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Stonemasonry survives to be part of WorldSkills 2013

13 August 2012

There had been fears that a lack of international competitors could have meant stonemasonry was not included in the 2013 WorldSkills competition in Leipzig, but now it has been confirmed that stonemasonry will be included and three young masons from the UK have been selected for the UK squad, from which the UK team will be selected.

The Squad UK members are:

  • Steve Poole, 21, an apprentice from Churchdown, Gloucestershire, who attends City of Bath College and is employed by Meister Masonry
  • Robert Broomsgrove, 20, an apprentice from Highbridge, Somerset, who attends Weymouth College and is employed by Wells Cathedral Stonemasons.
  • Jonathan Cowell, 19, an apprentice from Blackburn and is employed by Lambert Walker Conservation and Restoration.

Squad UK competitors were selected from among the UK’s most talented apprentices, employees and learners after competing in a tough, three-day selection event in June. They will now spend the next year preparing to take on the very best from across the world, undergoing a specialised training programme supported by a dedicated Training Manager.

Kevin Calpin, who heads the stonemasonry contest for WorldSkills, has worked hard internationally to keep stonemasonry in the competition.

WorldSkills is the biggest international skills competition in the world. Held every two years in one of its 61 member countries/regions, the competition sees around 1,000 young people aged 18-23 from across the world come together to compete for medals in more than 40 different vocational skills.

Members of Squad UK will compete for a coveted place in Team UK at another selection event which will be held in March 2013. Individuals selected will then carry on training intensively with Team UK before heading to WorldSkills Leipzig, which takes place 2–7 July 2013.

Jaine Bolton, Director at the National Apprenticeship Service and UK Official Delegate to WorldSkills International, said: “I offer my support and congratulations to every young person that has earned a place in Squad UK.

“By competing in international competitions, the UK is able to showcase the high levels of performance that can be achieved by individuals and organisations through high quality further education, skills training and Apprenticeships. This provides the inspiration for young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level.”

The National Apprenticeship Service manages the UK’s entry into the WorldSkills Competition under the name of WorldSkills UK. The competitors that took part in Squad UK Selection were invited to compete after excelling in the WorldSkills UK National Competitions and other industry events.

WorldSkills UK National Competitions reward real talent and drive up levels of expertise in further education, skills and apprenticeships.

Competitors from this year’s WorldSkills UK programme will also be showcased at The Skills Show, which has grown out of the resounding success of last year's WorldSkills competition at ExCeL London, where the Natural Stone Show, when the stonemasonry competition was won by the UK's Chris Berridge.

The Skills Show is being staged 15–17 November at the NEC, Birmingham. It is intended to be an annual celebration that inspires people with exciting opportunities in further education, skills and apprenticeships.

For more information about The Skills Show visit the website:

In a post on Linked-In, Kevin Calpin says:

Now renamed Architectural Stonemasonry, I can now confirm the skill has now been reinstated as an official Worldskill and as a result, it will feature at Worldskills Competition in Leipzig 2013.

To be an official skill we had to achieve a minimum of 12 countries registering by July. In January this year it seemed a massive task bearing in mind we only had 7 competitors in London!

However, with fantastic funded support from WorldskillsUK, I was able to research and contact many organisations and groups around the world to raise the awareness of stonemasonry competition at an international level. In addition, having personal contact with Technical Delegates from a number of countries supporting stonemasonry was pivotal in gaining registrations.

I was given the opportunity to visit the Worldskills General Assembly in Korea and speak to Technical Delegates and lobby new countries; this paid great dividends. There is now a number of new countries who have registered and others who are interested in having a competitor in Brazil in 2015.

I would like to thank all those people and organisations who have played a part in getting stonemasonry back as a WorldSkill and have given me support over the last 6 months. I regard this result as one of the most important of a long career in the industry.

Please continue to support our craft as the cycle of training has already started for Leipzig.

Countries registered:

  • UK
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Italy
  • Croatia
  • Finland
  • Holland
  • Russia
  • India
  • Japan
  • Korea

Kevin Calpin MA

WorldSkills Chief Expert

Architectural Stonemasonry

WorldSkills UK

Training Manager

Architectural Stonemasonry

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