SPARKS

Events

The SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year is back bigger and better than ever!

The search has begun for the 2019 SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year – and this year we’re looking forward to celebrating our 10th anniversary.

During January and February we will be travelling 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 will go on to the grand final, which will take place at the 3M Customer Innovation Centre. The dates and venues for the regional heats are below.

Alongside the prestige for both the winning student and winning college, there’s a fantastic list of prizes worth up to £10,000 up for grabs. The prizes have been donated by well-known industry names including Schneider-Electric, WAGO, 3M and HiKOKI. In addition, each student in the competition will receive a FREE Schneider toolbox.

If you’re a lecturer and have a Level 2 or 3 student you’d like to enter into the competition, send us your email address below and we’ll get in touch with the details! The closing date for entries is 30th November.

You can check out last year’s test here.

Last year’s finalists completed the most comprehensive test to date. It consisted of wiring, various conduit bends, a consumer unit, switches and bulbs, which were all live tested at the end of the second day.

Last year’s winner, Matt Taylor, from Farnborough College of Technology, said: “I’m ecstatic – I just didn’t see myself winning. I entered to give myself a challenge and I’ve definitely achieved that.

“The other competitors were great and what I’ll take away from this is the knowledge that I can do something that I thought I couldn’t.”

Spaces at each regional heat are limited, so register early to secure your place!

Where can I sign up?

Enter your email address in the tab below or send us an email through the Contact Us page. Our events coordinator will send you all the details and joining instructions.

If I am a student can I complete the form or does my lecturer need to do that?

Your lecturer will need to complete the application form so please let him/her know that you are interested in entering.

Can I enter a full time student or apprentice?

Yes, you can enter either a full time student or an apprentice.

How many learners can I enter?

You can enter one student per campus.

What’s the deadline date?

The deadline date for entering the competition is Friday 30th November 2018.

What time does the competition start?

You will need to arrive at your regional heat at 8.00am at the latest so that you arrive in time for tea/coffee and a briefing by the competition judge.

Where is my regional heat?

We run 7 regional heats across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. To find your closest venue, check the dates below. Places fill up fast so please register your interest if you would like us to hold you a spot at a particular venue.

Is there an age limit?

Yes, the age limit is 24 on application.

What level does the student have to be to enter?

Your student will need to be either Level 2 or 3.

What does the test involve?

Please refer to last year’s test (available above) to give you an idea of the type of work you will be tested on.

Can I use my own tools?

Yes, you will be required to bring and use your own tools during the competition.

What tools do I need?

You will be sent a list of tools in the joining instructions once your application has been accepted.

What are the prizes?

Every student will receive a toolkit for competing. The total worth of all prizes is approximately £10,000. Each finalist will receive a HiKOKI drill. The winner will receive a voucher for £1,000 and his/her college will receive a £500 voucher, in addition to an array of tools and other prizes donated by our sponsors.

Is there parking?

Yes, there will be free parking at the venue.

Where is the final?

We excited to confirm that the grand final will be taking place again at 3M United Kingdom PLC, 3M Centre, Cain Road, Bracknell, RG12 8HT.

Can my student bring his family/friends to watch?

Friends and family are welcome to attend and join the lecturers in the CPD day, but they will not be able to watch the competition. This ensures that the contestants have the best chance of winning without any distractions.

Can I watch the competition?

You will be able to take photographs at the end of the day once the competition has been completed.

Can I send my student on his/her own?

No, for every student entering the competition there must be a electrical lecturer. We will be running a fun CPD day for the lecturers whilst the competition takes place.

Do I need to bring lunch?

No, lunch will be provided, along with refreshments throughout the day. Contestants will be provided with water bottles during the competition.

Want to get involved in Apprentice of the Year?

