Our search for the HIP UK Heating Apprentice of the Year 2019 is over...
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 ADEY head office. After a 12-hour test over two days, Lewis Blakely from Coleg y Cymoedd was crowned as the winner!
Photos from the competition can be found at the bottom of the page.
The HIP UK Heating Apprentice of the Year finalists
North East – Ben Fairbairn, Northumberland College
North West – Edward Jackson, Bradford College
South West – Ryan Fellowes, South Gloucestershire and Stroud College
Wales – Lewis Blakely, Coleg y Cymoedd
Northern Ireland – Leonard Keown, South West College
Midlands – Max Murless, Rotherham College
South East – Isabella Stagg, West Suffolk College
Highest scoring runner-up – Joseph Worthington, Petroc
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 ADEY, Gold sponsor STANLEY, Silver sponsor Vaillant and Bronze sponsors WAGO, Graham The Plumbers’ Merchant, Pegler Yorkshire, Mira Showers, Corgi, Wilo, WaterSafe with additional prizes from Kane International.
This year’s winner, Lewis, said: “I’m speechless! I never thought I could come and win the competition.
“All the other competitors were unbelievable.
“My tip for next year’s entrants would be to focus, take your time – there’s a lot of bends and measurements. That’s what has won it for me, taking a step back, looking at it, getting my levels right and checking my measurements before I soldered. That’s what tipped the win.”
Entries for 2020 will open later this year.
HIP Magazine runs seven annual regional events across the UK, where manufacturers have the opportunity to present their products to college lecturers. These run alongside the HIP UK Heating 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, we had talks from ADEY, JG Speedfit, Sentinel, WRAS, Graham, Mira Showers, Bassetts, Pegler Yorkshire, Hep2O, Wilo and Vaillant.
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.
(The competition) was the highest achievement an apprentice could receive, which was recognised by family, friends, trades and businesses. As a result of the award I was invited onto The Paul O’Grady Show and TV regional news.
This is the best event we’ve been to with presentations. It’s long enough, but not too long. You get a clearer understanding of what these companies actually do, rather than speaking to just another person in a call centre. We’ve been trying to get into Pegler Yorkshire before but never got anywhere. We like to get our boys sponsored. Now we know what is available to us.
The national plumbing competition which HIP runs has matured me as a person as well as a plumber. When I go back to work, I will be able to evaluate things a lot better, knowing that I am capable as I have been tested to such a high standard.
HIP Magazine has given us at Pegler Yorkshire an unparalleled opportunity to engage with the people who are influencing future generations of plumbing and heating. Without the access into the colleges that HIP Magazine has given us across the UK, we could never have built the relationships that currently exist between us and so many of the brand ambassadors which are teaching future plumbing and heating engineers every year, which is why we have now signed up to continue advertising for three years.
We’re delighted to have signed a three-year contract with HIP Magazine, to tie in with our Turning Pro campaign. The Meet the Lecturers series are some of the most important dates in our calendar for engaging with our future customers. The lecturers are the ones that initiate brand awareness with students and the Meet The Lecturer Series increases the chance of us being the first plumbers’ merchant that future plumbers all over the UK engage with, which is a unique opportunity we could not get anywhere else.