Trainees men and women of all trades have until January 31 to enter the countryâ€™s largest multi-trade competition â€“ SkillBuild2011.
Basingstoke construction trainees from a wide range of craft skills, including dry walling, roofing, stonemasonry and floor tiling, are being encouraged to enter the competition run by CITB-ConstructionSkills.
Budding trainees will be put through their paces in their chosen trade at one of 14 regional heats taking place between March and May. The highest scoring students will then win a place at the UK final in September, which will take place in Leeds.
Outstanding competitors could potentially be selected to represent the UK at the next international WorldSkills competition, which is due to take place in Leipzig, Germany in 2013.
The Southâ€™s regional heat, where entrants will be marked on essential skills such as following detailed instructions, producing accurate work outputs, being economical with materials and working to strict timescales, will take place at Highbury College in Portsmouth on April 26.
Last year, seven trainees from the South achieved a place at the UK final, including BCOT student Arran Roberts, who is employed by Whitchurch-based traditional builders, RJ Smith & Co.
Arran, who won gold in the carpentry category at the regional heat in 2010, said: â€œI really enjoyed the SkillBuild competition.
â€œThe South heat was quite challenging as there was a lot to do, but it covered all the skills that I use on a daily basis. It was fantastic to see all the different trades and to meet all the other competitors.â€
John Clark, area delivery manager for CITB-ConstructionSkills South said: â€œSkillBuild provides a platform to demonstrate the enormous talent we have in the industry, helping to showcase the professionalism of our brightest recruits and the industry.
â€œThere are many benefits of being involved. For trainees, SkillBuild is a chance to prove you are the best in your field, helping to boost your confidence and your career, while for employers it can help you stand out from the crowd â€“ helping you to win new business and showcase your commitment to training. For colleges, SkillBuild can enhance your reputation by demonstrating your construction training is top quality.â€