Site Ready Skimming Course

Training more skim finishers to support plastering professionals

A recent Manpower Group Talent Shortage Survey showed that for five consecutive years skilled construction trades topped the list of hardest positions to fill, and plasterers are a major part of that skills gap. One reason for this is that only 30% of construction diploma students go on to work in the industry.

We know from discussions with UK Federations and sub-contractors that there is particularly high demand for more plaster skim finishers. This role is important as it is not only a step towards developing further plastering qualifications, but also provides greater capabilities on site in support of fully qualified plasterers, who in working with skim finishers, can focus on jobs that require other specialised skills. 

To help close this skills gap we have changed the way we deliver training in our network of training and college partners, and will now provide an intensive course to enhance trainees’ and students’ confidence, quality, speed and experience. This will help them to be effective on site and put them in good stead to continue their training/development.

Course objective

Designed for people who already have basic trowel skills, the aim of the course is to provide attendees with the skills needed to make an immediate contribution on site in support of fully qualified plasterers. All trainees will have a pre-course practical assessment to ensure they have the required level of trowel skills.

The course will last for six weeks and will include a final assessment to ensure candidates are ready to undertake skimming work on site. Attendees who have good trowel skills may complete this course in a shorter time frame, subject to passing the assessment.

Course content

Throughout the six weeks, attendees will complete practical training in key skills required for skimming plasterboard, including:

  • Straight flat wall application
  • Window wall, reveals & beading process (external angles)
  • Finishing internal angles (hard angle)
  • Services to flat and window walls (socket boxes, pipes, vents)
  • Use of tools including spats, speedskims and plastic trowels
  • Ceilings
  • Bulkhead to ceiling, splayed angle (wall), column/peer and curved wall
  • Working in small areas – cupboard, tight spaces, pipes, wires, acute angles – and the use of small tools


The course is free of charge, and the cost to the sub-contractor will be the labour commitment away from site for the six-week training period.

Dates and location

Courses are running across the country via our training partners:

North West Skills Academy
Unit 501
Phoenix Industrial Estate
Phoenix Close
OL10 2JG
Train4All Construction Academy
Units 1-4 Jubilee Park
Badgers Cross Lane
TA11 7JF
Kirsty Woods 01458 274043

Silver Trowel
Glorius G6
Daedalus Drive
Lee on the Solent
PO13 9FX
Colin Teagle 02392 170420
City of Wolverhampton College
Wellington Road Campus
WV14 6BT
Please contact us on 07792 249874 for more information.
Site Ready Skimming Course for Plasterers, provided by British Gypsum

"The site ready skim course is a great idea. It’s the missing link between college and the workplace that’s been needed for years. We hope to continue recruiting with British Gypsum's help going forward." - John Marrin, Managing Director, Bluegyp Ltd

"Since completing the course Jack’s attitude towards work has changed for the better, he’s much more of a team player now and he’s keen to learn. His skills have really improved too, he is able to skim walls with confidence and the overall quality of his work is better, so I can trust him to do a job well. I think it’s important as an employer that you recognise when it’s time to step back, even doing some of the labouring yourself sometimes to give young apprentices the chance to improve their skills. Plus, looking for opportunities such as this course, as it will benefit both them and your business.” - Darryl Sinclair, Black Country Plastering