MACS Plasterboard, the Luton-based plastering, screeding and drywall systems specialist contractor, has won the coveted Sword of Excellence at the annual Plaisterers’ Livery Company Training Awards.

The Sword of Excellence  is awarded to the plastering and drywall contractor who, in the opinion of the judges, has shown the greatest commitment to training and, in particular, in-house training.

The 2014 winners of the Sword of Excellence (l-r) the Master Plaisterer, Mr Michael Jones and the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE presenting the award to Tom McLoughlin and Jim Brennan from MACS Plasterboard Systems.

The judges said that MACS Plasterboard is a very well organised company able to demonstrate current training programmes and also future plans. They gave an inspiring presentation on the positive impact training and development has had on the company and its employees. Working as Ambassadors for CITB, representatives from the company deliver motivational talks to schools and colleges.

The 16th Annual Plaisterers’ Training Awards, sponsored by British Gypsum, Formula, Hadley and the Plaisterers’ Company Charity  were held at Plaisterers’ Hall in the City of London on 4 November and the audience represented a wide cross-section of the plastering and drylining trade, training colleges and independent training providers with particular links to construction trades and other organisations actively involved in construction skills training.

The Awards were presented by The Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE and The Master of the Plaisterers’ Company, Michael Jones.

The British Gypsum Trophy, which recognises the training of dryliners of all ages, was won by Sheffield-based  GTG Services.

Student of the year was Ian Magee from County Antrim. Ian was nominated by Colin McCaughey of  Belfast Metropolitan College and he works for Gordon R Scott Plastering of County Antrim.

The life time contribution award went to John Laing who spent more than a decade as a professional plasterer before beginning his career in Further Education in 1989 when he started as a part-time Lecturer at Fife College of Further Education. This part-time role led to a career in Further Education which has extended to over 25 years. Today he is Head of the Institute of Construction and Building Crafts at Edinburgh College and a member of World Skills UK.