Unlock the power of tailored apprenticeship programs with Nelson and Colne College Group

Excelling in the regional SkillBuild qualifiers, Shelby Fitzakerly secured an impressive second place in the final of a national competition, which saw 78 construction trainees vying for victory in their respective trades.

19-year-old Shelby, an Accrington and Rossendale College student, part of the Nelson and Colne College Group (NCCG), knew she wanted to pursue a practical career where she could put her academic and technical skills to the test.

After winning her heat in the regional qualifiers of SkillBuild, Shelby, from Gisburn, went head-to-head with seven fellow apprentices in the final showdown at Milton Keynes.

Judges rigorously assessed competitors’ technical skills, knowledge, and ability to perform under pressure, evaluating tasks such as hanging wallpaper murals, freehand painting, and preparing woodwork against the clock. And Shelby emerged as a standout runner-up in the demanding painting and decorating category. An amazing achievement for a student just in the first year of training.

Shelby said: “The competition was amazing. Taking part gave me a real confidence boost and helped me improve my skills like my timing and following a plan.

“I couldn’t believe it when they called my name. I was in shock! It was great getting through to the finals and I didn’t expect anything else. It was a really good experience.”

Still in the first year of her three-year apprenticeship working for former Accrington and Rossendale College student Chris Penny, she plans to become a painter and decorator once qualified.

NCCG’s apprenticeship initiatives are strategically crafted often in collaboration with employers, ensuring the perfect alignment with the ever-evolving needs of modern industries. We take pride in addressing the most current skills gaps, providing businesses with a pipeline of ambitious talent armed with the latest industry knowledge.

Accrington and Rossendale College is a beacon for technical excellence, with strong employer links and unrivalled, tailored, tutor support. This is evident in Shelby’s success, not only within this competition, but within her Apprenticeship as well. 

Partnering with NCCG means tapping into a resource that tailors education to employer’s specific needs.

If you’re eager to boost your workforce with skilled professionals, reach out today. Discover how our apprenticeship programs can elevate your business by shaping a workforce that meets your industry’s demands.