2018 SkillPLUMB champion unveiled

James McCall-Smith with BPEC chairman George Thomson
James McCall-Smith with BPEC chairman George Thomson

James McCall-Smith has been crowned 2018 SkillPLUMB champion after excelling in an intensive two-day practical task at WorldSkills UK LIVE, the nation’s largest skills and careers event.

The National Finals saw more than 500 competitors battle it out, where SkillPLUMB was just one of the 70 different disciplines taking place.

James, a student from Tullos Training in Aberdeen, won the gold medal in an intensive two-day exercise which consisted of the installation of a small sealed domestic central heating system with expansion vessel and ancillary equipment, inclusive of three small bespoke radiators, an unvented hot water cylinder, a boiler mounting jig, motorised zone valves and copper pipework (22mm & 15mm).

The task was marked against tough criteria including bend and joint quality, bend angles and clearance and measuring and marking out.

James will be given the opportunity to take part in the Grundfos Installer Championship which is being held next year in Frankfurt.

Taking second place and a silver medal was Leonard Keown from South West College. Third place and the bronze medal went to Thomas Moys from Petroc.

Speaking after his win, James said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to have won, the competition was so tight and it seemed like we were all working at the same level so I’ve over the moon to be named the champion.

“It was challenging working under pressure and with the added pressure of the spectators but I just did my best. The support from my employer, family and college was much appreciated and I’m looking forward to progressing in my career with this win under my belt”.