A BARNSLEY College apprentice has been named one of the region’s top young bricklayers.

Morgan Simmons was the only female competitor in the Guild of Bricklayers 2024 Yorkshire regional heat, finishing in third place.

At the event in Hull, she was tasked with building a double skinned, 13-course high five-brick wall with a two-brick return pillar using soldiers, projecting bricks and differently coloured bricks to create decorative features, keeping to strict measurements dictated by the judges.

Morgan said: “I really enjoyed taking part in the competition and I think it has helped me develop skills and knowledge for my career in the future.

“At first I was nervous, seeing so many other competitors there, but soon I realised I was just happy to be there and this is just what I do for a living.

“My tutor Sean has been helping me practice my decorative brickwork as that’s what the competition was all about. So, I felt pretty prepared.

“There were many talented bricklayers there so I’m just happy I placed and had a chance to take part especially being the only girl there.”

Morgan is currently working with Persimmon Homes on a site for new-build houses saying she loves building houses ‘someone will one day call a home’.

Once qualified and after ‘some good years of grafting’, she is hoping to work abroad for a few years.

“As a girl in the bricklaying industry, I do believe it’s an amazing career,” she added.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a job for the weak. So I understand why it’s male-dominated – the rain, the cold weather, then the heat waves, and the constant heavy lifting.

“However, with determination and a strong mind, you can do anything you set your mind to.

“My favourite part of my job is definitely the feeling of creating something out of nothing, looking back and seeing the projects you’ve built coming together.”