South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.
Higher, Professional, Technical.
Outstanding by standing out



World Plumbing Day 2019

Talented plumbing students from SGS College took part in a ‘Pipe Bending Challenge’ in celebration of World Plumbing Day and National Apprenticeship Week on Thursday 7 March.

The Level 2 Plumbing and Heating students all had to work against the clock with just 45 minutes to complete a ‘Pipe Bend Challenge’ in two separate heats. The challenge involved demonstrating a number of skills including bending and soldering, with a pressure test carried out on completion.

The competition at Stroud was judged by industry experts Malcolm Faulkener (SW&L), Dan Russell (PKL) and David Merrett (Merretts Heating). At Filton, the competition was judged by Ross Dickinson (Rothenberger), Deborah Stanley Jones (Plumbher), Leigh Randall (Fluidmaster) and Tony Forthergill (Worcester Bosch).

Winners at Stroud Campus were Lukas Swaddling (Heat 1), Cameron Stephens (Heat 2) with Lukas named overall winner. Winner and runner up at Filton Campus were Bartosz Swobodzinski and Jack Gready.

Winners and runner up students received trophies and a selection of tools to support their career path including items such as rotary hammer drill, hand bender, mini pipe bender, pipe cutter and more.

David Quinton, Learning Area Manager, Construction, commented:

“The standard of work this year has been extremely high and all competitors really excelled under pressure. The judges had a hard time agreeing on an overall winner as so many of the competing students merited a trophy. I’m very proud of the professionalism and enthusiasm shown by both groups of learners.”

Dan Russell from PKL, was very impressed by the Level 2 students’ aptitude and skill. He commented:

“All competitors have shown confidence and efficiency, which is incredibly challenging when facing a tight timescale and the distraction of judges and staff watching throughout. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us as a business to recruit young and talented workers onto our apprenticeship scheme and I’m very pleased that the college supports World Plumbing Day each year. As an industry we are always looking to employ skilled individuals and this event is a great opportunity for us as well as the students taking part.”

Malcolm Faulkener from SW&L also said he was extremely impressed by the superior skill demonstrated by the competitors and said:

“I was so impressed by some of the students I’ve asked for CVs ready to offer placements in September 2019!”

Ross Dickinson from Rothenberger said:

“It was a great day. The students were clearly keen to learn and do well in their chosen craft, while also having fun in the process. I was impressed with how well the college staff had achieved this balance knowing how hard it is to accomplish. Great work and great for the industry!”

Tony Forthergill, Senior Training Manager at Worcester Bosch said:

“It was a pleasure to participate in such a well organised event. Looking forward to working with you again as part of our college links initiative.”

Leigh Randell, South West & Wales Regional Manager, Fluid Master said:

“I had a fantastic day. It was great to see the enthusiasm of the next generation of plumbers. I will of course be there next year.”

Deborah Stanley Jones, Director of Plumbher said:

“I’m always happy to contribute, to make a difference to young apprentices coming into the industry.

“World Plumbing Day at SGS is a really well organised day and I’ll definitely be back to help out again next year.”

Trudy Hillier, Business Executive at SGS said:

“This is the fifth year we have run the event and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in supporting today’s event especially the employers who have generously given their time to judge. It’s been a very rewarding event, with a number of apprenticeships offered once again.”