Conor Dallas, Apprentice Joiner, won the SkillBuild NI Regional Qualifier for Joinery resulting in selection for the SkillBuild UK National Final. Conor is a first-year apprentice studying at Northern Regional College (NRC) and working with leading fit out contractor, Mivan.
SkillBuild, delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), is the largest multi-trade competition in the UK for construction trainees and apprentices. As the biggest and longest running construction skills competition, they are looking for skill and talent that is built to last.
A series of competitions sees the very best compete against each other to be crowned a winner in their chosen trade. As each level of competition progresses, competitors will be tested on their technical abilities, time management, character, and commitment. Helping to develop confidence, self-esteem, and life skills.
The Regional Qualifiers run UK-wide, from February to June each year. These one-day events bring together apprentices and trainees, with the overall eight highest-scoring competitors in each specialist skill going through to the next round – the SkillBuild UK National Final.
Conor’s route to the final started back in February 2022 when he won the NRC inter-campus joinery competition in Newtownabbey. This led to the CITBNI Regional Qualifier in May 2022 where 79 of the brightest recruits and top performers within construction apprenticeships programmes from across Northern Ireland competed against each other. Conor finished in 1st place beating twelve other competitors in the joinery category.
He will join competitors from across the UK in November for a three-day event, as part of WorldSkills UK ‘LIVE’ held in Edinburgh. Medals are awarded at a closing ceremony, with the potential for the highest-scoring eligible recipients to join the WorldSkills UK ‘Squad UK’ and progress into international competition.
Commenting on his achievement, Conor said “When I started with Mivan in August 2021, I immediately started learning in the dedicated Apprentice Workshop, reading, and interpreting drawings to make basic joints and simple joinery. Then once I started to attend college, I was already a step ahead of the other students. I am certain without this start and the guidance provided by Mivan I would not have progressed so quickly and ultimately won the qualifier.”
Conor added, “winning was good but the skills I have developed throughout the year is the most pleasing aspect. I can see real progress in my ability. I can interpret drawings, use different hand tools, different power tools and create what the drawing requests. There is no more satisfying feeling.”
John Cunningham, CEO of Mivan, said, “We are absolutely thrilled that Conor won the regional qualifier and extremely proud he has been selected for the SkillBuild UK National Final – a first for a Mivan Apprentice. Conor’s success is a great testament to both himself and the Mivan Apprenticeship Programme. With a dedicated workshop for apprentices, we believe this gives the best environment for progression. Ten new apprentices started in August, and we will start recruitment process for 2023 apprentices in the new year.”
“Conor has applied himself to the role very well and exceeds in all areas. His attitude is fantastic. I look forward to supporting his future development and providing all the help he needs for the National Finals in November. We presented Conor with a gift to recognise his success and hope it aids his progress.”
Mivan has over 45 years’ experience creating luxury interior experiences for our clients. Working collaboratively with architects, designers, contractors, and suppliers to deliver excellence in everything that we do. The company successfully operates in a broad range of sectors including luxury hotels, prime residential, museums, stadiums, arenas, commercial offices, modular solutions and marine.