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Young plumber has the competitive bug

A Gisborne plumber has come second in the Plumbing World Young Plumber of the Year competition for the second year in a row.

Alex Hyland competed against 10 top young plumbers from around New Zealand.

Finalists went head-to-head in skills tests like installing a basic bathroom in a matter of hours, and a written theory test.

The competition recognises not only proficiency on the job, but passion for the plumbing industry.

This was Mr Hyland’s third year competing.

“I was the only one at the competition who has been competing since it started,” Mr Hyland said.

“I think it’s such a good opportunity to meet a lot of new people and learn about what is happening in other places across the country.

“I am pretty happy with second — I did come second last year, so it would have been nice to do one better and get first place.”

He said he quite enjoyed the competition.

“I’m a bit of a competitive person so it was a good opportunity to put myself out there and see what I could accomplish going up against other young plumbers from around the country.”

The most challenging part for him was constructing the bathroom, “because you are bound to a time limit”.

“You have to think and work at the same time, you don’t have time to stop and think about what you are doing.

“It was a really hot day too, so you’ve got to try to stay focused.”

He found the written test a lot easier.

“The fact I have done the competition a few times meant I knew what to expect.

“When I started plumbing I didn’t think this was a job I could stand doing, but after a while I found it’s quite an enjoyable environment for me.”

Plumbing World general manager Rob Kidd said he was always impressed by the quality of young plumbers who take part in the competition.

“What a fantastic third run of the Young Plumber of the Year competition and a huge congratulations to Alex.

“The calibre of young plumbers around the country improves every year and to place in the top three takes hard work and dedication to the trade,” Mr Kidd said.

“Our aim is to encourage and support the young guys out there, like Alex, whether they are an apprentice or fully qualified. We want them to be proud of being a plumber.”

Mr Hyland received a certificate of participation and won prizes for his efforts including $1000 in NZ Plumbers’ Merchants Society redeemable preference shares, a range of tools worth about $3000, a bluetooth speaker, and a subscription to NZ Plumber magazine.

Alex Hyland, runner-up at the young plumber of the year competition for the second year in a row, is pictured here installing underfloor heating pipework. Picture by Paul Rickard