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SPARKS Learner of the Year Finals 2021
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Posted: 2021-06-1110:43 AM. Last Modified: 2021-10-2801:46 AM
SPARKS Learner of the Year Finals 2021
SPARKS have announced the winner of the SPARKS Learner of the Year 2021, following a brand new format for the national competition.
Tom Tyler, a 21 year old apprentice electrician from City of Wolverhampton College won the competition beating five other finalists after completing a live practical test.
Commenting on his win, Tom said: “It’s a nice feeling knowing that someone else has seen your work and agrees with the quality, and can like and appreciate the hard work that went into it.”
“It gives you an opportunity to show off what you do day-to-day on a national scale, sort of challenge yourself, and pushes you out of your comfort zone.”
Commenting on the event’s different format for 2021 he said: “It was different from what I was expecting looking at previous years because obviously we’re having to do it all differently but it was nice the way it was done, because it didn’t feel like it was rushed or someone had to last-minute change stuff, it felt like it was done well.”
This year’s five other finalists included Simeon Farrar from York College, Adam Pitcher from Oldham College, Will Durston from Weston College, Ieuan Jones from Coleg Gwent, and James Gaskell from Farnborough College of Technology.
Runner-up Simeon Farrar, who finished second overall in the competition, said: “It’s given me more confidence in myself because you have to work off your own knowledge and back to do it all.”
“It’s a good experience, you learn a lot of stuff. If you get the chance, take it! It’s given me validation that I am quite good at the stuff I do and it’s shown me that I’ve enjoyed it as well.”
Due to the ongoing restrictions this year’s competition took place in a revised format, which saw dozens of competitors from across the country take part in a theory knowledge round, with the top two scorers from each of the six competition regions completing fault-finding exercises and a professional discussion call.
The six finalists all completed a 5-hour practical installation in their own colleges, allowing them to showcase their skills and technical abilities in a socially distanced and safe environment.
NAPIT’s Technical Team were the official judges of this year’s competition, including Trevor Milner, David Scully, Geoff Brittain and Gary Linney.
Commenting on the importance of the event, NAPIT’s Chief Technical Officer Frank Bertie, said: “It’s a great way for learners to test their skills and work with products they may not use on a daily basis.”
Thousands of pounds worth of prizes were given to the competitors of this year's competition, with every competitor receiving tools, branded merchandise and a certificate for taking part.
Commenting on the competition, Nico van der Merwe, Vice President of Home Distribution at Schneider Electric, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting such an important competition. During the pandemic, the UK’s electrical students and apprentices have suffered more than most”.
He added: “The SPARKS competition provides us with the opportunity to incentivise and reward the community and inspire more to follow. We’re looking forward to seeing the potential and talent of the next generation of electricians.”
The prizes for this year’s event were donated by well-known industry names including our sponsors Schneider Electric, Electric Center, DEWALT, WAGO, Checkatrade, The IET, Prysmian, VW Commercial Vehicles, and Snickers Workwear.