Magilligan prisoners in Skillbuild competition

Date published: 14 October 2019


Prisoners at Magilligan with ambitions to one-day work in the construction industry have taken part in the first ever Skillbuild NI competition in a UK prison.

Prisoners at Magilligan have taken part in the first ever Skillbuild NI competition in a UK prison.

The Northern Ireland Prison Service in partnership with the North West Regional College and Skillbuild NI hosted the competition for prisoners demonstrating their skills in painting and decorating, woodwork, joinery, tiling, plastering, welding and horticulture.

More than 70 prisoners took part in competition heats and were judged by Construction Industry Training Board Northern Ireland (CITB NI) representatives before a final 32 as selected and winners announced in each of the eight categories.

Magilligan Prison Governor Andy Tosh said:  “We are delighted to have hosted the first ever Skillbuild competition within a prison setting. This reflects the innovative and positive work that drives us on our continuous improvement in the NI Prison Service. Working with our colleagues from North West Regional College we are successfully delivering learning and skills programmes that are directly linked to job opportunities within our communities, allowing our rehabilitative work to extend beyond the prison walls and support people in our care to reintegrate back into society.”

Barry Neilson, chief Executive of the Construction Industry Training Board Northern Ireland (CITB NI) added: “To host the first ever event of this kind in a prison has been fantastic. I have been involved in skills competitions for over 20 years and I know that those individuals who have displayed their skills to family members and fellow students will gain confidence and self-esteem.”

Dr Damian O’Kane Head of Education, NWRC, Magilligan, said:  “In partnership with Magilligan Prison and SkillBuild NI, we are delighted to have been able to provide students with an opportunity to showcase the knowledge and skills they have acquired while undertaking accredited programmes with the North-West Regional College.”

For more about the Skillbuild NI competition at Magilligan Prison check out the video at

Notes to editors: 

  1. SkillBuild NI which is delivered and managed by the Construction Industry Training Board Northern Ireland (CITB NI), is the largest multi-trade competition in the UK for construction trainees and apprentices. 
  2. Magilligan Prison is a medium to low security prison which holds male prisoners with six years or less to serve and who meet the relevant security classification.
  3. At 11 October there were 428 prisoners at Magilligan Prison.
  4. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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