A UK-wide competition for professional bricklayers was held at the colleges’ Rainham campus on Monday – showcasing some outstanding trade skills from the industry.
It was the second time that the college hosted the challenge – and it is hoped that it will become a ‘legacy event’ inspiring our students to become expert bricklayers.
Leading building products manufacturer Forterra sponsored The Best in London Brick competition which saw bricklayers from across the UK compete to build a detailed structure from a bespoke diagram within a six-hour timeframe.
The winner was Alfred Thompson, from Ilford, who is employed by Swift Brickwork Contractors. Other entrants included last year’s winner Reggie Staponkus, as well as a college tutor and a former bricklayer who went on to found the company Brick Jackets Ltd.
The judges, Paul Eaglestone, contracts manager at Stak Construction, and Dean Degun, senior project manager at Swift, commented on the hard task they had in choosing a winner. Dean said: “There was such good quality on display here today, some lovely workmanship. I’d have every single one of the competitors working for me on my team.”
Bob Noseda, Havering Colleges’ sector skills adviser, said: "Many of our bricklaying students came along to watch the experts in action, which we hope will motivate and inspire them - who knows, some may even compete in years to come!
"I hope the competition will become a legacy event for the college. We need more competitions of this kind to showcase the remarkable skills and talent we have in the construction industry."
Ken Blatt, Area Sales Manager for Forterra, who attended the competition, added: "It was a great event today with superb workmanship in evidence. In donating our London Bricks for this competition, we hope to help raise the standard of bricklaying in Britain, with a view to filling technical skills gaps and bolstering UK productivity."
Industry support on the day came from Forterra, Swift Brickwork, Stak Construction, Brick Development Association (BDA), CPI Euromix, Brick Jackets Ltd, HSS Training, OX Tools Global and Rollins Group.