was extremely proud to observe him competing and demonstrating his skills against competitors from across the UK.

“Congratulations must also go to Sean Keener from the College who secured second place and silver in the same competition.”

Entering the WorldSkills UK competitions is proven to catapult a person’s career. Taking part enables competitors to build on their skills, test their knowledge against their peers in industry and showcase their potential to employers.

Kyle said of his success: “I was shocked to begin with, but really happy as I didn’t think I had won. At the start I was quite nervous which initially slowed me down, but everything I needed to know was on the instruction sheet so I just followed it and tried to stay one step ahead. Sean my lecturer was really good and before the competition showed me how to make some tool templates that proved really useful. I’m now hoping to go and represent the UK in the WorldSkills international competition held in Brazil.”

Simon Dixon one of the two judges at the competition said of Kyle how he committed himself to the competition, studied the schedule and his talent was obvious. He also acknowledged the training given at the College and said that this was another great result for the South West.

Andrew Bragg, Director of Graham Barker Roofing Services Ltd, said: “We are really pleased with what Kyle has achieved and grateful for all the support that Sean from the College has given him. Kyle is a hard-working lad who has been working for us for just over three years now and since leaving the College he is now in charge of his own gang and one of the youngest to be doing so for us.”

Amarjit Basi, Principal and CEO of The Cornwall College Group, said: “I am delighted with our continued success in the WorldSkills competitions. Over the years we have had a good succession of students taking part in the national finals and that is a credit to the College, the lecturing team, the employers and the lads themselves. It also goes to show that the high quality apprenticeship schemes we provide at Cornwall College equip our learners with the skills, professionalism and dedication that allow them to secure sustainable employment and make huge contributions to the local economy.”

(Thank you to The Cornwall College Group for allowing us permission to reprint this article)