Edinburgh student named best apprentice at plumbing awards

David A More Trophy winner Ian Flockhart (centre) from SNIPEF Heating Scotland Ltd with Robin Hall (L) and Robert Beagley (R)
David A More Trophy winner Ian Flockhart (centre) from SNIPEF Heating Scotland Ltd with Robin Hall (L) and Robert Beagley (R)

Edinburgh College graduate Ian Flockhart, 52, picked up the top award at the 13th annual Apprentice Prize Giving Ceremony organised by the Scottish & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF) Edinburgh and District Branch.

The awards celebrate the achievements of plumbing apprentices from the Edinburgh and District region from the three colleges who deliver the industry-approved apprentice programme - Edinburgh, Borders and Forth Valley colleges.

Ian, a mature student from Edinburgh who is now self-employed after working with Heating Scotland Ltd in Tranent during his apprenticeship, won the 2014 best overall apprentice in the region, receiving the prestigious David More Trophy. Before retraining, Ian spent 23 years in the printing trade followed by driving a taxi for a number of years.

Andrew Golightly, decorating, plastering and plumbing lecturer at Edinburgh College, said: “We’re delighted that Ian was recognised by SNIPEF. He came to Edinburgh College as a mature student and has now graduated. He showed dedication and a commitment to learning by retraining in a new career as a plumber, undertaking four years of training to complete the industry-recognised and approved programme.”

Ian Flockhart added: ”I’m really chuffed to get this award from the plumbing industry itself. It was a big decision to retrain at 52 years of age but it was a good decision. I enjoyed my apprenticeship and relished the opportunity to learn as much as possible. I enjoyed the college experience, even though I was the oldest in the class by a mile! I am now self-employed and looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

The award presentations were made by Robin Hall, past president of SNIPEF Edinburgh and District Branch, and Robert Beagley, regional director of Plumb Center, who donated the prizes of tool vouchers.

The awards were sponsored by BPEC, the plumbing and heating industry’s certification and training organisation delivering UKAS and Ofqal qualifications for the industry as well as engaging in significant charitable activities to raise skills by reinvesting profits into the Industry.

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