Paul Doran, Lecturer at Southern Regional College and WorldSkills UK Training Manager, Wall and Floor Tiling, explains how he’s continuing to deliver world-class training during lockdown thanks to our generous partners. 

These are unprecedented times for the construction industry. As organisations refocus their efforts on introducing and navigating new ways of working, it is clear a highly skilled workforce will be absolutely critical for the future of the UK Construction industry.

With this in mind, I was determined that despite the challenges that the construction industry was facing with Covid-19, I would do whatever it took to keep training the Squad UK members in Wall and Floor Tiling. Selected after excelling in the WorldSkills UK Nationals Finals, run in partnership with CITB, at LIVE last November, I am working with four extremely talented young tilers: Dylan Calvert, Odhran Connolly, Dylan Gillanders who all attend Southern Regional College and Morgan Swift who attends City of Glasgow College. All of them are working hard to try and secure the one place to represent the UK in Wall and Floor Tiling at EuroSkills Graz and at WorldSkills Shanghai in 2021.

I was only able to continue with planning and delivering the training because of the generous support of our main sponsor Nicobond, who supply us with materials. We also receive fantastic support from BAL AdhesivesThe Tile Association and the Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers.

All of the sponsors support our participation in the WorldSkills event because they know training for the competition enhances a young person’s apprenticeship, helping to drive up standards in the construction industry. By focusing on specific skills and techniques that underpin international best practise in tiling, we are preparing young people to thrive at the highest level in work. An understanding of this will not only help them when they are competing on the world stage but will support their career progression from apprentice to a senior position on site in a relatively short amount of time. Employers and training providers, I have spoken with, have remarked on the positive impact competitions have had on their wider workforce, who, spurred on by the apprentices’ success and competition ethos have been encouraged to look at their own training needs and processes.

Working with key partners in industry, like Nicobond, also enables WorldSkills UK to use the insight gained at the competition to help support the government’s ambition of developing a world-leading technical education sector. It is my hope that this insight can be used to inform the future development of apprentices in our industry so we can continually raise standards and attract talented individuals who will drive our industry forward.

Our training for EuroSkills Graz 2021 and WorldSkills Shanghai 2021 is not what I initially planned, but I am confident that despite new ways of training, Team UK will deliver a performance on the international stage that our sponsors, the construction industry and the whole of the UK can be proud of.

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