The winners of the SkillPLUMB and SkillELECTRIC 2008 finals, hosted by SummitSkills, the Sector Skills Council for building services engineering, have represented the UK at WorldSkills 2009 in Calgary in Canada at the world’s largest international skills competition.
SkillPLUMB 2008 champion Christopher Lonsdale, from Bishop Auckland in County Durham, and SkillELECTRIC 2008 champion Richard Sagar, from Langholm in Dumfriesshire, both 21, took part in the biennial four day event from 2-5 September. They are part of the 26-strong Team UK who competed against 900 competitors, all aged under 23, from more than 50 countries worldwide in skills ranging from bricklaying to landscaping, cooking to floristry.
Christopher and Richard were invited to compete for a place on Team UK as a direct result of their success in SkillPLUMB and SkillELECTRIC 2008. Following their wins, they underwent extensive training sessions with UK Skills, competing against the UK’s best young plumbers and electricians until the final UK entrants for WorldSkills were revealed in June at a ceremony at the House of Lords.
Neil Collishaw, Head of Skills competitions and awards at SummitSkills, said: “Taking part in WorldSkills is a huge achievement. Christopher and Richard worked so hard to win SkillPLUMB and SkillELECTRIC 2008 and continued to work hard to earn their place on Team UK. They thoroughly deserved to compete in WorldSkills against the best of the best. They have learned so much both professionally and personally and it all began with SkillPLUMB and SkillELECTRIC.”
It is hoped Christopher and Richard’s success will be repeated at this year’s SkillPLUMB and SkillELECTRIC finals at Interbuild. Once again the UK’s ten best trainee plumbers and electricians will battle it out to be crowned SkillPLUMB and SkillELECTRIC 2009 champions.