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Trio celebrate national success for Crawley College

14 December 2022

Crawley College students brought home a hat-trick of medals, including gold, at a recent national competition. 

Five woodwork students travelled up to Cardiff to compete in the final of the Foundation Skills: Woodworking section at this year’s SkillBuild competition, which is delivered in partnership with WorldSkills UK. 

After months of preparation and dedication culminating in a competitive final, held at Cardiff and Vale College, the students were delighted to discover that they were bringing back the gold, silver, and bronze medal to the college. 
 
Sam Johnson was awarded gold, with Ollie Sayers and Dantina Gillett taking silver and bronze respectively. They were joined at the competition by Matt McCarthy and Adam Szewc, who were highly commended for their efforts. 

The team were supported throughout their entire competition journey by staff and fellow students, who cheered them all the way – including tuning in to a special broadcast hosted by TV presenter Steph McGovern. 

Thrilled with the outcome, Sam said: “I really enjoyed the day, it was a great experience which helped me improve my ability to work under pressure with time constraints. 

“I’d definitely recommend entering into it.” 

All five students had worked exceptionally hard on projects throughout the year building up to the competition which pushed their skills to the next level. 

Dantina said: “When I was first asked to sign up, I almost said no but I am super glad I didn’t.  

“At first, I was very nervous about the competition but when it came around it was very enjoyable, the venue was nice, and everyone was super welcoming.  

“If anyone gets the opportunity to sign up, I highly recommend it, it’s a great experience.” 

SkillBuild is the largest multi-trade competition in the UK for construction trainees and apprentices. 

Through each stage, competitors are assessed on their technical abilities, time management, character, and commitment. 

Jeremy Ridley, lecturer in wood trades at Crawley College, said: “I am so extremely proud of the woodworking learners we took to Cardiff and the outcome was just fantastic.   

“It is a big thing to attend a national competition and they represented themselves and the college with distinction.  

“I look forward to seeing these students inspire future SkillBuild competitors while pushing their own abilities to the next level.” 
 
Sally Challis-Manning MBE, Principal at Crawley College, added: “This is an incredible achievement by our Crawley College students. To take all three medals in this competition is simply outstanding. 
 
“They worked very hard, supported by our fantastic team and they have really done us all proud. 
 
“And their performance put the wider Chichester College Group second in the table for Foundation Skills medal points, which is truly outstanding. Congratulations to Sam, Ollie and Dantina.”