The SkillPLUMB competition 2015 has named 29 year old Richard Wilson from North East College Scotland and SugPlumb Ltd, UK champion after excelling in an intensive three-day practical exercise at the Birmingham NEC Skills Show.
Closely watched by judges and over 75,000 visitors to the show, Richard and his fellow finalists had to simulate the installation of a small domestic central heating system, a simulated shower enclosure and kitchen with sink and washing machine, together with associated copper and plastic pipework.
The task had to be completed within a strict timeframe and was marked against tough criteria including bend and joint quality, bend angles and clearance and measuring and marking out, which had to be accurate within + / – 2mm.
Taking second place and a silver medal was 20 year old Alex Rooney of David Lyndsay Plumbing & Heating and South West College/CITB NI. Third place and a bronze medal went to 21 year old Matthew Jakeman, from Pronto Plumber and Bedford College.
All finalists received prizes including tools donated by competition sponsors, workwear and vouchers alongside a competition medallion and certificate.
Speaking after his win, Richard Wilson said: “Nothing beats the feeling of a job well done, and winning this competition was brilliant. I wouldn’t be here without the support of my employer, and everything I learnt at North East College Scotland. This has given me a real boost and I want to make sure that I keep learning and improving my skills.”
Neil Collishaw of BPEC, the organisers of SkillPLUMB commented, “This year we had a superb set of tasks, which really tested and challenged the finalists. We are very proud of all the competitors – they are excellent ambassadors for the industry and brilliant role models for other young people who are considering a career in our sector.
“Over the three days we had an excellent turnout of visitors who were all really impressed with the standards of skill on display at our stand.”
The Skills Show is the nation’s largest skills and careers event, where SkillPLUMB was just one of 65 competitions taking place.
SkillPLUMB has the Copper Initiative as its premier sponsor and is organised by BPEC.