The Hartlepool bricklayer who is one step from winning a national title

Aaron Armstrong flanked by two members of the judging panel.

Aaron Armstrong flanked by two members of the judging panel.

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An apprentice brickie cemented his place in the final of a national event.

Hartlepool student Aaron Armstrong is one step from being crowned overall UK champion after he beat off competition from some of the best up-and-coming tradesmen in the region.

It has been a great experience so far, but I’m not finished yet. I’ve been working hard with my tutors and I want to give a good account of myself at the national finals next month. The extra skills practising has already started

Aaron Armstrong

Aaron, who is an apprentice at Hartlepool College of Further Education, was entered into the Guild of Bricklayers competition.

He was up against representatives from nine other colleges across the North East in the regional heat.

But Aaron, from the town and who works for Wimpey Homes, was awarded the gold medal in the event after impressing the judging panel. He will now go onto compete in the national final in Devon next month with all of the other winners of the regional heats.

During the competition, Aaron had to create a test piece as well as providing layout details for the judges to inspect.

And while he was delighted to win, he thinks there’s more to come.

He said: “It has been a great experience so far, but I’m not finished yet. I’ve been working hard with my tutors and I want to give a good account of myself at the national finals next month. The extra skills practising has already started.”

Jason Emerson, head of construction and building services at Hartlepool College of Further Education, was delighted to see one of his students excelling in a competition which is set up to find the best young talents in the UK.

He said: “We have a very long-standing relationship with Wimpey Homes as we are able to deliver the high standards they expect as a major regional employer.

“It was great to see Aaron doing well and he is now in a good position to bring the UK title back to the North East.”

Andrew Hetherington, Aaron’s tutor, has guided previous apprentices to glory in the same competition and can see the potential in his latest success story.

Andrew said: “Skills competitions require a student to have confidence in their work, the ability to work under pressure and the necessary industrial tolerance to succeed.

“We could see these attributes in Aaron and, along with his employers, we have helped him develop those further.”