Stonemasons from Bath College have proved they are among the best in the country by securing a top spot in a national skills competition.
The College scooped third place in the UK Masonry Skills Challenge, thanks to the work-ready skills of three of its stonemasonry students.
They went head-to-head with students from colleges across the UK in the highly-respected competition with a panel of industry judges.
The competition, which is run by The Stone Federation, creates a typical industry scenario where students have to follow detailed instructions under timed conditions.
Each student was given a drawing, a piece of stone and the materials to make the necessary moulds and templates. They then had an eight-hour time period to put their mallet and chisel skills to the test.
They were judged on criteria such as neatness of work, measurement precision, health and safety and time keeping – all essential requirements for today’s stonemasonry industry.
Judge Sean Collins of Boden and Ward Stonemasons said: “The competition is open to those training for a career in stonemasonry and it really helps to prepare them for the industry.
“It’s an industry-standard competition which tests whether students are ready for the workplace.”
A total of 27 students entered the competition in two regional heats. The southern heat was held at Bath College’s Construction Skills Centre.
The three students who represented Bath College were Toby Brook, Jordan Walsh and Alex Willis.
Stonemasonry lecturer Ray Sumner said it was an honour for Bath College to come third in the overall college category.
He said: “It’s a tough competition with a very high standard of work, so our success is testament to the hard work and dedication of our students.
“All the students did very well, putting into practice what they had learned in the classroom. We’re very proud of what they’ve achieved; they were a real credit to the College.”
To find out more about stonemasonry courses on offer at Bath College, call 01225 312191 or visit www.bathcollege.ac.uk