The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Leeds College of Building Celebrates Women's Awards

Zara Dupont, Gold Award
06 December 2022

Staff at Leeds College of Building are elated after an unprecedented flurry of student award successes, with female students leading the way.

Medallists at the SkillBuild UK National Finals 2022 were announced after nearly 80 construction trainees went head-to-head over three days. The finalists underwent a seven-month process of regional heats and intensive training before competing in the national finals at Edinburgh College from 15 - 17 November.

At a special award ceremony presented by Steph McGovern in her Packed Lunch studio, a Leeds College of Building student took gold medal position at the largest UK multi-trade competition for construction trainees and apprentices.

Zara Dupont, a Leeds College of Building Interior Systems/Dry Lining apprentice at Sparta Systems Ltd, received gold in the Plastering and Drywall Systems category. Zara has already enjoyed an exceptional year after winning the overall Governor’s Award at the College annual BIG award ceremony. 


"Having so many female students and future role models making such an impression on the construction sector is phenomenal,"


– Nikki Davis
Principal & CEO, Leeds College of Building


The Skills Olympics


Often dubbed the “Skills Olympics” the competition is delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) in partnership with WorldSkills UK and offers a chance for trainees to compete in a bid to be crowned winner of their chosen trade.

Zara said: “I wasn’t expecting it, but I was hoping I would [do well] this year as I thought I did so much better than [after entering SkillBuild] last year. Seeing my name for gold left me a little speechless and shocked. Having this under my belt will hopefully give me a step ahead in life.” 

The SkillBuild UK success came soon after Leeds College of Building student Rebekah Woodend was pronounced BTEC Construction Learner of the Year in Pearson’s 2022 BTEC awards. Rebekah is studying for a BTEC Higher National Diploma (HND) in Construction & the Built Environment (Surveying). She is a mother of two young children, in full-time employment, and a carer for her partner.


Other Accolades for LCoB Students


The week prior, a Leeds College of Building Level 6 Civil Engineering Site Management Degree Apprentice employed at BAM Nuttall Ltd was named the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) Apprentice of the Year. Alisa Ahmad completed her Level 5 Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering in June before achieving an EngTECH MICE professional qualification shortly after.

Finally, Leeds College of Building apprentice Leora Wilson reached the finals of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2022 which took place at a special ceremony in London (30 November). Leora won Advanced Apprentice of the Year in the London regional final and was automatically entered into the national awards.

Leora is a second-year Leeds College of Building Transport Planning Technician Apprentice working at global engineering, management, and development consultancy, Mott MacDonald.


Pride in Staff and Course Offerings


Nikki Davis, the first female Principal & CEO of Leeds College of Building, said: “We are immensely proud of all our students and apprentices who have achieved recognition at so many prestigious national awards. These competitions are often the pinnacle of construction specialisms and only recognise the very best young talent in the industry. Having so many female students and future role models making such an impression on the construction sector is phenomenal too. 

“Congratulations also goes to our dedicated staff working tirelessly to unlock the capabilities of our students. They offer endless encouragement across diverse subjects from civil engineering and transport planning to trade crafts and surveying. The skills that students gain from college and hands-on work experience with our exceptional employer partners truly transform lives and are helping to boost the skills needed for a robust regional and national economy.”    

LCoB is clearly a home for those looking forward – a recently-approved Construction Support Technician (CST) Apprenticeship is the result of two and a half years of collaboration between Leeds College of Building, a network of employers, professional bodies CABE & CICES, associations TICA & CECA, and major contractors across the construction and built environment sector. 


Picture: Zara Dupont, Gold Award - Plastering and Drywall Systems, SkillBuild UK Finals 2022. Image credit: SkillBuild UK.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 06 December 2022


Related Articles

New Construction Apprenticeship Tackles Skill Shortages

A new Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard is filling a skills gap in the building sector and giving a boost to school-leavers, according to West Yorkshire construction...

 Read Full Article
The Women Behind 22 Bishopsgate

A women-led team working on 22 Bishopsgate, including investors, architects, planners, engineers, surveyors and contractors, have been recognised as “Team of the...

 Read Full Article
Compass Group Wins at BAME Apprenticeship Awards

Compass Group UK & Ireland has won the Employer of the Year Award in the Retail, Hospitality & Tourism category at the BAME Apprenticeship Awards. Organised by...

 Read Full Article
14forty Receives Highly Commended Award at Global FM Awards of Excellence

14forty, Compass Group’s IFM business, has been named Highly Commended at the Global FM Awards of Excellence 2023 for its approach to workplace catering. The...

 Read Full Article
World’s First Real-Time Airborne Asbestos Detector Wins Innovation Award

Alert Technology has won 2023’s Product Innovation Award for the Asbestos ALERT PRO Connected, the world’s first real-time airborne asbestos detector. The...

 Read Full Article
BDO’s Head of FM Transactions Named on 100 Executives Role Model List

BDO’s M&A Managing Director and Head of Facilities Management Transactions Satvir Bungar has been named one of the top 100 leaders for his work in supporting...

 Read Full Article
Corporate Receptionist of the Year – 2023’s Winner Announced

Shannon Sullivan from Rapport Guest Services at Addleshaw Goddard has been named as 2023’s Corporate Receptionist of the Year. ThisWeekinFM's Shannon Conway...

 Read Full Article
Inviron Recognised With Highly Commended RoSPA Award

FM service provider Inviron has been awarded a Highly Commended RoSPA award. The award is for demonstrating their dedication to ensuring staff, customers, clients and...

 Read Full Article
Battersea Power Station Named as London’s Top Development of 2023

The £8 million redevelopment of Battersea Power Station has won the CoStar Impact Award for commercial development of the year in London. In 2013, work to...

 Read Full Article
The Great British Workplace Wellbeing Award Winners Revealed

Companies and individuals who are successfully addressing the current global wellbeing challenge were recognised in the Great British Workplace Wellbeing Awards at The...

 Read Full Article