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Page last updated at 13:13 GMT, Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Swindon Apprentice wins BBC Young Plumber of the Year

BBC Young Plumber of the Year
Britain's best young plumbers were tested on their skills at unblocking toilets and designing fountains

A former Swindon College apprentice has won the BBC Young Plumber of the Year Award.

Aimee Patterson, 23, competed against hundreds of applicants for the title of Britain's best young plumber on BBC 3 last week.

Aimee, who completed her plumbing apprenticeship at Swindon College in 2008, was "over the moon" to have won.

She said: "I've got so much passion for the industry and I love what I'm doing.

"And this proves that women can do it in the industry and that we are just as good as anyone else."

Televised at the beginning of December the BBC 3 programme set the young plumbers a series of challenges.

Toilet test

The two day competition tested skills such as unblocking a toilet, soldering a "nightmare plumbing maze" and designing and constructing a fountain.

BBC Young Plumber of the Year
Despite winning the title Aimee doesn't believe that girls make better plumbers

"The worst challenge we had to do was a quick-fire question round which was horrible," explained Aimee.

"And when I got to the final we had to make a fountain - now lots of friends are taking the Mickey out of me and asking if I can make a fountain for their garden."

As the only girl shortlisted to compete for the title, the 23-year-old also had to prove herself against comments that she had "only got through because she was a girl".

"There was a comment made by one of the other contestants that I wasn't as good," she said.

"But if I'd thought I'd got through just because I was a girl I'd have gone straight away.

"I wanted to be treated just the same as all the other guys because I like to think that I am just as good as the guys."

Girl plumbers

Despite being described by the programme's judges as "outstanding" and a "great role model for the industry", Aimee doesn't believe that girls make better plumbers then boys.

"I think we're different - I wouldn't say we're any better," she said.

"I think we think about things differently and have a more methodical way.

"But I hope I've proved a point and that there are a few people out there that will now want to do plumbing because it's a brilliant industry."




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