The final of the National Apprentice of the Year Award, which took place on 30 April at Adey Heating Systems in Cheltenham, was the culmination of six months of regional heats to find Britain's premier plumbing apprentice.
At every event, the best apprentices from each region were put through their paces with a practical test that included the installation of a Saniflo macerator. In the final, the students were given two days to plumb a complete bathroom; using a Saniaccess 3 for the waste water from a basin and WC. Particularly suitable for use in en-suite bathrooms, the Saniaccess 3 features convenient covers for simple servicing and ease-of-maintenance without the need to remove the macerator from behind the WC.
Tanagon Ashworth, of Accrington College, was named National Apprentice of the Year. Winner of the Northern Regional Heat earlier this year - and a finalist last year - the talented apprentice was delighted with the accolade and already has plans to put his new-found Saniflo installation skills to the test.
"This competition has been excellent and I'm really pleased to have won," he said. "I'm really looking forward to qualifying as a fully-fledged plumber now. I've already got an opportunity with my employer to install a Saniflo on a live job, so I'm going to put my newly acquired skills in to practice very soon. It was a great idea to include it in the tests."
A 'Meet the Lecturers' conference was also organised to coincide with each event, allowing the participating manufacturers to present the latest news, updates and products from the plumbing industry to the lecturers who teach the next generation.
At the final event, a light-hearted, fun series of practical challenges was set up to find the 'Fastest Fitter'. Reflecting the challenge set to the students, the teachers were asked to set-up a basin/WC combination connecting the pipework from the washbasin to a Saniaccess 2 and from the macerator to the soil stack.
Nigel Baker, a plumbing lecturer from Somerset College, proved to be the most adept at this particular challenge, with a time of one minute, 32.9 seconds (easily beating the time of Saniflo’s own technical manager, John Jarmulovicz, who took two minutes 48 seconds).
Mr Baker was delighted with his £50 first prize gift voucher. He said: "This was a great way to finish the competition. It was interactive fun at its best, but on a serious note, also a brilliant idea and one that I will emulate with my students. This combines practical learning with a bit of fun."