Our search for the SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year 2019 is over...
In 2019, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year competition.
Throughout January and February we travelled across seven regions of the UK in search of our 2019 winner. The winner of each regional heat and the highest runner-up overall scorer went on to the grand final, which took place at the 3M Customer Innovation Centre. After a 10-hour test over two days, Ben Kidner from Bridgwater & Taunton College was crowned as the winner!
Photos from the competition can be found at the bottom of the page.
The SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year finalists
North East – Bradley Smith, Derwentside College
North West – Zack Duxbury, Burnley College
South West – Will Frapple, Petroc
Wales – Elliott Dix, Cardiff and Vale College
Northern Ireland – Scott Barr, South East Regional College
Midlands – Ben Reeves, Northampton College
South East – Chris Davenport, Farnborough College of Technology
Highest scoring runner-up – Ben Kidner, Bridgwater & Taunton College
Alongside the prestige for both the winning student and winning college, there was a fantastic list of prizes worth up to £10,000 up for grabs. The prizes were donated by well-known industry names including Platinum sponsor Schneider Electric, Gold sponsor Electric Center, Silver sponsor WAGO, and Bronze sponsors Rated People, 3M, The IET and product sponsor HiKOKI. In addition, each student in the competition received a free Schneider toolbox.
This year’s winner, Ben, said: “I’m over the moon, I didn’t think I was going to get this far. it’s a real confidence boost for me. I was the underdog!
“I entered the competition last year and didn’t have as much success! I didn’t get on so well, but last year was good and I have had a lot of training and have progressed a lot since.
“I never used to think I was good enough but my lecturer believed in me so I did it, and I’ve seen the progress since.”
Entries for 2020 will open later this year.
SPARKS Magazine runs seven annual regional events across the UK, where manufacturers are given the opportunity to present their products to college lecturers. These run alongside the SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year competition in January and February.
For lecturers, this is where you can find out about the latest products and services on the market, whilst at the same time gaining free CPD hours.
For manufacturers, this is a unique chance to engage with plumbing and heating engineering lecturers, the brand ambassadors in the colleges. These events are used to run focus groups, product demonstrations or technical presentations.
This year, the event was sponsored by The IET, with additional talks from WAGO, Connexbox, Klein Tools, Megger, Luceco, Stroma, EAL, Hamilton Litestat and Starrett.
You can view photos of these events at the bottom of this page!
There will be more details about the 2020 event later this year.
Myself and Kane really enjoyed our time in Bracknell at the SPARKS final. We thought the 3M venue was really good and modern, we enjoyed all the hospitality and especially the great camaraderie with the other tutors and students from the respective colleges.
We are definitely looking forward to competing again next year and enjoying the whole trajectory of the process, cannot wait…
We have received SPARKS Magazine, very impressed by it and a brilliant resource for students (and staff!) The ‘Learning and Understanding’ exercise was fun and a good ice breaker for our new students.
2018 was WAGO’s first year taking part in the SPARKS Meet the Lecturer series. We have been thrilled by the successful engagement and positive feedback from various colleges around the country. This event has provided excellent “grass root” brand awareness to the next generation of electricians throughout the UK. Therefore it was without hesitation that we have signed up for next year and are delighted to announce WAGO’s sponsorship of the SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year 2019 competition.
The SPARKS Meet the Lecturer Program, allows you to really connect with the people who are shaping our industry for years to come. The opportunity to discuss various issues and industry topics with those charged with educating the trades professionals of tomorrow is, in my opinion, invaluable.
This is the 5th year of being involved in this brilliant competition. This was the second year of getting a student to the final, two other times where the students did not get through the regional and I competed myself when I was a student.
We feel here at York College that the competition is such a fantastic platform for all involved that we have asked to host it.