University College Isle of Man (UCM) has announced the dates for this year’s inter-island Skills Test 2020: Wednesday 4th and Friday 6th of March 2020.

Now in its fifth year, the event has grown to include competitors not only from the University College, Isle of Man’s (UCM) construction and engineering programme areas, but now also the hospitality & catering department too.  UCM will once again be welcoming construction students from Highlands College Jersey, making this an inter-island contest.

In this intense test of skills, students from all the construction, engineering and hospitality trades will go head-to-head to determine who is the best among them.  Schools, businesses and the general public are invited into UCM’s ‘live’ competition to see competitors demonstrate their excellent skills. 

Chris Franklin, Hospitality & Catering Deputy Programme Manager is looking forward to having his students take part in the Hospitality & Catering Skills Test which is similar in design to the popular TV competition, Master Chef, where contestants have to prepare a dish within a specific timeframe using the ingredients provided, “This is the first year of Hospitality & Catering Skills Test; we are  particularly excited to see our students shine and show off their cookery skills.”

Construction students will be given a brief at the beginning of the day to create an item related to their trade; these items will be auctioned off and the proceeds will be donated to Reach Isle of Man.

Corelli Bentham, the Construction Programme Manager says, “This year, we are very pleased to support Reach Isle of Man, the charity which helps those who suffer from mental health issues. As well as raising money for this excellent cause, we hope this will also help to raise awareness of mental health within the industry.”

“We are also delighted to welcome contestants from the Highlands College Jersey, the enthusiasm and competitive spirit they brought to Skills Test last year was amazing! Our students are looking forward to meeting their Jersey peers,” Corelli added. 

This is the second year of Engineering Skills Test and the tutors in this programme area have been busy preparing, to ensure that the competition will be even more challenging this year, John Cashin, Engineering Deputy Programme Manager comments, “Skills Test is a fantastic way for students to demonstrate the skills that they have acquired at UCM; it is no easy feat especially with the added pressure of having members of industry who are potentially their future employers watching them! We would like to thank all the industry sponsors who have been provided tremendous support for this competition.”

This year’s industry sponsors for Skills Test are:

  • Catering Skills Test:
    • Robinsons
    • Claremont Hotel
    • A & J Butchers
    • Mannvend
    • Nisbets
    • Rationale
    • WDS Ltd.
    • L’Experience Restaurant
  • Construction Skills Test:
    • Haven Homes
    • Construction Federation
  • Engineering Skills Test:
    • Swagelok
    • RLC Ronaldsway
    • Triumph Actuation Systems Isle of Man
    • Strix Technology
    • Target Tools

Skills Test 2020 will take place over two days:

  • 4th March 2020
    • Engineering Skills Test from 11am-4pm at the Advanced Training Manufacturing Centre, Hills Meadow
  • 6th March 2020
    • Catering Skills Test from 9am – 3pm at Cristory’s, Homefield Road
    • Construction Skills Test from 10.30am – 3.30pm at Baillie Scott Wing, Homefield Road

For more information, please contact UCM on 648200 or visit