New inter-island competition sees trade apprentices go head to head

Lewis Andrews went along to the Pan-Island Skills Competition...

The Channel Islands hosted its first trade skills competition at Highlands College in Jersey.

Apprentices from Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man faced off in a showcase of impressive workmanship - in the hopes of getting more people into the trades.

Future electricians, carpenters and plumbers focused for six hours on set tasks, which were then marked by judges who were also from across the Crown Dependencies.

Former-carpenter Nick Rudkin thought the competition would be a great way to develop the islands' young talent:

"I came here from the UK 18 months ago where competitions are in every town.

"We know we have a skills crises and there's not enough trade skills being developed quickly enough to service the demand of the industry".

Chris Torode, Director of Apprentices at Guernsey Institute College of FE, said: "Today's been tremendous ... the challenges have been tough but the students have found it valuable that's for sure".

Chris also outlined plans for Guernsey to host the event in 2026, with the Isle of Man lined up for 2025.

The principle of Jersey's Highlands College, Jo Terry-Marchant, added:

"When the best of the best from three islands come together to compete, it gives some status to some really important skills that we need".

There are also plans to enter UK competitions in the future and, if successful, then worldwide head to heads.