Gareth Jones is SkillPLUMB Champion
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.
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.”
Competitors at 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 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.