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Keith plumber Marion Stewart tops off graduation with quartet of awards

By Jonathan Clark

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A KEITH woman is celebrating a series of successes after securing four trophies and then graduating from UHI Moray.

Marion Stewart (22), who previously attended Keith Grammar School, won a quartet of awards at UHI Moray's Construction prizegiving ceremony, before graduating with a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Domestic Plumbing and Heating a week later.

She won Best Overall Plumbing Apprentice, Best Advanced Craft Plumber and Best Lead Development (third year) and was put forward for the overall prize for Top Craft Apprentice.

Marion Stewart graduated with a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Domestic Plumbing and Heating. Picture: Beth Taylor
Marion Stewart graduated with a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Domestic Plumbing and Heating. Picture: Beth Taylor

There, she beat off competition from the best electrical and joinery nominees to win the Robertson Construction/Rotary Club of Elgin Shield.

Marion said: "It's a proud achievement. I have worked hard and that hard work has paid off, so it has been a huge success.

"I was up against the best third year for electrical and joinery. I did an interview and turned out on top. I didn't think I would win so it was a fair surprise.

"There was another boy who I thought would win. He worked really hard and I'd have been just as chuffed for him if he had won."

To top the four awards off, Marion graduated at Elgin Town Hall on Friday, October 6. She attended UHI Moray for three years, having started out when she was 19 years old.

"My parents and partner came down to watch me graduate and they are over the moon," she said. "I have to say thanks to my family, partner, friends, lecturers and support staff."

Marion has been an apprentice plumber with GA Barnie, based in Elgin, for the last three years.

She has carried out work on large projects including the maternity upgrade and Ward 7 at Dr Gray's Hospital, as well as various jobs at RAF Lossiemouth and Kinloss Barracks.

She added: "A huge thanks to GA Barnie for everything they have helped me with and supported me through.

"They are really supportive and have helped me through college and everything. I've got a lot more opportunities with them, potentially."

A spokesperson for GA Barnie described Marion as 'hard-working and dedicated': "We first met Marion for the interview for the position of apprentice plumber back in 2020. Three shortlisted would come in for a face-to-face interview.

"One of the managers who was conducting interviews set up a practical assessment, a tipped over bin with rubbish on the workshop floor, to where the candidate would be asked what would they do if their tradesman was in the office speaking with the manager.

"One candidate shrugged their shoulders, the other candidate thought for a second and said tidy up, while Marion physically picked the rubbish up straight away before anyone could ask the question.

"Since the interview, she has shown herself to be a hard-working, dedicated apprentice and has shown enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.

"During her last year at college she has pushed herself. With achieving her gas certification, she has also gained her oil and renewables certification. This would only have been possible due to her determination and focus.

"To win the top award at the UHI Moray Construction Awards ceremony, along with the other three awards this year, just goes to show her hard work as paid off."

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