Kidderminster College students were named winners at an annual national skills competition hosted by NCG, taking away three of the ten prizes.

NCG Skills brings together students from colleges across NCG every February. Returning for its fourth year, Lewisham College welcomed students from five colleges in areas including carpentry, hairdressing, hospitality and catering, joinery, painting and decorating and more.

Learners competed against each other in front of a panel of expert employer judges, showcasing a huge range of skills.

Kidderminster College produced three winners, including Eryn O’Conner in the beauty category, Connor Irwin in the joinery category, and Bradley Valthuysen in the carpentry category.

Connor Irwin said, “It was great fun meeting other students across NCG and competing against them. I learnt a lot more about joinery, and it will help me a lot with jobs in the future to say I won a competition.”

The NCG Skills competition is all about putting students’ knowledge and skills to the test through a series of practical tasks in real work experience environments, preparing them for the reality of producing their best work under pressure.

Modelled on WorldSkills, a global network of competition-based training, assessment, and benchmarking for young people, NCG Skills offers students the chance to be put forward for regional and national competitions and represent their college on the national stage.

The competition was judged by experts in each of the categories alongside education specialists NOCN, Construction EPA, VTCT and representatives from WorldSkillsUK.

Cat Lewis, Principal of Kidderminster College commented: “Competitions like NCG Skills offer a great platform for students to put into practice what they’ve learned and learn from other competitors on the day. We’re lucky to be part of a national group that can work together to offer a hands-on experience like this for our students.

“Congratulations to all our finalists and well done to the winners. We wish them the best of luck for the next step in their career, they’re all fantastic representatives for the college.”

NCG Skills 2024 winners:

  • Bricklaying: Harvey McGreedy – Newcastle College
  • Painting and Decorating: Glen Purcell, Lewisham College
  • Joinery: Connor Irwin, Kidderminster College
  • Carpentry: Bradley Valthuysen, Kidderminster College
  • Culinary Arts: Geoff Harney, Carlisle College
  • Plumbing: Josue Aguilar, Lewisham College
  • Electrical Installation: Jayton Wignall, Lewisham College
  • Creative media make up: Laura Kirk, Newcastle College
  • Hairdressing: Tuan Hung Dang, Newcastle College
  • Beauty: Eryn O’Connor, Kidderminster College