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Welsh Wizards on Show

The electrical industry showcased its finest talent on earlier this month at the Welsh heat of SkillELECTRIC 2009, a challenging two-day competition designed to promote standards and skills across the sector.

The competition, which took place at Coleg Llandrillo in Wales is organised by SummitSkills, the Sector Skills Council for building services engineering and supported by the Welsh Assembly Government through its Skills Competition Wales events, and part funded through the European Social Fund.

This year saw Jamie Clement, employed by Crown House Technology Ltd in Cardiff and a student from Swansea College, crowned winner of the SkillELECTRIC Welsh heat. Twenty-year-old Jamie competed against seven other talented electricians from Wales.

Competitors carried out installations based on real-life work situations, including installing units, power circuits and cabling, plus a variety of other practical work. Marks were awarded for the candidates’ ability to complete the design, installation and commissioning to an international competition standard with due consideration for health and safety, and the environment.

Second place was awarded to Gareth Norman from Cardiff and employed by N.G Bailey & Co Ltd in Birmingham, and third place went to Gethin Price from DP Denehy & Son Ltd in Gwent. All three winners were presented with a trophy, a certificate and a goody bag and vouchers courtesy of Monument Tools.

Neil Collishaw, Head of Skills competitions and awards at SummitSkills, said: “Everyone benefits from the competition as it ensures the constant development of technology, quality of goods and skills provided. For individuals, like Jamie, the rewards can be fantastically self-satisfying. For employers, highly adept employees contribute to the success and profitability of the company.”

John Griffiths, Deputy Minister for Skills, added: “SkillELECTRIC and Skills Competition Wales is an exciting opportunity for all those in electrical vocations and trades in Wales to showcase their talents. The competition provides a platform for the nation’s vocational talents to be recognised and developed.”

Commenting on his win, Jamie Clement, commented: “To win the Welsh heat of the SkillELECTRIC competition is a fantastic achievement and I’m hoping to have qualified for the national final in October. It has been good for me to be involved in the competition both on a personal and professional level, and I’d like to thank my employer Crown House Technology Ltd for their support.”

SkillELECTRIC is part of Skill M&E – four skills competitions organised by SummitSkills that seek the finest mechanical and electrical engineers in the building services engineering sector. Skill M&E also incorporates SkillFRIDGE for the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry, SkillPLUMB for the plumbing industry, and new for 2009, SkillPIPE for the heating and ventilating industry.

The winners of the semi-finals will battle it out at the UK finals in October, where the ultimate winner will be offered the opportunity to be selected for the WorldSkills competition. The biennial event is the largest skills competition in the world and attracts around a thousand contestants from over 50 countries. The next event will be hosted by London in 2011.

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