City of Portsmouth College apprentice on course for national bricklaying award

City of Portsmouth College apprentice bricklayer Elliott Kingston is cementing firm footings for his future career after winning a junior heat in the Guild of Bricklayers 2022 competition.

Elliott, aged 18, took on competition from across the south in the regional contest at Eastbourne College. He now goes through to the national finals at South Staffordshire College in Penkridge on 22 June.

The Level 2 apprentice, from Waterlooville, works for Portsmouth-based Pentagon Installations and is in the second and final year of his apprenticeship.

“I tried a few different trades before I found that I really enjoy bricklaying. I was offered an apprenticeship and couldn’t say no. I’m the first bricklayer in my family and I’m very happy with my decision!” he said.

Brett Munden, Managing Director of 25-strong company Pentagon Installations, sad: “Elliott’s really got the bit between his teeth which is brilliant for us, for him, and for the college.

“We specialise in high-end, bespoke builds and he’s currently working on a £3m project in Haslemere, gaining fantastic experience alongside his college training.

“I would always recommend apprenticeships to other employers because I love to see the next generation of tradespeople developing their skills and City of Portsmouth College has been excellent. The tutors couldn’t have been more helpful.”

Elliott is looking forward to the finals, and to completing his apprenticeship which finishes later this summer.

“I’ve really enjoyed the course and now I can’t wait to get out there and start earning good money.” he added.

Advanced Trainer in Brickwork Rob Higgins said: “We love seeing so many of our talented students and apprentices showcasing their skills in competitions like these. It’s a great way of boosting their confidence in their own abilities and preparing them for life beyond College.”

City of Portsmouth College has been training award-winning construction students and apprentices for almost 60 years.

Construction courses are run at the College’s North Harbour Campus. As well as bricklaying, they cover carpentry and joinery, plumbing, gas training, painting & decorating, plastering, wall & floor tiling, sustainable technologies and engineering.

The Campus is also home to a new Net Zero Training Hub. The first of its kind in the UK, the key government-funded facility is dedicated to helping bridge a major skills gap through training and upgrading in sustainable technologies