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North of England’s best electrician named

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Josh Derry, a student at Leeds College of Building, has scooped the top prize in the SkillELECTRIC competition to find the north of England’s best electrician.


Twenty-one-year-old Derry battled it out with other finalists from across the north of the country to be named winner of the SkillElectric competition at Gateshead College on 30 May. The event is part of the nationwide Skill M&E competitions organised by SummitSkills, the sector skills council for building services engineering.

Second place went to twenty-year-old Jonathan Welsh from N G Bailey, a student with the N G Bailey Engineering Academy. In third place was 21-year-old Graeme Benson from East Riding of Yorkshire Council, who studies at Hull College.

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.

Derry said: “I’m so proud. At the beginning of the competition I wasn’t sure that I could do the task we were set in time, but my tutor from Leeds College of Building was there, urging me on. The fact that I won goes to show how well they prepared me.  I’d recommend taking part in this competition to anyone – I got a real sense of achievement out of it.”

Neil Collishaw, head of skills competitions and awards at organisers SummitSkills said: “Well done to Josh. All our competitors deserve praise as they had a challenging task to complete but the judges were impressed with the level of skills on display.”

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.

For more information about Skill M&E visit

Pictured: Josh Derry with David Thomas, NET & ECA, and Judith Doyle, Gateshead College

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