Andrew Patton from Dave Neal Plumbing and Heating, a student at Grimsby Institute, has been crowned the 2012 SkillPLUMB champion, following three days of intense practical competition during The Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham.
Finalists were asked to fit a simulated domestic central heating system, a wash basin, hot and cold shower pipework and plastic waste pipework to a simulated WC. Andrew beat nine other competitors to take the gold medal. Judges scored him most highly against strict criteria including bend and joint quality, bend angles and clearances, plumb and level pipework and appliances, soundness testing, material usage and health and safety.
Sponsored by the UK Copper Board, the competition awarded silver and bronze places to Ross Temple from Killen Plumbing and Heating, who is a student at South West College Northern Ireland (supported by SkillBUILD NI) and Gary Doyle from Keiran Trainor Plumbing and Heating, a student at South Regional College Northern Ireland (supported by SkillBUILD NI) respectively.
Neil Collishaw of SummitSkills, organiser of the competition, said: 'The focus and determination shown by all of our competitors is an inspiration and this time we hope they have inspired some of the visitors to the Skills Show to think about their own talents and how they could follow in Andrew's footsteps.'
Next year's SkillPLUMB competition opens for entries from 11 February to 22 March. For more information contact SummitSkills on 01908 303972 or visit www.skillplumb.org.uk