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Crawley College apprentice wins place at national competition

SkillBuild is a multi-trade competition that brings together construction trainees and apprentices from across the country to compete in their chosen trades.



Crawley College joinery apprentice, Kieran Barnes.

Crawley College joinery apprentice Kieran Barnes has been selected to compete at the UK SkillBuild National Final in Birmingham 15 – 17 November 2018.

Kieran impressed judges earlier this year with his joinery skills at the SkillBuild Regional Qualifiers in Brighton and secured 1st place in senior joinery.

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Tony Manktelow, Wood Trades Lecturer at Crawley College, said: “It was a proud moment to find out Kieran was one of the highest scoring competitors and has now been selected to compete in the UK National Final.”

SkillBuild, a multi-trade competition run by the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board), brings together construction trainees and apprentices from across the country to compete in their chosen trades.

As the level of competition increases, Kieran will have to master the tricks of the trade to win the gold medal in the UK National Final. Kieran said the SkillBuild competitions are “a great way for students and apprentices at Crawley College to learn new skills and build their own confidence”.

When Kieran started studying for his A-Levels he decided it wasn’t for him and took on an Apprenticeship instead giving him the opportunity to work and study.

He said:

“From a young age I wanted to be a joiner. I would spend my time helping my uncle who is a self-employed joiner and since then I decided that I wanted to do the same.

“So I applied for an Apprenticeship at Wood and Wisdom Ltd. and I have now worked there for two years whilst studying Level 3 Joinery at Crawley College every Friday.

“An Apprenticeship is the best route for me because I get paid to train in a professional environment and earn a recognised qualification at the same time.”

Apprenticeships are fast becoming the chosen employment and training route for young people and employers alike, with around 500,000 young people starting an Apprenticeship each year in the UK.

Crawley College offers a wide range of Apprenticeships and is this year celebrating its 60th anniversary. They are inviting former students and staff to share their memories.

Kieran said: “Funnily enough, my uncle started his career as an apprentice at Crawley College nearly 40 years ago! Today I am following the same route as my uncle and one day I hope to become a successful self-employed tradesman like him”.


Meet the new head of Thomas Bennett Community College

After a turbulent year the school welcomes their new head teacher.



Mr Smith is extremely proud to have been appointed as the new permanent Head Teacher of Thomas Bennett Community College in Crawley. 

In particular, Mr Smith is excited to be working with both students and parents in the coming months and serving the community to provide an excellent education.

A highly experienced and inspiration leader, Mr Smith joins Thomas Bennett from Hastings, where he was the Principal for two secondary schools.

Mr Smith says

“my key philosophy has always been to do what’s best for the students, raising their aspirations and giving them the tools to be successful”.

Sharing the governing body’s visionary outlook, strong values and sense of community Mr Smith will further strengthen the schools excellence within a nurturing and student focused environment.

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