GALLERY: Norwich students carry the day in skills contest

Students have pitted their talents against each other in an innovative new vocational skills competition.

Contestants from City College Norwich, Barnfield College in Luton, Cambridge Regional College, and North Herts College took part in timed practical tasks. They were observed and judged by leading local industry figures at City College on Ipswich Road on Friday.

Competitions in site carpentry, bench joinery, motor vehicle body work and motor vehicle mechanics tested the students' ability to work under scrutiny and time constraints.

The students deemed to have worked to the highest standard within the time limit won high standard tools, as well as a CV-boosting certificate.

Simon Hughes, 26, a level 2 motor vehicle technology student from Hethersett, had five hours to replace a cylinder head and gasket on a Peugeot Citro�n engine, a time expected of full-time professionals: 'You've always got to test yourself, to see how good you really are. I just wanted to see how good I am, see if I can do it in the time limit,' he said.

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Simon added: 'There are just no jobs anywhere at the minute; anything extra you can add to your portfolio is a good thing.

'If you can say you were involved in something like this then it makes it more likely that someone will take you on.'

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The college's principal, Dick Palmer, is a local advocate and promoter of World Skills UK, which runs national competitions like this one. This is the first time the eastern colleges have held their own independent regional competition.

Mr Palmer said: 'This is a fantastic way of showing what skills-based learning can do. It's also important to show businesses that Norwich is a great place to base themselves and to get the recruits they need to make them thrive.

'It's also about showing that young people in Norwich have the capacity to exhibit their skills and that we have confidence in our training standards.'

The carpentry competition was won by Jamie Arnold of Barnfield College, whilst City College Norwich students Dickon Housman, Daniel Medlar and Sam Harwood won the joinery, motor vehicle mechanics and motor vehicle body competitions respectively. The team challenge was won by Paige Summers, Will Kent and Soterios Georgiou, all of City College.

Are you taking part in a prestigious competition? Contact the Evening News on 01603 772443 or email

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