Sussex Downs College regional brick layer champion Steve Tate receives £800 in sponsorship from Eastbourne Homes to help him progress in the Guild of Bricklayers and Skill Build competitions.
Steven, 18, from Eastbourne, won both the regional brick layer competitions he competed in last year, and is aiming to achieve the same result this year and progress onwards and upwards. Steven’s outstanding performance caught the attention of Paul Boast from Eastbourne Homes. The local company works frequently with the College around construction, including putting around 30 students through the Construction Skills Certificate Scheme training. Speaking of the importance of investing in talented students, Paul comments, “I work within a project within Eastbourne Borough Council which puts on various projects and we take a percentage of that available money and make sure that young people get the best education, training and jobs.”
The generous £800 sponsorship was donated to Steven at the College last month (December) by Paul Boast. Delighted to be chosen to represent Sussex Downs College in the regional competitions, Steven says: “You don’t usually get the chance to represent your college like this, so it’s fantastic to have this opportunity.”
Steven is currently completing an apprenticeship at Bishop and Levett, spending four days a week in the workplace and one day in College. Alongside this he’s always training and developing his skills for the competitions.
Juggling everything isn’t easy but Steven identifies that the hardest part was “the competition itself, because you’ve got just six hours to complete the task and for the scale of work, you’ve got to do it’s quite a lot to complete.” Although this was the most challenging aspect, it didn’t faze Steven, who came out of the competition a champion, following in his brothers’ footsteps. He had competed in similar competitions during his time at the College.
The generous £800 sponsorship from Eastbourne Homes will help Steven enormously: “The money will really help with buying equipment because the tools can get quite expensive and specialised equipment is essential for the competition.”
Steven’s next competitions will be the regional heats for the Guild of Bricklayers and SkillBuild. If he gains enough points from these, he can then progress onto the nationals.
Steven’s success was not a surprise to his supportive tutor Nigel Edwards. He says, “Steve is a highly motivated bricklayer with a lot of skill and knowledge, so I will say confidently that he will win both regional heats as he did last year.”
If Steven is successful in the SkillBuild nationals this year, he could reach the WorldSkills stage, competing for a place on the UK Squad. Speaking about how Steven can achieve this Nigel said, “With a little bit more work to get good marks, his points tally increases and he’s got a good chance of going onto the nationals, which is where he should be.”
Sussex Downs College has previously played host to several other champions and Nigel has already starting preparing new brickwork students for future competitions. Hopefully Steven’s success he will inspire the next potential champions to follow suit.