Six plumbing and gas apprentices were recognised across seven categories for their outstanding plumbing and gas knowledge, ability and growth at the 2019 Plumbing and Gas Industry Awards on Friday 19 July at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane.

Patrick Wright of CC P & D took home the Reece Queensland Apprentice of the Year Award and the Service Trades College Fourth Year Apprentice of the Year Award after beating all other apprentice winners and showcasing his outstanding workmanship, attitude and passion.

Patrick has a fierce passion for the trade and demonstrated a great understanding of the challenges faced by the plumbing industry in terms of unlicensed and poor quality work. He recently won the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) plumbing apprentice competition and will soon be travelling to the US to compete in the international plumbing competition.

Bray Warry, who studies at the Australian Industry Trade College while completing his apprenticeship with EEP Plumbing, took home the Australian Industry Trade College School Based Apprentice of the Year Award.

Bray is passionate about quality workmanship and believes that unlicensed handymen are one of the biggest issues in the plumbing industry. In the future he would like to travel abroad to help build schools and hospitals and one day own his own business.

The Construction Skills Queensland Merv Harris Memorial Bursary Award was won by fourth year apprentice Connor Stafford who studies at The Service Trades College and has been working with Allanna Plumbing Services since 2016.

Plumbing has played a significant part in Connor’s family history and he will become a fifth generation plumber for his family. His biggest training achievement to date is winning one of 10 Rheem plumber grants through a nation-wide competition, and looking ahead he hopes to take over the family business one day.

William Cross, who studies at TAFE Eagle Farm, was the next apprentice to receive his award. William won the simPRO Second Year Apprentice of the Year Award.

While completing his apprenticeship at Slade Brothers Plumbing, William has been enjoying all facets of maintenance plumbing, and particularly likes backflow and gas. He was a finalist for the 2018 awards program as well and hopes to start his own business in the future.

The Plumbers Union Queensland Third Year Apprentice of the Year (EBA) Award was presented to an apprentice in Queensland under an EBA agreement and was won by Nathan Crowley.

Nathan is currently employed by Axis Plumbing and is studying at the Service Trades College. His employer describes him as always smiling and an individual who never has to be told twice. Nathan considers this career path to be the best decision he’s ever made and looks forward to finishing his plumbing apprenticeship with his sights set on sprinkler fitting in the future.

Kurt Finch, who is currently working for All About Plumbing SEQ, took home the MPAQ Third Year Apprentice of the Year (non-EBA) Award.

This was Kurt’s second win in a row, having taken out the Second Year Apprentice category last year. He commenced his apprenticeship as a mature age apprentice and his passion currently lies with civil constructions. His employer described his work ethic as brilliant and the best plumber they have ever had. He plans to continue with All About Plumbing and help shape the knowledge and skills of future apprentices to further increase and strengthen the framework of the company.

Hosted by Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland (MPAQ) in partnership with Event Partner Tradelink, the Plumbing and Gas Industry Awards aim to highlight the hard work and dedication invested into the industry by apprentices, plumbers, gasfitters, hydraulic consultants and other industry individuals.

This year the sell-out awards recognised individuals and companies in 18 categories and hosted VIPs including the Minister for Housing and Public Works, Digital Technology and Sport, the Hon. Mick de Brenni MP, the Shadow Minister for Housing and Public Works, Energy, Innovation and Digital Technology, Michael Hart MP, State Secretary for the Plumbers Union Qld, Gary O’Halloran and Commissioner of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission, Brett Bassett.

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