Air pipes

The pipes are calling. Scottish star Connor Cruden is so close as he takes on the best at the WorldSkills Plumbing Finals in Germany

It was the big event, the final of the massif WorldSkills Plumbing competition, all the pressure was on, the crowds were cheering and Scotland Connor Cruden walked over to the plate.

In a stellar performance, the hugely gifted plumber from Turriff in Aberdeenshire walked away with the Medallion of Excellencea hair’s breadth from overtaking the world’s elite in the Black Forest town of Lahr, Germany last week (between 2n/a and 4e November).

Connor, who came out on top in 2019 at CompetencePLUMB UK finals to find the nation’s most accomplished apprentice, finished the day placing 7e best in the world, just 13 points behind eventual gold medalist Austria.

The competition, which was originally scheduled to take place last year in Shanghai, was moved to Germany due to Chinese restrictions related to Covid-19. It took place under the auspices of GroheGermany’s leading manufacturer of plumbing fixtures, and involved participants from 20 countries, including three observers from Ukraine.

Connor, who works for a local company Cowie Plumbing and Heating, said: “What a fantastic event. It was spread over three days and we were immersed in the thick of things with challenges such as installing a bathroom and sewer lines.

“It was 19.5 hours of intense competition, at a very high level, and after Day 2 I was in the lead. I was ahead of the peloton, but on the last day I made some stupid mistakes. I knew as soon as it happened and it cost me the points that could have gotten me the gold.

“I had trained hard and entered the contest with confidence. I would like to thank SNIPEF [Scotland and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation] for all the help, assistance and encouragement they have given me to get me to this point – and also for a very generous and very unexpected financial consideration they have given me to mark my efforts.

Connor, who was coached by Newry Ronnie Ferrishad the international crowd support of his Aberdeenshire farming parents, Iain and Fiona, his employer Garry Cowiehis lecturer from Moray College Jim Mackinnon, his colleagues and friends from SNIPEF.

Garry Cowie said: “It’s a great moment for Connor. He conquered the world and did it honorably. Few people could have shown his cool professionalism. He is now an extremely talented craftsman and I am sure he has a brilliant career ahead of him.

Dale Thomson, Training Manager at SNIPEF Training Services, said: “We are all very proud of Connor and his achievements at the WorldSkills Finals in Germany. Receiving a Medallion of Excellence is an exceptional achievement, and Connor played fantastically and gave it his all.

“He is a great ambassador for the plumbing and heating industry and an example for anyone considering a career in our industry.”

Supported by SNIPEF and the charitable arm of the BPEC Group, the WorldSkills competition allows talented apprentices to showcase their skills and knowledge of plumbing best practices, and is designed to promote standards and skills in the global plumbing industry. by celebrating excellence.

Under close inspection and scoring by industry experts, apprentice competitors are given never-before-seen detailed drawings from which to design practical plumbing solutions. The work they then produce, usually airtight or watertight, must meet the most exacting tolerances.

The full results of the competition are available here.

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