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Best Practice Exchange

We hosted a best practice exchange with international experts and educators to transfer global best practice and champion higher quality training standards within the UK.


Key learnings

The difference in variation in the qualification dependent on where Colin believes the variations in the qualification dependent on where the learner is based in the UK Is an issue. There is different content and aspects covered within each country. The skill has become somewhat fragmented essentially splitting the trade into three qualifications; Plastering, drylining and fibrous plastering whereas historically all three of these aspects were covered within the one specific City and Guilds qualification. As the International Training manager, Colin would prefer for learners to have a good all-round knowledge base on all aspects of the trade.  Colin believes the new qualifications that are coming in will help improve this but there will still be significant gaps in learners achieving a more rounded qualification.

Competition is what lifts a plasterer to a WorldSkills level plasterer.  It doesn’t matter if it’s in the classroom or workshop, developing small or large “pressure tests” and creating that competitive environment and atmosphere will raise the level of learners.  Competitions help drive standards and passion in young people. Another important aspect is involving the learners in the marking process of their work to understand where marks are won and lost.

The importance of having the ability to plan accordingly cannot be stressed enough. It is crucial whilst it’s not specifically a technical skill gap, Colin stressed the importance of learners having the ability to plan accordingly. It is crucial to be able to plan their work properly, sequencing operations and allocating a suitable amount of time based on the required drying time. This could also be described as multitasking. For example, rather than standing around after putting a finishing coat on one wall and waiting for it to dry the learners should be finishing taping and jointing on another. It’s a common theme seen all the way from regional competitions right through to onsite work. In summary this planning process transfers into everyday working life; Think your way through the process. Use a watch. Prepare your tools accordingly. Arrive on time. Prep your work area.

Virtual International Pressure Test

This Virtual International Pressure Test took place between WorldSkills UK Squad member Brendan Duddy and WorldSkills Brazil Squad member Leo Carvalho, supported by WorldSkills UK expert Colin McCaughey and WorldSkills Brazil expert Flavia Louise Arnold. The competition consisted of 4 modules and the competitors had 16 hrs to complete the test project.

Countries that took part

Details of the Virtual International Pressure Test

This virtual International Pressure Test was designed to replicate a normal WorldSkills Competition and the competitors were tasked with completing an adapted version of the WS Kazan 2019 Test Project.

  • DAY 1 – Module 1 & 2 WS 2019 Kazan build and insulation module

  • DAY 2 – Module 3 WS 2019 Kazan finishing module

  • DAY 3 – Module 4 WS 2019 Kazan Speed test using moulds adapted for this module


Illustration of Gold Medal

Leo Carvalho


Illustration of a silver medal

Brendan Duddy


“We felt honoured to receive the invitation.  It felt like a  real competition and this contributed a lot to our growth. We were able to recognise failures and points for improvement. The opportunity to share techniques and best practice with other experts is always enriching for everyone”.

Flavia Louise Arnold, WorldSkills Brazil expert

“It was really great to test myself against a fellow WorldSkills International competitor. I learnt a lot and got a better understanding of how marks are won and lost”

Brendan Duddy, WorldSkills UK squad member

WorldSkills Occupational Standards

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