Colleges Week Exclusive: Celebrating NCG Skills

This Colleges Week 2021, NCG is celebrating the success of its first group-wide skills competition as it announces plans for a second year, with a new video that looks back at its highlights and the impact that it has had on learners.

NCG Skills was launched earlier this year, with regional heats in individual colleges and national competition between the top scorers. Those winners were put forward for a place in the national WorldSkills UK competition, where they will have the chance to test their skills against learners from colleges across the UK.

Carlisle College student Nell Tomlinson was one NCG Skills winner who has now reached the national finals in Joinery. She said: “The NCG Skills Competition was such an enjoyable experience. I had not done anything like it before, but it was great to utilise all the skills I had developed throughout the two years I had spent at Carlisle College.

“Winning the NCG Skills Competition meant I was put forward for the National Skillbuild competition, but it was totally unexpected when I received an email one morning telling me I had been shortlisted. It is a really exciting opportunity and I am looking forward to taking part in the finals in November. I feel incredibly lucky to have had such a good group of peers and supportive tutors whilst at Carlisle College, and it has prepared me well for my current studies at Sheffield Hallam University where I’m studying interior architecture and design.”

Developed with funding from Crescent Publishing Consortium and support from NOCN and a range of employer partners from L’Oreal to EPA Construction, NCG Skills was created by NCG to shine a light on the vital skills of industries including construction and hospitality and to give students the opportunity to gain work experience, develop their practical skills and improve their employability skills by interacting with employers.

NCG Chief Executive Liz Bromley said: “I am so incredibly excited to confirm that NCG Skills will become an annual event, with the next round of competitions kicking off across our colleges very soon.

“It chimes brilliantly with our mission of social mobility through economic prosperity and it was great to shine a light on the achievements of our students, colleagues and partners, and in particular those skills and jobs most impacted by the COVID19 pandemic. I cannot wait to see next year’s competitors push themselves, our colleges and all of NCG, even further.”

Tom Burton, Group Director of Apprenticeships at NOCN, commented: “Skills competitions such as those that NCG organises are a vital part of the drive to a highly productive and high skilled technical workforce. The design and rigour of NCG Skills ensures that both apprentices and full-time learners are allowed to showcase both their flair and their advanced technical craft.

“NOCN Group is delighted to be able to support these initiatives and as Group Director of Apprenticeships, and a former competitor in catering competitions, these do bring out the very best in learners, but are also key in the preparation for End Point Assessment. ”

Jasmin Lewis, Head of End-Point Assessment at EPA Construction said: “We are really excited to be supporting the NCG skills competition. The competition is a chance for apprentices to showcase their skills and gain recognition for all their hard work. As a construction specialist EPAO, we strongly support excellence within construction apprenticeships, which is why we are so passionate about supporting NCG with the competition this year.”

The regional heats for NCG Skills 2022 will be announced soon.