Piaras crowned best electrician at awards

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A DUNGANNON student has been crown best electrician at this year’s skillELECTRIC awards.

Piaras McErlean, who attends Southern West College, Dungannon campus scooped the title during the two-day finals held in Portadown.

skillELECTRIC is a premier skills competition for the UK’s electrical industry and provides a platform to showcase the best electrical apprentices and newly qualified electricians from across the UK. The contestants have to participate in six regional heats to win a place in the competition’s outstanding final.

The top eight candidates from these heats then compete in a two-day electrical installation challenge under the watchful eyes of a group of industry experts, who determine which of the finalists wins the gold medal and the title of the UK’s best young electrician. Medals are also awarded for second and third place in the competition.

The regional competition requires competitors to assemble a number of electrical circuits, complete with the installation of associated power and switched components. The circuits are tested for safety and accuracy, and must perform as set out in the specification. 

This year’s competition, held at Southern Regional College, the top three places were secured by South West College candidates with first place Piaras McErlean, Dungannon campus, second Declan Goulding, Omagh Campus and third place, David McHugh Skills Centre, Enniskillen.

This was an unparalleled result, for one college to gain the top three places in a regional heat of this competition and in addition, to have five out of 10 candidates to represent their college at the NI completion which showcases the best apprentices from all of the colleges in NI.

Michael Brogan, Curriculum Manager of Training said: “We at SWC are delighted that we had five apprentices out of the ten that competed at NI SkillELECTRIC this year, but to achieve first, second and third places overall is unprecedented in this particular event, I believe that it is down to the dedication of our staff, employers and the apprentices involved, that this magnificent achievement has taken place”.