A Coleg Llandrillo Plumbing student is celebrating after winning a heat of a prestigious national apprentice construction competition.
20-year-old Luke Jones-Maughn from Conwy, who is studying on the Level 2 Plumbing and Heating day-release course at the college's Rhos-on-Sea campus, beat 9 regional finalists in the 'HIP UK Heating Apprentice of the Year - North West' heat, which was held at Burnley College.
He has now qualified for the UK final in Cheltenham in April, and apart from the potential accolade of being crowned 'UK Heating Apprentice of the Year 2018', he has the chance, along with the six other regional heat winners, to walk away with industry-standard tools and machinery worth thousands of pounds. The national competition is organised every year by HIP Magazine for Level 2 or 3 students who are doing an apprenticeship.
The heat finalists had to complete the tasks of piping down from a combi boiler, before piping up to a radiator. Finally, they had to run a gas pipe to the sink and shower units, under the watchful eyes of the judges, who were all from industry. Even more impressive was the fact that Luke was the only Level 2 student in the regional final, pitting his skills against the other Level 3 finalists.
It was really good to win the competition, as I was up against 8 of the best apprentices in North West Britain. I can't wait to get to the final now and do my best for North Wales.
Luke juggles his studies with working alongside his father in the family business: Conwy Heating. In the run-up to the competition, he voluntarily attended several night classes at the college to put in extra practice.
Coleg Llandrillo Construction tutor, Chris Walling, added:
The exceptionally high standard of all the competitors' work makes this win for Luke really special. We usually enter a Level 3 student, but Luke's work was of such a high standard, we had no hesitation in entering him. The competition is a fantastic way to showcase the skills of the next generation of installers. I am really happy for Luke; he will make a great tradesperson.
The 'HIP UK Heating Apprentice of the Year' competition has given students a chance to be recognised for their hard work and skills since 2009, whilst at the same time providing a great opportunity for lecturers and leading industry manufacturers to get involved and support the next generation of installers.
Alongside the prestige of winning a UK competition for both student and college, there's a fantastic list of prizes worth over £9,000 which have been donated by major players from industry.
For more information on Construction courses at any of Grŵp Llandrillo Menai's campuses, call Learner Services on 01492 542 338.