Lethbridge College plumbing apprentice makes the countrywide podium


A first-yr plumbing apprentice out of Lethbridge College has won a silver medal from a countrywide competition. Danica Ferris has extra.
An A

A first-12 months plumbing apprentice out of Lethbridge College has a national silver medal after competing in Halifax on the Skills Canada National Competition on May 30.

Nineteen-12 months-vintage Justin Dekok has best been trying his hand at plumbing for the final 12 months and a half, and he’s already turning heads in his selected trade.

“I turned into cabinetry for a long time — because I can keep in mind pretty an awful lot — and then my new boss, Ken, referred to as me and requested if I desired to strive out plumbing,” Dekok stated. “I became a touch hesitant, but I determined to provide it a shot, and I loved it inside the first month.”


His “now boss Ken” is Ken Howe, local co-owner of Aquatech Plumbing, and another Lethbridge product adorned on the countrywide — or even world — degree.

“Throughout Grade 10, 11, and 12, I competed in cabinet-making, and after that, I graduated and went into plumbing and began competing in plumbing,” Howe stated. “From there, in 2013, I went to Nationals and located bronze.

“In 2014, I placed gold in Toronto and went directly to World Skills, which became in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2015, and I placed 11th out of 35 countries there.”

Howe met Dekok through a connection with his older brother — Rylan Dekok — who also competed at World Skills.

“We first met once I became absolutely competing in World Skills,” Howe stated. “I became education, and I ended up meeting any other competitor from Lethbridge here, which befell to be his brother — Rylan Dekok. We each competed at World Skills.”

“I come from a trades circle of relatives,” Dekok said. “Everyone is predicted to be desirable, young, quite a great deal.

“My own family thinks it’s quite amazing, but I suppose they’re quite used to it due to the fact Rylan went via the whole procedure too.”

A couple of years later, it becomes Howe who convinced the more youthful Dekok brother to provide a plumbing attempt whilst he ran into him at a faculty task fair.

Because of his history, Howe is all too acquainted with the pressures that are involved within the Skills Canada competitions, in addition to the provincial competition in Alberta, and he’s been infinitely impressed with Dekok.

“He’s displayed a variety of talent, and simply the fact that he’s taking a day off work to compete in these competitions indicates plenty about his character and suggests his willpower to his profession.”

Howe said that the accomplishment is even extra awesome when you consider Dekok’s age.

“The distinction among the provincial competencies competition and the Nationals is, within the Provincials, there’s an age restrict of 21 in Alberta – and that’s just an Alberta requirement – whereas, in Nationals, he becomes up against 24-year-olds, there was one man there who was forty-two years antique,” he stated.

“He turned into up in opposition to human beings who’ve been doing it plenty long, and that’s what truly bowled over me along with the final results that he had.”

Howe stated he believes that Dekok has the best plumbing ability, and it got here inaccessible in Halifax.

“[They did] a mock competition of a laundry room with some other furniture, and he did the drainage, and additionally the waterlines,” Howe said. “It’s a 12-hour opposition, and what they surely focus on is safety, accuracy, time management, and it’s an opposition that’s tough to complete inside the 12 hours so that you must be surely accurate whilst honestly hurrying.

“Each competitor is beneath numerous pressure. Not one competitor definitely finished it a hundred in step with cent.”

Dekok turned into one of the closest competitors to completing the venture inside the 12-hour time body, and Howe said that it turned into the little things that Dekok does that were given him on the podium.

“What makes him sincerely excellent at plumbing is his interest to element, his time control. A lot of humans appearance down on plumbing as an alternate; however, it’s an exchange that requires a whole lot of knowledge and mental capacity, several wondering to your toes, lots of choice-making, and I think that Justin has a variety of those qualities. It’s simply appropriate to peer.”

For Dekok, it’s the prepared nature of plumbing that he enjoys.

“It’s a gadget, and you could simply follow the system — the schematic — and on the quit, you may take a picture of it, and it seems outstanding.”

Up next for the 19-year-old is attempting to qualify for the World Skills competition, which happens each year. 2020 is the qualifying year, and the opposition is in 2021 in Shanghai, China.