Chisholm hosted the second annual National Skills Week Plumbing Skills Competition on Wednesday 30 August, 2017

The event has grown in the second year with eight apprentices from Chisholm, Holmesglen and Swinburne TAFEs competing to showcase their skills as part of National Skills Week.

Donations of funds and materials for the competition were overwhelming with generous sponsors supplying tools and materials for the day and prizes for all participants. Avid supporters and sponsors included Energy Safe Victoria (ESV), Victorian Building Authority (VBA), Reece Doveton, South East Water, Milwaukee, Incolink, Sharkbite, Haron, Vinidex and Blackwoods.

Chisholm will also host a range of National World Skills events on campus in the coming month. Events like this allow students from a range of trade vocations to compete and showcase their skills state wide and potentially at a national or international level.

The contestants spent the day completing two tasks which involved crafting a “simulated” 50 mm discharge pipe including trap vent and stack and a water fabrication exercise. The tasks required attention to detail, quality assembly and had to be completed within a time limit.

Contestants were mentored throughout the day by Phil Dent from Holmesglen, Paul Burke from Swinburne and Kerri McDonnell from Chisholm. Judges Alan Ryder, Dom Hibbert and Wayne Ellerton examined and scored each contestants work.

The overall winner for the day was Chisholm apprentice Ethan Cockerill, receiving an 81.5/100 from the judges. Ethan took home a Big Dog tool bag, Rothenberger Crimp tool with heads and a shovel generously donated by Reece Plumbing as well as a 3 piece Milwaukee drill kit donated by South East Water and to top it off a custom made trophy from total Tools Carrum Downs.

Placing second was Swinburne apprentice, Billy Meyland scoring 77/100 and last minute entrant Kaidhen Veerman from Chisholm placed third with a score of 73/100.

Runners up, Ben Carpenter (Chisholm), Spencer Shadbolt (Holmesglen), Jackson Gaillard (Holmesglen), Jake Suraka (Swinburne) and Huxley Dousset (Swinburne) didn’t leave empty handed. They walked away with a prizes and a framed certificate of participation and the experience of being part of the day.

Chisholm plumbing teacher Shelly Decker, also a previous Victorian Apprentice of the Year winner, says “I would love to see all plumbing students have the opportunity to exhibit their skills and have the confidence to compete against other apprentice plumbers. It’s a fantastic morale builder, which benefits TAFE, their employer and industry as a whole”.

“Our sponsors have been so generous in their support for the apprentices in this year’s event, it really shows the tremendous depth of our trade. I’d love to see all Chisholm plumbing students being offered the opportunity to be involved in a World Skills event in future” Shelly added.

The competition allows young apprentices to expand and hone their skillset for the competition and for day to day tasks on the job. Friendly competition between the TAFE’s displayed collaboration as Shelly has said “I’ve dreamed of holding an event like this for four years and after the success of the event last year, we’ve finally made it happen not once but twice! I hope to see the event get bigger and better each year”.