Twenty-one-year-old Josh Ellis from Westmancoat Plumbing, the heating and electrical contractor, has been crowned 2014 SkillPLUMB champion after excelling in a two-day practical competition at the Birmingham NEC Skills Show.
Over 75,000 visited the nation’s largest skills and careers event, where SkillPLUMB was just one of 65 competitions taking place.
Josh, a student at Exeter College, took top marks over his fellow finalists in a task to install a small central heating system and a hot/cold water installation comprising a combi boiler, radiators and towel rail, wash hand basin and thermostatic radiator valves and shower.
The task had to be completed within a strict timeframe and was marked against tough criteria, including bend and joint quality, bend angles and clearance and measuring and marking out, which had to be accurate within +/- 2mm.
Taking second place and a silver medal was Robert Carter of Derek Hales and the College of West Anglia. Tied for third plac,e and taking home a bronze medal each, was Callum Robertson, of Moray College/SNIPEF and Highland Eco Heat, along with Gavin Rice of South West College/CITB NI and Seamus Matthews Plumbing.
All finalists received prizes including tools, workwear and vouchers alongside a competition medallion and certificate.
Speaking after his win, Josh said: “When my name came up on the board I was speechless – shell-shocked to be honest. The competition was really tough and tested my abilities. I would have been happy with third place, I really didn’t think I would win but it’s great.”