Building on recent presentations in Germany and Australia, the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH®) — the charitable arm of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO®) — is set to launch the latest of its Plumbing Champions corporate social responsibility collaborations as part of the WorldSkills Ireland 2023 National Competition, which will be hosted Sept. 20-22 at the Royal Dublin Society complex (RDS).
Uniquely, the upcoming Irish national skills competition precedes the WorldSkills General Assembly, which is being held in person for the first time since 2018 and will also take place in Dublin, from Sept. 24-29. Typically held every two years between flagship international WorldSkills Competitions, the upcoming General Assembly will welcome 250 WorldSkills Members and Partners, 150 national guests and industry stakeholders from the 83 WorldSkills Member countries and regions, 100 guests and industry stakeholders of the partners of WorldSkills Ireland, and 40 WorldSkills Member Champion alumni.
“Our global WorldSkills family shows tireless resolve and ingenuity in promoting skilled trades and careers for young people, all over the world,” IAPMO CEO Dave Viola said. “As a WorldSkills Global Industry Partner, The IAPMO Group is dedicated to supporting the ongoing development of our international skills competitions and vocational education opportunities of the future. We are excited to continue this journey with our next Plumbing Champions initiative, presented by our IWSH Foundation, and hosted in Dublin against the backdrop of the upcoming WorldSkills General Assembly.”
For this latest project, IWSH will partner with GROHE and Jones Engineering to design and install a new social housing bathroom upgrade in support of Peter McVerry Trust, a housing and homeless charity committed to reducing homelessness and the harm caused by substance misuse and social disadvantage across Ireland. The charity provides low-threshold entry services, primarily to younger people and vulnerable adults with complex needs, and offers pathways out of homelessness based on the principles of the Housing First model. Plumbing systems for the agreed-upon bathroom upgrade will be prepared via a training demonstration adjacent to the WorldSkills Ireland 2023 Plumbing and Heating competition, before being delivered and installed at the nominated property after the event.
“Peter McVerry Trust is delighted to be part of such a fantastic initiative,” said Lauren Minion, Peter McVerry Trust’s sustainability officer. “The installation is futureproofing this particular home, increasing the accessibility of the bathroom for the tenant. We are very appreciative of GROHE’s generous donation of materials, Jones Engineering’s time and IWSH’s commitment to the project, without which it couldn’t go ahead.”
“Our National Competition aims to inspire the next generation of skilled young people to follow their passions, interests and talents,” said Ray English, WorldSkills Ireland chair and technical delegate. “This year we will welcome over 25,000 students, teachers and partners to our event in the RDS, so we are delighted that this new Plumbing Champions social project will be part of the program. It will be a unique opportunity to see skilled trades applied in a real-world context and for the benefit of the local community, which is even more relevant when we can support organizations like Peter McVerry Trust who provide such important services for those in vulnerable positions.”