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Winners of Midlands Heats in Search for the Best UK Electrician Named

Northampton College student Danny Shanahan, employed by DRM Electrical, and Petroc Tiverton Campus student Philip Chapple, employed by J V Lee, have scooped the top prizes in the Midlands heats of the SkillELECTRIC competition heat to find the UK’s best electrician.

Twenty-one-year-old Danny and 20-year-old Philip battled it out with other finalists from across the Midlands to be named winners of the first and second Midlands heat of the SkillELECTRIC competition at Burton and South Derbyshire College on 20 and 22 June.

The event is part of the nationwide Skill M&E competitions organised by SummitSkills, the sector skills council for building services engineering. Unusually this year, two Midlands heats were run due to demand for places in the competition.

Second place in the first heat went to twenty-year-old Shaun Falkowski from N G Bailey, a student with the N G Bailey Engineering Academy. In third place was 24-year-old Joe Matthews from Saffron Housing, who studies at City College Norwich.

In the second heat, the first runner up was Liam Le Clerq, 21, a student at Bradford College who is employed by Bradford Metropolitan District Council. Third place went to Kerri Gilroy, 21, who is employed by N G Bailey Engineering and studies at the N G Bailey Engineering Academy.

The highest-scoring competitors from across all the UK heats go on to compete in the UK-wide finals of SkillELECTRIC which will take place at The Skills Show in November at the NEC, Birmingham.

Danny Shanahan said: “The task we were set was a difficult one to do in just six hours and to such tight rules, but completing it was a real buzz. DRM Electrical, my employer, has been behind me all the way and winning has boosted my confidence in my own skills. I’ve received excellent training at Northampton College which has enabled me to get to this point.”

Philip Chapple said: “All of us taking part agreed that this was a real test of our skills, and we were relieved to know at the end that we’d done a good job. My win isn’t just down to me – the support of my employer J V Lee and my college Petroc Tiverton Campus are what gave me the winning edge. Well done to the other competitors, too.”

Neil Collishaw, head of skills competitions and awards at organisers SummitSkills said: “Well done to Danny and Philip. All our competitors had a challenging task to complete but the judges were impressed with their skills and determination.”

Contestants had six hours to install a PVC conduit and trunking installation with three circuits feeding light points and power sockets. Their work had to be completed within the time limit, safely and to recognised industry standards, with a very small tolerance for any errors.

These competitions are the feeder route for competitors to potentially go forward and represent their country at the biennial WorldSkills competition – the world’s largest skills competition. The next WorldSkills event takes place at Leipzig in German in July 2013.

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