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16th February 2018
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BAL expert judges Skillbuild tilers
Skillbuild 2013, the UK's largest multi-trade competition for construction trainees and apprentices, is underway - and, as always, David Rowley has been invited to judge tilers. David is BAL's training centre manager and a longstanding Skillbuild judge. He has judged the wall and floor tiling category at the Skillbuild National Finals every year since 2005 and this is his fifth consecutive year of also judging the Regional Heats.
"Every year we meet outstanding entrants," he says, "and 2013 is no exception. Daryll Dailly, who won April's first heat at Angus College, would have shone in any of the competitions of the last decade. I was judging strong candidates all the way through to the last heat at Lakes College in June."
Candidates had a day to complete the set tiling test during the heats. The test was designed to examine their abilities throughout a tiling project from preparation through to finishing.
The highest scoring heat winners now face a much sterner test at the National Final, which lasts three days and culminates in an awards evening. This will be held within The Skills Show, from 14th to 16th November, at the National Exhibition Centre.
"All candidates have a combination of knowledge, ranging from substrates and material types to product characteristics, but Skillbuild is where we test their practical skills," says David. "It is not enough to know all the theory of tiling, they have to be able to use all the tools skilfully as well."
There is no doubting David Rowley's qualifications as a tiling judge. He was already an experienced tiler when he joined BAL in 1992. He has filled a number of roles since then, earning both the National Training Award and the TTA Outstanding Employee Award, and serves on the TTA Training Committee.
One achievement is unlikely ever to be matched: he has now personally trained around 10,000 fixers. He says: "I'm very proud to have helped with that contribution to raising fixing standards. Judging tilers for Skillbuild is another way to help with our never-ending commitment to providing better tiling."
2nd August 2013