Connor wins SkillPLUMB 2019 gold medal

Well done to 19 year old Connor Cruden from Moray College UHI and Cowie Plumbing & Heating who was named SkillPLUMB 2019 champion at WorldSkills UK LIVE. Connor can be seen in the photograph, third from the right, with the other finalists and BPEC Chairman George Thomson.

BPEC are proud to be the SkillPLUMB competition organisers, and it was fantastic to see so many visitors to WorldSkills UK LIVE this year.

Connor and his fellow finalists took part in an intensive three-day practical exercise. They each had to install a small sealed domestic central heating system with expansion vessel, pump and ancillary equipment, inclusive of a radiator, an unvented hot water cylinder, a Worcester Bosch boiler together with associated copper pipework. The task had to be completed within a strict time-frame and was marked against tough criteria including joint quality, bend angles, and measuring and marking out, which had to be accurate within + / – 2mm.

Taking second place, and a silver medal, was 21 year old Kyle McGeoghie from Perth College UHI and William Combe and Son, with the bronze medal going to 22 year old Anthony Iacovazzo from City College Norwich and Anglia Gas Services. Finalists Samuel Henderson and Alexander Clouston were both highly commended.

The quality of the work from all eight finalists was fantastic, so well done also to Abigail Reilly, Cameron Clark and Jacob Reid – the standard of work this year was extremely high, and it was a very close competition. The finalists, their friends and families, and their tutors and employers should all be extremely proud of the quality of skill and dedication on display!

A selection of photographs from the final can be seen on our Facebook page.

All finalists received prizes including a BPEC training manual, CIPHE membership, and tools and products donated by the competition sponsors alongside a competition medallion and certificate. Dickies provided the finalists with work wear for the competition which included safety boots.

Gold medalist Connor will get the opportunity to take part in the Grundfos Installer Championship, being held at the Mostra Convegno Expocomfort in Italy in March 2020. This will be a fantastic opportunity for Connor to test his skills against competitors on the international stage. Connor, and one of the other finalists, will also be put forward for selection for the Team UK squad, and will have the chance to represent the UK at WorldSkills Shanghai 2021.

Good luck Connor!

Speaking after his win, Connor said: “The competition has been brilliant and I am really proud to be leaving with the gold medal. It was really challenging working under pressure but I just did my best. It was so exciting when I was announced as the gold medalist. It has been a great experience and I have really enjoyed meeting the other finalists. I think I have made friends for life!”

Neil Collishaw, BPEC CEO, commented, “We are so proud of all of the finalists. It is so challenging for them to work under pressure, especially with the visitors to the show watching them at work, and the standard of work this year has been exceptional . The finalists are all excellent ambassadors for the industry and brilliant role models for other young people who are considering a plumbing career.”

We would like to thank our sponsors for their continued support and look forward to SkillPLUMB 2020. Please click here for further SkillPLUMB information. Details of the 2020 regional heats will be updated once they have been confirmed.