Apprentices in the plumbing and heating sector, whose importance has seldom been more keenly recognised, have once again been recognised with the Scotland and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF) Best Apprentice Plumber awards.
The talent and enthusiasm they bring to their journey towards the status of a qualified plumber is the pride of the sector and their achievement confirms to them that the career choice they made has been comprehensively vindicated.
To celebrate the hard work and determination they have displayed, the campaigning trade association has honoured 17 apprentices from the colleges in Scotland in which they study their craft. Each one received a £100 voucher.
SNIPEF’s accolade for the future stars of the profession comes at a time when plumbing and heating is increasingly being seen as making a valuable social contribution during the transition to net zero carbon as well as being a pathway to a rewarding and satisfying working life.
Fiona Hodgson, Chief Executive of SNIPEF, said:
“This is the 32nd year that SNIPEF has been seeking out and rewarding the best talent among our stars. It is an accolade that they most certainly deserve.
“It is also a great tribute to employers, for the faith they have demonstrated in our people, but also to the apprentices themselves, the colleges which nurture their ambitions and the organisations such as SNIPEF which wholeheartedly support them.
“We were hard hit over the last few years, when uncertainty stalked the land, so it is very heartening not only that apprentice numbers are back up to where they were before the pandemic, but that the quality of people we are bringing in is so satisfying.”
Dale Thomson, Apprentice Training Manager for SNIPEF, said:
“The industry has always been very aware that its future lies in the skill and dedication of the people who are embarking on their careers at this time.
“Unlike a university further education, for which people may have to take out student loans, a plumbing apprenticeship offers the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification and for apprentices to earn while they learn.
“The industry and employers within the sector are always on the lookout for people with the right qualities – initiative, enthusiasm and willingness to learn – and if someone is attracted by the prospect, they could start here.”
Those picked out and honoured by their respective colleges this year include:
- Ayrshire College. Winner: Aiden McIlroy, Derek Campbell Plumbing, Heating and Gas Services.
- Borders College: Winner: Stephen Cairns, Mike Cairns Heating and Gas Services
- Dundee College. Winner: Gregor McNee, Tayside Boiler Services.
- Edinburgh College. Winner: Jack Forbes, A Alexander & Son (Electrical) Ltd
- Fife College East. Winner: Owen Robertson, Alistair Thorpe, Cupar, Ltd
- Forth Valley College. Winner: Hubert Parysek, Comfort Systems Plumbing & Heating Ltd.
- Glasgow Clyde College. Winner: Kyle Shanahan, Emtec Group.
- Glasgow Kelvin College. Winner: Matthew Strachan, Axwell Technical Services.
- Inverness College. Winner: Kirsty Maclean, Alex Matheson Plumbing and Heating
- Moray College. Winner: Sean Esslemont, McDonald & Munro Ltd.
- North East Scotland College. Winner: Grant Hunter, Willie Gauld Plumbing, Heating and Renewables.
- Perth College. Winner: Daniel Van Wyk, DM Plumbing.
- South Lanarkshire College. Winner: Tom Gillies, BS Plumbing and Heating Services.
- Tullos Training Ltd. Winner: Adam Myron, Heatcare Oil and Gas Ltd.
- West College Scotland Clydebank. Winner: Ben Anderson, The Boiler Repair Man.
- West College Scotland Greenock. Winner: Ritchie McArthur, James Paterson and Sons Plumbing and Heating.
- West College Scotland Paisley. Winner: Paul Marshall, James Frew Ltd.
SNIPEF has been at the forefront of innovation in training and skills to ensure a vibrant and dynamic industry staffed by professionals versed in the complexity of the technologies which are underpinning renewables and meeting the demand for clean energy in an age of climate change.