Saffron Walden apprentice stars at the ‘Olympics of the skills world’

Martyn Lee has won a Bronze medal at the Skills Show 2013.

Martyn Lee has won a Bronze medal at the Skills Show 2013. - Credit: Archant

An “outstanding” Saffron Walden apprentice has won a bronze medal at the Skills Show 2013 – the Olympics of the skills world.

Martyn Lee proved himself among the country’s top talents in a tough three days of testing in the WorldSkills UK finals at the show, watched by thousands of visitors at the NEC in Birmingham.

Martyn, 23, an apprentice plumber with Adrian Kidman Plumbing and Heating in Saffron Walden, narrowly missed out on the top position to take bronze, making him the best young plumber in Britain as both gold and silver went to competitors from Northern Ireland.

The Cambridge Regional College apprentice also took first place in a challenge to test the competitors’ skills in communication and decommissioning their work.

CRC deputy principal Chris Lang said the results were a success, not just for the Martyn but also for his employer and tutors, who had worked closely with him to hone his skills for the competition.

“We are absolutely delighted that Martyn performed so outstandingly against the very best competition in the UK. He is a hard-working talented individual with first class skills who has proved himself at the top of his field,” he said.

More than 80,000 people from across the country attended the Skills Show, the biggest careers and skills event for young people in the country – described by Skills Minister Matthew Hancock as an “amazing showcase for the vast variety of skills we have in this country”.

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Martyn’s boss, Adrian Kidman, said he was “immensely proud” of Martyn.

“Martyn has done incredibly well and to perform as he did under such pressure was a very high level achievement. I am enormously proud of him,” he said.

“He brings new ideas and enthusiasm to the business and my clients all like him. Having an apprentice gives the business more of a future. I would certainly have another one - it has been a very good experience.

“From a professional point of view it is good for me to train people because someone gave me the opportunity when I was an apprentice. And if you want to get on, apprenticeships are the way to go.”