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Taking up the trowel

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This spring, students at construction colleges across the county competed in the Guild of Bricklayers Competitions regional heats, where demanding test pieces, built against the clock, called for quality of the highest order.

Winners progress to the Skill Build National finals at Ballymena in June, with the prospect of going for gold at the 2003 international Youth Skills Olympics.

Substantial sponsorship comes from many member companies and this year there is the added support of a new cross-industry action group - the Better Brickwork Alliance. Reinvigorating and increasing support for the competitions is one of several BBA initiatives to expand the skills base by encouraging new entrants to a career in bricklaying.

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