Winners 2021Young Plumber of the Year

Nick Sillars | Wellington and Marlborough National Finalist

Nick Sillars Profile

Nick Sillars, a 25-year-old local plumber from Wellington, is Wellington/Marlborough 2021 regional finalist for the Young Plumber of The Year competition. We spoke with Nick to find out a little more about what made him want to enter the competition and how he thinks he might go in the final, coming up in February this year.


Nick first started out in plumbing back in 2016 when he was 19 and had just moved to Wellington. He had always been mechanically minded and loved to solve problems, so when he realised there were many other options besides university, such as plumbing and gas fitting, the trades seemed incredibly appealing. “Working in the trades industry offers a further career in business development opportunities, both in plumbing, but also in the general trade sector, which can lead to a great lifestyle,” Nick says.


It was during Nick’s first year of his apprenticeship that he came across the Young Plumber of The Year competition, when one of the sales assistants from his local Plumbing World branch encouraged him to enter. “I love to be challenged and tested on my knowledge, which really made me want to give the competition a go,” shares Nick.


In 2019 he entered the competition for the second time, making it to the regional final and finishing second by just six points. This year, Nick was feeling confident, prepared and incredibly determined after coming so close. “I entered the competition this year with an open mind. I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by such talented tradespeople in my industry, so I knew I would be up against some tough competition. I was excited regardless.”


“The written test can be daunting, it's the part of the competition where points can be made or lost so easily,” he says. “Luckily I sat both of my exams earlier this year, having studied so much content in preparation I was able to confidently answer most of the test without much of a second thought.” Nick says he’ll continue to keep on top of his theoretical knowledge in the lead up to the final in February, as he’s studying to sit his certifying exams mid-2022. 


When asked what advice he would give to other young Kiwis who might be looking to kick-start their career in plumbing, or the wider trades, Nick had this to say - “I think that the biggest thing coming into the industry is to drop any social stigma that has long been associated with trades. The modern tradesperson isn't a lazy, dropkick no hoper who was too inept to pursue an academic path. They're clever, creative, perceptive individuals who tend to be business oriented and strive to make a change.”


“You'll be on a fantastic career path with other amazing and highly skilled people. I can't imagine myself in any other industry and consider myself so fortunate that I'm excited to go to work each day. There are so many options when it comes to trade careers, speak out and see what interests you, from plumbing and gas fitting, to landscaping and joinery, you won't regret it.”


The Wellington and Marlborough regions wish Nick the best of luck for the finals set to be held in Hamilton on February 19, 2022!