A Walsall College apprentice has made it through to the final of the SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year competition.
After taking part in the Midlands regional heat of the competition at Stephenson College on 17th February, student Joe Breadon, who is currently completing an Advanced Apprenticeship in Electrical Installation with Tamworth-based SRW Electrics, was named the overall runner-up across all of the heats based on his impressive score.
During the six regional heats, electrical apprentices across the country tested their skills against each other to win a place in the final, which takes place from 9-10th March at Stephenson College.
Level 3 apprentice, Joe, 25, said: “I feel very flattered that my tutors put me forward for this competition and doing well at the regional heat has given me a great boost. I have been putting in some extra training to prepare for the final and hopefully I can do my tutors and employer proud.
“I’ve always wanted to be an electrician and choosing an apprenticeship has been a great decision. I’ve learnt a lot of new skills which have really helped me to get this far in the competition and I’m confident for the final.”
Richard Wileman, owner of SRW Electrics, who excelled in his career after studying Level 3 Electrical Installation at Walsall College over 15 years ago, said: “We are extremely proud of Joe for making it through to the final round. He joined us an apprentice three years ago and has become a very valued member of our team. He is a dedicated employee who is a credit to the company and we will be rooting for him to go all the way in this competition.
“As a small business owner I have found apprenticeships to be an excellent way to train and develop new recruits to the electrical industry.
“Working in partnership with Walsall College to provide a programme of training for Joe has been very beneficial for our firm. I had a fantastic experience as a student myself at the college and now Joe is being taught by the same lecturer who inspired my career, so it’s great to see the cycle continue.”
Apart from the accolade of being crowned UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year, the winner is set to walk away with electrical testing equipment worth more than £1300 supplied by leading manufacturer Megger, while the winner’s college will receive a package of testers worth more than £1000.
The national competition is organised every year by SPARKS Magazine for level 2 or 3 students who are doing an apprenticeship. “Students get a lot out of the competition,” said Celia Matthews, competition organiser. “They make new friends, gain confidence in their abilities and enjoy the challenge of the competition.”