College bright sparks turn up the heat in regional  construction competition

College bright sparks turn up the heat in regional construction competition

Posted On 19th January 2017 By Hannah Cox

Newcastle College was delighted to host today the regional heats for the HIP UK Heating Apprentice of the Year and the Sparks UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year competitions.

The College welcomed heating and electrical apprentices from eight colleges from across the North East who competed for a place in the respective grand finals for UK Apprentice of the Year to be held in March.

Darren Carr-May, Head of Construction at Newcastle College said: “We’re very excited. It’s an honour to have been selected by HIP and Sparks magazines to host the regional final of these prestigious competitions. It’s a brilliant opportunity for learners to put their skills to the test, and we are able to showcase our fantastic facilities to local businesses.”

The competition required apprentices to be located in an individual bay and fix a series of complex problems within either an electrical or heating installation set-up. The learners work was judged by an independent industry expert and the learner who completed the work to the highest standard was selected as the regional winner to go through to the national grand final where they could potentially walk away with prizes worth over £8000.

In addition to the competition, lecturers have also had the opportunity to network with industry leaders and attend presentations from top companies like ADEY, Hager, EAL and JG SpeedFit.

Natacha Fielding, Event Manager said: “Newcastle College has some fantastic facilities and lots of space so it's been an ideal location for us. The competition offers apprentices a chance to be recognised for their hard work and skills. It’s a great opportunity for lecturers, employers, industry leaders and manufacturers to get involved and support the next generation of installers and electricians.”

Winners were announced at the end of the day and congratulations were extended to the the North East regional heat winner for HIP UK Heating Apprentice of the Year, Ryan Hepple, plumbing apprentice from New College Durham and the North East regional heat winner for Sparks Apprentice of the Year, Reece Brennan, electro-technical apprentice from Gateshead College.

For more information about the facilities available at Newcastle College, visit or contact 0191 200 4000.