20 year-old Owain Powell from GVJ Plumbing & Heating in Ceredigion has been named best young plumber in Wales, following the SkillPLUMB Wales national final at Deeside College on 14 May.
Owain, studying at Coleg Sir Gar, went up against 10 other competitors in a task to install a small central heating system. Their work had to be completed within the time limit, safely and to recognised industry standards, with a very small tolerance for errors.
Second place was awarded to Lewis Coombs of Bridgend College, with the third place slot going to Richard Carlson of Gower College Swansea.
Speaking of his win, Owain said: “I wasn’t expecting this at all; I thought there were others that may have done better, so it was great to hear my name called out! I hope I can now move onto the next stage and do well for Wales.”
SkillPLUMB has the UK Copper Board as its premier sponsor and is organised by SummitSkills. The Wales national final at Deeside College was also backed by the Welsh Government and the European Social Fund.
Jeff Cuthbert, Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, congratulated the successful contestants at SkillPLUMB and its sister competition SkillELECTRIC. He said: “These competitions are an excellent opportunity for up-and-coming skilled workers in Wales to stretch themselves and really develop their abilities within their chosen fields. We aim to encourage young people entering these occupations to benchmark their skills against others in Wales, the UK or indeed internationally.”
The highest scoring competitors from the event now have the chance to compete at a grand final in November where they would face competitors from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and strive to be named SkillPLUMB UK champion.
Neil Collishaw, head of competitions at SummitSkills, said: “All competitors conducted themselves really well – we were very impressed with their dedication and professionalism. Our thanks also go to Deeside College for being an excellent host. This is the first time we’ve worked in collaboration with SkillBuild in Wales, making this the largest built environment skills competition ever held in Wales – our biggest and best event so far!”
SkillPLUMB is also a feeder route for competitors to potentially go forward and represent their country in 2015 at Brazil at the biennial WorldSkills competition – the world’s largest skills competition.
To find out more about SkillPLUMB visit www.skillplumb.org.uk