Elgin apprentice, Shaun Wilcox, crowned Scottish Plumbing Apprentice of the Year for second consecutive year.

June 24, 2024

Shaun Wilcox, winner of the Scottish Plumbing Apprentice of the Year copper category. Employed by Moray Council and studies at Moray College UHI

Shaun Wilcox, a second-year plumbing and heating apprentice from Elgin, has been named the Scottish Plumbing Apprentice of the Year (SPAY) for a second year, this time in the highly competitive copper category, sponsored by Airdrie Mechanical Services. 

Following his triumph in the lead category last year, Shaun's latest achievement marks the first time an apprentice has won both competition categories in consecutive years.

Shaun, who balances his studies at Moray College, University of Highlands and Islands, with his work at Moray Council, outperformed 17 other category competitors in the competition held at South Lanarkshire College on 7 June.

Now in its 49th year, the SPAY competition showcases the next generation of exceptional talent entering the plumbing and heating profession. Divided into three distinct categories: Copper, Lead, and Renewables, each is designed to challenge the apprentices’ skills and innovative practical capabilities.

Fiona Hodgson, Chief Executive of the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation (SNIPEF) and competition organiser began by congratulating Shaun on his consecutive victories, saying, “I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Shaun for his outstanding achievement in winning the Scottish Plumbing Apprentice of the Year for a second year. His tireless efforts and dedication are truly commendable.

“Both Moray College UHI and Moray Council deserve high praise for their roles in nurturing such exceptional talent within our modern apprenticeship programme.

Highlighting the broader implications of this success, Hodgson noted, "Shaun’s triumph not only celebrates his individual skill but also underscores the critical importance of our apprenticeship in promoting excellence across the plumbing and heating profession.

“These future professionals are essential for advancing our profession and pivotal in supporting Scotland’s transition towards innovative, low-carbon heating systems like heat pumps, aligning with our national environmental ambitions.”

Neil Collishaw, Chief Executive of BPEC and headline sponsor of the SPAY competition, emphasised the significance of the competition and Shaun’s achievement: "The copper category serves as the Scottish qualifying heat for the SkillPLUMB UK finals. Integrating these regional heats into our national competition framework ensures the broad attainment of standards across the UK, fosters professional growth, and equips participants for success on both national and international stages.

"I look forward to seeing the best of all the SkillPLUMB UK-wide competitors at this year’s UK finals in Manchester between 21 and 23 November."

Shaun Wilcox's achievement was among several successes for Moray College UHI at the competition, with three of their apprentices winning awards. 

Shay Ewing, representing Andrew Barclay Plumbing and Heating, secured second place in the copper category, while Liam Marshall from McDonald and Munro also took second place in the lead category.

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