Jack and Ben excel at SkillPLUMB

SkillPLUMB heat winners Jack Sturdy (l) and Benjamin Cooke (r)The latest heats of SkillPLUMB 2014 have concluded with top skills on display all round, with Jack Sturdy in the English Midlands and Benjamin Cooke in North of England both taking first spots in their respective competitions.

Jack, a student at South & City Birmingham College was named the winner over nine other competitors at an event hosted by the college on 10th June.

Benjamin, from Grimsby Institute and employed by Shoreline Housing Partnership, rated top against six of his peers at the Northern event held by Hartlepool College of Further Education on 18th June.

The task at hand for both competitions was the installation of copper pipework, including various jointing techniques and complex pipe bending. Judges awarded Jack and Benjamin with the most points against tough criteria including bend and joint quality, angles and clearance, and task layout and pipework soundness.

Second place slots in the two heats went to Anil Chavda of ESH Property Services Ltd and Leicester College, along with Thomas Strong of Walker Bros Ltd and Lakes College.

Zack Bateman, also of South & City College Birmingham and employed by Bournville Property Care, and Lewis McQuillan of Warrington Plumbing & Heating and Warrington Collegiate achieved third place in their respective events.

“It was a nervous time during the judging but it was such a relief to be named the winner!” said 19-year-old Jack. “I hope I’ve done my family, college and employer proud and I’m pleased to have worked hard for everyone.”

“It’s such a fantastic feeling – the competition was quite stressful at times but it’s nice to be recognised for all your hard work,” Benjamin, 23, added. “I’ve definitely gained confidence from this process and I must thank my employer and college for their support.”

SkillPLUMB has The UK Copper Board as its premier sponsor and is organised by the JIB-PMES.

With the English regional heats now complete, the highest scoring candidates across all heats will be invited to the SkillPLUMB UK final held in November at the prestigious Skills Show at the Birmingham NEC, the UK’s largest skills and careers show with over 80,000 visitors.

Neil Collishaw, organising the event, said: ”Once again we’ve had high standards on display and at both events the visitors were impressed with the professionalism of the competitors. Now we’ve finished the English heats I’d like to thank the hosts and sponsors for their tremendous support and look forward the finals in November.”

To find out more about the competition visit www.jib-pmes.org/skillplumb