Aberdeenshire apprentices win national plumbing competition

June 15, 2018 |

Samuel Henderson of Tullos Training

Samuel Henderson of Tullos Training


Two apprentices from the same company took home the top awards at the 43rd Annual SNIPEF SkillPLUMB competition.

Samuel Henderson won first prize in the lead competition while James McCall Smith secured top spot in the copper contest.

Both apprentices are from Tullos Training in Aberdeen and work for Derek Scott Plumbing and Heating in Aberdeenshire.

Second place in the lead competition went to Glasgow Clyde College student John Taylor, who works for Evolve Plumbing Services Ltd, and Moray College's Cameron Stewart, who works with DD Plumbing Services, came third.

In the copper category, Kyle McGeoghie, who studies at Perth College and works for William Combe & Son Ltd, was second. Third place went to Pipedream Plumbing Ltd's Alexander Clouston, a student at Inverness College.

The event was hosted by West College Scotland at their Paisley Campus on Friday 15 June.  

James McCall Smith
James McCall Smith of Tullos Training (centre), with Jamie Hepburn MSP (left), and Gerry Woods

A total of 30 participants from colleges and training centres across Scotland gathered to compete in the competition, which is split into two parts – a lead competition and a copper competition.

The candidates undertake practical exercises in copper pipework and lead work before their work is assessed and marked by a panel of technical experts.

The prizes were presented by Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Employability and Training, and SNIPEF Past President Gerry Woods.

In his guest address Mr Hepburn said:  “Scotland’s young people are offered a fruitful and rewarding experience through apprenticeships and I need you to go out and tell others what a great opportunity an apprenticeship can be.”

“…[Scotland’s young people] are offered a fruitful and rewarding experience through apprenticeships and I need you to go out and tell others what a great opportunity an apprenticeship can be.”

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Employability and Training

Fiona Hodgson, SNIPEF CEO said: “It is inspiring and reassuring to see the exceptionally high standard of skills the apprentices have demonstrated, our industry is in safe hands.

"They are a credit to the employers who take them on, the lecturers who teach them so well and, most importantly, they are a credit to themselves in showing such dedication and determination to become the best they can be at their chosen trade.”

Copper competition winner James could go on to represent Scotland at SkillBUILD UK in Birmingham in November where the highest scoring winners from the heats will compete in the UK final.

SkillPLUMB is an annual skills competition designed to promote standards and skills across the plumbing industry, developing competence into excellence. SkillPLUMB can bring invaluable benefits to students, colleges and employers. Competitors can gain recognition for exceptional skills, injecting dynamism and excitement into training. Employers can enhance their business reputation and improve the skills of their workforce.

The judges of the copper competition were Gerry Woods, SNIPEF Past President, Paul Dodds, UK Skills, Mally Butters, BPEC and Martyn Raine, SNIPEF.

The judges of the lead competition were Raymond Leslie SNIPEF Past President, Malcolm Thomson D. Blake and John Somerville, SNIPEF.

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