The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils

SkillPLUMB 2011 crowns a winner

23 Sep 2011

Twenty-five old Tom King from Brian King Plumbing and Heating Ltd has been named the 2011 SkillPLUMB UK national champion after three days of intense practical competition at Leeds College of Building.  The finalists’ task was to fit a simulated domestic central heating system, a wash basin, hot and cold shower pipework and plastic waste pipework to a simulated WC. Tom, a student at Grimsby Institute, beat nine other competitors to take the gold medal after 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.

The competition, which has the UK Copper Board as its premier sponsor, awarded silver and bronze places to Lee Cuthill (DI Jones Heating Engineering) and Phillip Kempsell (KEJ Services) respectively.

Raymond McWilliam of Speyside Plumbing Services and Alex Henning of Gower College Swansea were also awarded with special Highly Commended medals for their excellent performances.
All the finalists received a framed certificate, a medallion of participation, a design guide and from the Chartered Institute of Plumbing, Heating and Engineering (CIPHE), and a training voucher from the National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies. Tom won various spirit levels, donated by Brian Hyde Ltd, tools and a tool bag from sponsors Monument and also membership to CIPHE. He also received £300 cash, a trophy from SummitSkills and a gold medal from WorldSkills UK. Tom will receive the coveted SummitSkills Award for Excellence for the Plumbing Operative of the Year category, which will be presented at WorldSkills London at ExCeL London on 7 October 2011.
The colleges the finalists attend: Grimbsy Insitiute, Yale College, Wrexham and Bedford College will be receiving press tools from sponsors UK Copper Board.
Speaking after his win, Tom said: “The competition was so tight, we really couldn’t tell who was ahead, so I can’t believe I have won. It was a really challenge to get everything done to the specification so it’s great to know that I came out on top. I’ve made some good friends here, meeting the other guys has been brilliant, and I’d like to thank Brian King Plumbing for all their support.”
Neil Collishaw of SummitSkills, organiser of the competition, said: “Just watching these talented people compete has been fantastic. Aside from their obvious technical skills I’ve been particularly impressed by the conduct and professionalism of the competitors – they are a credit to their families and an asset to their employers.
"Judges were impressed by Tom’s planning and pace of work. His dimensional accuracy and bend quality were superb; both these areas contributed to his very high overall score.”
As an added bonus for the top three competitors’ colleges - Grimsby Institute, Yale College Wrexham and Bedford College – each will receive a press-fit tool courtesy of the UK Copper Board.
Next year’s SkillPLUMB competition will open for entries in November 2011. For more information contact SummitSkills on 01908 303972 or visit  

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