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Armondas sh the commitm talent, we ca hows that with the will, ment & some natural an produce champions; HEROES OF YOUTH AWARDS NORTHERN IRELAND 2015.

Byline: CHRIS MCCULLOUGH

INTEREST in our Heroes of Youth Awards is building and this week we're profiling some of those who have been nominated as young people making a difference in their communities.

One organisation supporting the event is the Construction Industry Training Board Northern Ireland which has put forward some of its trainees for special recognition.

Among the students it has picked out is Armondas Tamulis who they reckon is the UK's best wall and floor tiler.

Paul Doran of Southern Regional College, which Armondas attends, said he could see from a very early stage that he had "the skills and attitude to compete at the highest level".

He was part of a team of young people from Northern Ireland who participated at SkillBuild NI and he landed a UK gold medal for his achievements. Each spring CITB-NI organises and manages the event, the largest regional construction vocational competition in the UK.

Those who achieve medal success can, if their score is among the top from across the UK, be invited to compete at the national finals held as part of the World Skills UK Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

At the Skills Show last year a team of 18 Northern Ireland competitors representing nine construction trades competed under intense scrutiny to be crowned the best in the UK.

More than half of them either achieved medals or were highly commended for their performance.

Northern Ireland construction apprentices have a long record of success at the UK National Finals and 2014 was no exception with a haul of four gold medals. The stand-out performers were Armondas for wall and floor tiling, Jordan Jeffers in painting and decorating, Hamilton for carpentry, Ryan n electrical installation and. das was picked out for special on as he was only 17 when he gold.

Robert H Connor in Armond recognitio won the g Aa be ti W Dhabi. Mr result of his success he has een added to a pool of potenal competitors who will attend World Skills 2017 in Abu r Doran added: "His first place K National Final is a fantastic ment considering his age.

as to be commended for ng against others who could ome cases 10 or more years perience and be much more ion savvy.

at the UK achievem "He ha competin have in so work exp competiti "It just commitm we can p potential achieveme hold up a achieved shows that with the will, the ment and some natural talent produce UK champions and world champions which is an ent we all should celebrate and as an example of what can be by our youth." The building industry has experienced some highs and lows of late but there is a new wave of positivity hitting the sector today.

CITB-NI director David Cooper thinks with the right training and encouragement young people can excel in construction.

He said: "We believe it is important that everyone recognises the huge amount of skills in today's youth. They need to be encouraged and given good training so they can prove they are the best in Northern Ireland and in the world."

CITB-NI's role is to encourage the adequate training of those employed or intending to be employed in the construction industry and to improve the skills and productivity of the industry in Northern Ireland. Mr Cooper added: "We provide advice, courses and grants for training to help construction companies improve their skills to increase their competitive edge."

He also paid tribute to the Daily Mirror NI for hosting the HYAs as they provide recognition and encouragement for young people.

Mr Cooper said: "The awards are a super way of celebrating the excellence our young people are showing."

" All nominations for the HYAs will be presented to our panel of judges which includes radio and TV presenter Colin Murray.

The winners will then be invited to our prestigious awards ceremony at The MAC in Belfast on Friday, May 15. With these awards the Daily Mirror NI wants to recognise the contribution young people make every day to Northern Irish society.

We are asking for nominations of young people aged 11 to 18 who have been inspirational in their communities, groups, schools and homes.

All entries must be received by midnight on Sunday, March 29, to be considered for this year's ceremony.

Nominations can be made using the form to the right, visiting www.heroesofyouth.co.uk or by obtaining a nomination form from your local Lidl store.

There is also a category on the website to vote for your favourite Northern Ireland role model.

Voters can choose between fashion designer JW Anderson, boxer Carl Frampton, athlete Kelly Gallagher, golfer Rory McIlroy, sports ambassador Tiffany Brien and music artist Soak.

irish@mgn.co.uk

They are a super way to celebrate excellence of young people DAVID COOPER CITB-NI DIRECTOR

CAPTION(S):

going for gold Armondas Tamulis, centre, with presenter Claire McCollum and Employment Minister Stephen Farry Picture: PETER O'HARA
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 28, 2015
Words:828
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