LecturerManufacturer

NE Regional

15/01/2019
Newcastle College, Rye Hill Campus, Scotswood Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7SA

NW Regional

17/01/2019
Burnley College, Princess Way, Burnley, Lancashire, BB12 0AN

SW Regional

22/01/2019
Petroc College, Mid Devon Campus, Bolham Road, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 6SH

Wales Regional

24/01/2019
Gower College Swansea, Jubilee Court Campus, Unit 1-2 Jubilee Court, Swansea, SA5 4HB

NI Regional

07/02/2019
Belfast Met College, Castlereagh Campus, Montgomery Road, Belfast, BT6 9JD

Midlands Regional

19/02/2019
Stephenson College, Coalville Campus, Thornborough Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 3TN

SE Regional

21/02/2019
West Herts College, Kings Langley Campus, Home Park, Mill Link Road, Kings Langley, WD4 8DH

Grand Final

20-21/03/2019
3M United Kingdom PLC, 3M Centre, Cain Road, Bracknell, RG12 8HT

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.

Last year, the following manufacturers joined us across the different events: CPN Cudis, Megger, CEF, Klein Tools, CEDIA, EAL, IET, WAGO, Connexbox and Starrett.

If you’re a lecturer who is interested in attending one of the regional SPARKS Meet the Lecturer Industry Days, book your free place now by sending us your email address in the box below.

Any companies who are interested in sponsoring the 2019 events and would like to offer a product demonstration or provide a presentation please send us your email address below and one of the team will be in touch.

Will I receive a CPD Certificate for attending?

Yes, you will receive a CPD Certificate at the end of the day.

Do I need to reserve a seat?

You can turn up on the day but it is helpful for us to know numbers of attendees as manufacturers often like to give goody bags and you won’t want to miss out! So please email admin@sng-publishing.co.uk with your details so that we can send you details of the event and reserve a seat for you.

Can I bring colleagues with me?

Yes, you can bring as many colleagues with you as you like. Please email admin@sng-publishing.co.uk with your colleagues’ details so that we can prepare their CPD Certificate for the day.

Is there parking?

Yes, free parking will be provided on site. Please contact us for directions. 

How long does each presentation last?

Each session will last 30 minutes. 

Will lunch and refreshments be provided?

Yes, so please provide us with any dietary requirements in advance of the day.

Are students allowed to go to the presentations?

The presentations are specially tailored for lecturers. However, some presentations may be suitable and of interest to Level 3 apprentices so please ask the presenter on the day or contact us prior to the event to enquire.

Who will be presenting?

Leading manufacturers, trade bodies and key industry leaders. We invite manufacturers to offer practical demonstrations of innovative products to help keep lecturers abreast of exciting new products hitting the market. There will also be various key industry leaders and awarding bodies who will be on hand to discuss industry regulations and important changes in the syllabus and new qualifications.

Can I attend all of the presentations?

Yes, we advise you to attend all the presentations on the day so that we can give you a CPD Certificate for attending.

How much does it cost?

The presentations are free for lecturers to attend.

What time do the presentations start?

The presentations usually kick off at 9am, but please check the timetable when you arrive. We suggest that you arrive at 8.45am – this will give you plenty of time to grab a tea or coffee and find your seat.

How many presentations will there be?

There are normally 10 presentations on the day.

Want to get involved in Meet the Lecturer?

LecturerManufacturer

NE Regional

15/01/2019
Newcastle College, Rye Hill Campus, Scotswood Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7SA

NW Regional

17/01/2019
Burnley College, Princess Way, Burnley, Lancashire, BB12 0AN

SW Regional

22/01/2019
Petroc College, Mid Devon Campus, Bolham Road, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 6SH

Wales Regional

24/01/2019
Gower College Swansea, Jubilee Court Campus, Unit 1-2 Jubilee Court, Swansea, SA5 4HB

NI Regional

07/02/2019
Belfast Met College, Castlereagh Campus, Montgomery Road, Belfast, BT6 9JD

Midlands Regional

19/02/2019
Stephenson College, Coalville Campus, Thornborough Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 3TN

SE Regional

21/02/2019
West Herts College, Kings Langley Campus, Home Park, Mill Link Road, Kings Langley, WD4 8DH

Grand Final

20-21/03/2019
3M United Kingdom PLC, 3M Centre, Cain Road, Bracknell, RG12 8HT

Testimonials

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