Two budding Sunderland brickies breeze through contest

From left: Stephen Urwin, Jimmy Stobbart and Jordan King.
From left: Stephen Urwin, Jimmy Stobbart and Jordan King.
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Two Wearside students are building themselves a reputation in the bricklaying world.

Sunderland College construction students, Jordan King and Stephen Urwin, have been crowned the best brickies in a regional skills challenge.

I’m thrilled to have won. I tried my best, bur you never know who you’re going to be up against

Jordan King

The pair scooped first and second place in the North East Inter-Colleges Bricklaying Competition, held at New College Durham.

The contest involved students from four colleges who were tasked with a complex bricklaying challenge which had to be completed in five hours.

Jordan is an apprentice with Bewick Building Services and is studying a level two NVQ and level two diploma in bricklaying at Sunderland College as part of his apprenticeship.

The 23-year-old, from Roker, placed second in the competition last year, and was delighted to win the top spot this time round.

He said: “I’m thrilled to have won. I tried my best, but you never know who you’re going to be up against - it was great the judges awarded me first place.

“I’ve worked on building sites since I was 16, so I’ve had a bit of a head start and gained lots of great experience.”

Stephen is completing a level one diploma in brickwork, and has been offered an apprenticeship with Ian Swansbury Builders, starting in September.

The 17-year-old, from Washington, said: “I was nervous to take part in the competition because I am new to bricklaying and everyone else who took part had more experience, so coming second was overwhelming.

“The competition was challenging but I thought the quality of my work was to a good standard.

“I struggled at school but I enjoy my college course and I’m excited about starting my apprenticeship with Ian as I know I will learn lots from him.”

Jimmy Stobbart, brickwork lecturer at Sunderland College, said: “Both Jordan and Stephen are model students and their achievements in this competition reflect their hard work and dedication to their studies.

“They are both highly skilled in bricklaying and I’m certain they will both go on to have successful careers in the construction industry.”

All construction students are now taught from Sunderland College’s City Campus, which opened at the start of the academic year.

The £29million campus features industry-standard equipment and high quality learning spaces, and is the college’s flagship hub for its professional and technical courses.