A Barnfield bricklaying student has taken place in a ground-breaking new competition to find the best student bricklayers in the country.
Level 1 Brickwork student Tangina “Tango” Choudhury of Barnfield College took third place in the inaugural Bricklaying Forterra Females (BFF) contest – the UK’s first all-female bricklaying competition open to female apprentices and student bricklayers.
Taking place on the first day of National Apprenticeship Week, the contest saw female student bricklayers from colleges across the UK compete for six hours to build an International Women’s Day-themed competition piece, which then faced a panel of expert judges.
From a written brief of bricks, cuts and bonds the competitors dry bonded their work before finally building the finished piece in a set timeframe.
With female tradespeople currently estimated at less than two per cent of the wider industry, the competition aims to encourage more girls and women to consider bricklaying and the wider construction industry in general as a career.
Joining Barnfield only in September last year, 23 year-old Tangina took on the competition as a personal challenge to put the skills learned in her first few months at college to the test. With a long term dream to build her own house, she took the first step in overcoming personal challenges in her life to return to education.
Halfway through her first year, she’s now hoping to progress to Level 2 and is exploring the possibility of moving forward to a career as a Quantity Surveyor.
Despite feeling slightly daunted at the prospect of the competition, when the invitation came Tangina knew she wanted to step up and be involved.
She said: “I am the only female on my course and I made an active decision when I enrolled not to let that phase me in the slightest. Male or female – all that matters is that you are studying at college to succeed and better yourself. All the entrants were like me, there to simply show what they could do and it was great to be part of a brand new event in this area.”
Construction Subject Area Lead John Leeson said: “We are very proud of Tangina – her professionalism in the standard of her work and the way she conducted herself at the competition was very impressive. Events like this that celebrate and recognise opportunities for women to shine in what has historically been a very male-dominated industry demonstrates the next generation are ready for positive change.”