A plumbing student has been crowned the winner of a skills competition in the north-east.

Seventeen-year-old Josh Wilkinson, who studies a level two EAL diploma in plumbing and heating at East Durham College, took first place in the North East Inter-College Plumbing Competition Final, as the only competitor to successfully build a fully watertight pipe circuit.

Students had four hours to build a complex pipe circuit, with their work scored on dimensional accuracy, pipework joints, soldering, clip spacing, machine pipe bending accuracy and watertight performance.

The challenge was taken on both by Josh and his fellow EDC student, Kyle McCullough, also 17, who competed with students from the nearby Bishop Auckland College.

The competition was part of a series of inter-college challenges in the region taking place throughout the year, which challenge different vocational disciplines in an effort to build students’ practical skills and increase their confidence.

“It was a very close-fought contest with only two points separating them all, but Josh emerged as the winner, being the only competitor to achieve a fully watertight pipe circuit,” said Lecturer Tim Beasley.

“Congratulations to Josh, and everyone should be very proud of their performances. They are an absolute credit to their respective colleges.”


Main image: Josh, right, with East Durham’s Rob Hutchinson

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