SkillPLUMB

SkillPLUMB is the UK skills competition organised by BPEC to give organisations and individuals an opportunity to participate in a national initiative focusing on plumbing skills and education.  UK colleges, employers and training providers are invited to enter their finest competitors.  Participating in this annual plumbing skills competition brings invaluable benefits to both colleges and students. The competitors will test their skills against the best apprentices in the UK.  Taking part in the competition will increase the competitor’s ability to work accurately to tight specifications and offer an invaluable experience.
 
SkillPLUMB 2016
 
UK Final 17-19 November at the 2016 Skills Show, NEC

Competitors who went to the UK final held 17-19 November at the 2016 Skills Show – NEC were:

Sam Shepherd from Fife College; Zak Clay from Shrewsbury College; Gareth Jones from Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training; Ewan McGregor from Chichester College; David Blewett from Moray College UHI; Sam Finn from Borders College; Gary Knight from Southern Regional College; Ben Randoll from Bridgwater College.

skillplumb 2016 finalists

The SkillPLUMB competition 2016 has named 22 year old Gareth Jones from Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training and D B Lewis & Son, UK champion after excelling in an intensive three-day practical exercise at the Birmingham NEC Skills Show.

Gareth Jones

Closely watched by judges and over 75,000 visitors to the show, Gareth and his fellow finalists had to install a small sealed domestic central heating system with expansion vessel, pump and ancillary equipment, inclusive of three small bespoke radiators, a simulated hot water cylinder, a boiler mounting jig together with associated copper pipework.

skillplumb Gareth Jones pipework

The task had to be completed within a strict timeframe and was marked against tough criteria including 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 21 year old Ben Randoll of Bridgwater College and Handiheat. Third place and a bronze medal went to 22 year old David Blewett, from Moray College UHI and Phil Bird ZETGAS.

All finalists received prizes including a BPEC gas training manual, tools and CIPHE Membership donated by competition sponsors, workwear including safety boots and vouchers alongside a competition medallion and certificate.

The Gold and Silver Medalists, will also get the opportunity to take part in the Grundfos Installer Championship, being held at the ISH trade exhibition next year in Frankfurt. This will be a fantastic experience curtsey of Grundfos to test their skills against competitors from 20 different countries on an international stage.

Speaking after his win, Gareth Jones 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 my training centre. 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.”

skillplumb 2016 montage

The Skills Show is the nation’s largest skills and careers event, where SkillPLUMB was just one of 60 different competitions taking place.

SkillPLUMB has the Copper Initiative as its premier sponsor and is also supported by APHC, Altecnic, Aqualisa, Brian Hyde Ltd, CIPHE, EAL, EAS Mechanical, Grundfos, JIB-PMES, LA-CO, Monument Tools, SNIPEF and Worcester Bosch.


 

Northern Ireland event, held at South West College on 4th March.  Congratulations to Tyler Elliott from Southern Regional College, winner of the plumbing skills competition in Northern Ireland.

 tyler elliott

1st Place - Tyler Elliott, Southern Regional College
2nd Place - Gary Knight, Southern Regional College
3rd Place - Richard Nicholson, Southern Regional College
 
South of England event, held at Chichester College on 26th May.  Congratulations to Ewan McGregor from Chichester College for winning the South of England regional event in the 2016 SkillPLUMB competition.
 
 Ewan McGregor, skillplumb
 
 
1st Place - Ewan McGregor, Chichester College         
2nd Place - Ben Randoll, Bridgwater College
3rd Place - Ryan Holden, East Kent College
 
Wales event, held at Neath Port Talbot College on 2nd June.  Well done to Benjamin Dunford, Coleg Sir Gar, for winning the Wales regional event for 2016.

 Benjamin Dunford 1

1st Place - Benjamin Dunford, Coleg Sir Gar
2nd Place - Samuel Palin, Coleg Cambria
3rd Place - Lewis Griffiths, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor
 
Midlands event, held at South City College Birmingham on 7th June.  The winner - Zak Clay, Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology.

 Zak Clay

1st Place - Zak Clay, Shrewsbury College of Arts and Technology
2nd Place - Gareth Jones, Hyfforddiant Ceredigion Training
3rd Place - Ultan Coonan, Bedford College
 

Scotland event, held at Edinburgh College on 17/18th June.  The winner - Sam Shepherd from Fife College.

