When Andrew Reain left school, he knew he wanted a trade and was considering his options for a career in electrical, mechanical, or plumbing. Having decided on plumbing, the young man’s skills have reached world class and secured him a place at the WorldSkillsUK National Finals – known as the Olympics for skills – in Middleborough, 14 – 18 November.
Andrew (18) from Dromara, progressed to SERC from Dromore High School after his GCSEs. He said, “I wanted to progress and had been looking at my options. I secured employment with Vincent Cunningham Contractors Ltd, based in Dromore and successfully completed my Level 2 Apprenticeship NI in Plumbing with SERC and am progressing now with my Level 3.”
Andrew competed in the WorldSkillsUK Regional Finals early this year and is looking forward to the National Finals. SERC plumbing lecturer Graham Thompson is mentoring him ahead of the competition this November. Andrew said, “One of the main challenges will be getting up to speed with the new pipe benders which have been issued for all competitors. These are new to the industry and unlike traditional pipe benders, these have a built-in slide and different marking for angles. It is just a matter of getting used to them and working as quickly as I can with the traditional tool and keeping my soldering as neat and tidy as possible.”
Andrew added, “In the regional competition, the timing worked out ok for me and I got everything completed, so it will be a case of keeping my nerve and working through everything that must be completed. It will be busy, but I am looking forward to the challenge. My parents, Judith and Paul, and my three brothers are all pleased and excited for me, so I have plenty of support at home and of course I am delighted to be representing my employer, Vincent Cunningham Contractor Ltd and SERC.”
Speaking about his day-to-day job and the apprenticeship Andrew concluded, “I am working mostly in the local area on domestic jobs dealing with hot water cylinders and boilers. I am enjoying the apprenticeship and I am glad I decided on this route. I feel like I am learning every day and progressing all the time plus I am earning whilst I learn – the perfect combination.”
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