South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.
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Students impress at World Plumbing Day competition

Last week, students from SGS College’s Plumbing Departments at both Filton and Stroud Campuses put their skills into practice, completing an installation challenge against the clock celebration of World Plumbing Day and National Apprenticeship Week.

On Thursday 9th March, full time level 2 plumbing students at the Stroud Campus participated in the ‘Basin Challenge’ competition. Each student was given 75 minutes to prepare and complete a basic basin installation under the watchful eye of employers. They were able to get advice and guidance from the employers while also feeling the additional pressure of being questioned by them, as they would in the real world.

The students performed well across two heats. The first winner was Jake Carty and the second and overall competition winner was Harry Lindon. Both students had a good pace and were neat in their presentation. Both received a £20 gift voucher from Screwfix and Harry was also gifted with a Dewalt Radio, courtesy of Travis Perkins.

Howard Worwood, Gas Production Supervisor from Severn Vale Housing said: “I was delighted to be invited along to judge the ‘Basin Challenge’ and I was impressed at the level of skill the students have achieved. It was a very well organised event and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“We are working closely with SGS College as we now have our own apprentice plumbers who are receiving training through them.”

On Friday 10th March level 1 and 2 plumbing students at the Filton Campus spent the day competing over four different heats to complete an impressive ‘Pipe Bend Challenge’. The students had to overcome a number of obstacles as they set out, bent and soldered pipes, which had a tap fitting on the end. Those that were successful in completing the challenge over 45 minutes then had to pressure test their work, just as they would in industry.

Guest judges included Debbie Stanley-Jones from PlumbHer, Jeff Bateman from Batemans Gas Service and Gary James and Dan from Graham Facilities Management.

The judges were on hand between heats to offer advice and guidance to the students on industry experience and how to apply themselves when applying for vacancies.

Richard Jones from Ideal Standard attended the morning event and presented the prizes to the Heat 1 winner, Tom Williams and Heat 2 winner, Nathan Williams. In the afternoon, Debbie Stanley-Jones presented Heat 3 winner, Zak Blythe and Heat 4 winner, Ross Harding with their certificates and gift vouchers. The overall winner, Nathan Williams, was presented with a Forge Steel 55 piece tool kit.
Speaking of the event, Nathan said: “I just want to thank you and everyone else involved with organizing the World Plumbing Day activities. I really enjoyed it. There was a good positive atmosphere in the workshop and everyone was very sportsmanlike, congratulating each other on their work. It was great to have people from the trade as well to judge and give advice on our performance.”

Trudy Hillier, Business Executive at SGS said: “This is the third year we have run the event and it continues to go from strength to strength.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all the staff involved in supporting with the organisation of these two events, to the employers for offering their time and commitment to judge the events and to our suppliers who supported with prizes and materials. Both days were very successful, with a number of work experience opportunities offered and several apprenticeship vacancies pledged for September 2017.  I look forward to doing it all again next year.”

Learn more about full time construction courses at SGS.