Sam Shepherd
The competition was organised by SNIPEF and supported by BPEC

 

North of England event, held at Leeds College of Building on 23rd June.  The winner - David Blewett, Moray College

david blewett

 

1st Place - David Blewett, Moray College

2nd Place - Courtenay Fenton, Carlisle College
3rd Place - Muzamal Ishfaq, Blackburn College
 
 


SkillPLUMB 2015

Organised by BPEC and with the Copper Initiative as a premier sponsor, the event is designed to promote and showcase high standards and skills across the plumbing industry. 

The Final - 19-21 November at the 2015 Skills Show – NEC

The SkillPLUMB competition 2105 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.

 Neil Collishaw of BPEC with SkillPLUMB Winner Richard Wilson

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 pipework.

 Plumbers get to workYoung plumbers at work

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.

 Winning pipeworkWinning pipework by Richard Wilson

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. 

 The competitors at SkillPLUMB 2015The competitors

The other SkillPLUMB competitors who took part in the UK final: 

•              Algirds Balta, Borders College, Greenheat Renewables

•              Daniel Doughty, Coleg Sir Gar, E Jones Plumbing & Heating  Highly Commended

•              Daniel Martins, EAS Mechanical, Briggs & Forrester Group  Highly Commended

•              Gavin Rice, Southern Regional College (NI), Seamus Matthews Ltd  Highly Commended

•              Matthew Gorrie, Perth College, LW Haddow Plumbing & Heating

•              Owen Boswell, Suffolk New College, Sleepsafe

•              Thomas Strong, Lakes College, Russel Dicks

The final took place at The Skills Show, a national event held at the NEC in Birmingham from 19-21 November.  The show hosted over 60 different skills competitions and is one of the largest careers and skills events in the UK, around 75,000 visitors went to the event across the 3 days of the show.



SkillPLUMB in 2014.

The National Final - The 2014 SkillPLUMB Champion is Josh Ellis

Twenty-one year old Josh Ellis from Westmancoat Plumbing, Heating & Electrical Contractors has been crowned 2014 SkillPLUMB champion after excelling in an intensive two-day practical competition at the Birmingham NEC Skills Show.

Over 75,000 visited the event, the nation’s largest skills and careers event, where SkillPLUMB was just one of 65 competitions taking place.

Josh, a student at Exeter College, took top marks over his fellow finalists in a task to install a small central heating system and a hot/cold water installation comprising a combi boiler, radiators and towel rail, wash hand basin and thermostatic radiator valves and shower.Josh Ellis, winner of SkillPLUMB 2014

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 Robert Carter of Derek Hales Ltd and the College of West Anglia. Tied for third place and taking home a bronze medal each was Callum Robertson, of Moray College/SNIPEF and Highland Eco Heat, along with Gavin Rice of South West College/CITB NI and Seamus Matthews Plumbing.

All finalists received prizes including tools, workwear and vouchers alongside a competition medallion and certificate.

Speaking after his win, Josh said: “When my name came up on the board I was speechless – shell-shocked to be honest! The competition was really tough and tested my abilities. I would have been happy with third place, I really didn’t think I would win but it’s great.”

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

“We have been so impressed with the standard of work produced,” said Neil Collishaw. “Many visitors said that this was the best event they have seen to date. All competitors were really professional and are excellent role models for the thousands of young people who visited the show."

The full list of competitors:

Benjamin Cooke - Grimsby Institute - Shoreline Housing Partnership

Thomas Strong - Lakes College - Walker Bros (Cockermouth) Ltd

Alex Rooney - South West College / CITB NI - David Lyndsay Plumbing

Gavin Rice - Southern Regional College / CITB NI - Seamus Matthews Plumbing

Ryan Forsythe - Northern Regional College / CITB NI - Combined Facilities Management

Fergus O'Connell - Exeter College - Pro Heat Plumbing & Heating

Josh Ellis - Exeter College - Westmancoat Plumbing, Heating & Electrical Contractors

Robert Carter - The College of West Anglia - Derek Hales Ltd

Callum Robertson - Moray College / SNIPEF - Highland Eco Heat

Lloyd Wakefield - Bridgend College - JC Heating & Plumbing Green Ltd

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