The HIP Apprentice of the Year competition kicks off in the new year and plumbing students are being asked to get their entries in now.

Now in its 12th year, the event is a fantastic opportunity for trainee plumbers to show off their skills and really make a name for themselves right at the beginning of their career. Level 2 and 3 students (Level 6 and 7 in Scotland) are invited to enter the competition now.

HIP Apprentice of the Year heats will take place between January and April in colleges across eight regions – including Scotland for the first time, giving apprentices from all over the UK the chance to take part. Particpants are judged on a number of practical tasks by a panel of industry experts.

The winners of each heat will then go on to compete in the grand final at the ADEY Innovation Training and Conference Centre in Cheltenham. There are prizes worth up to £10,000 up for grabs, not to mention the prestige that comes for both student and college with winning a national competition.

Last year’s winner was Lewis Blakely, a third-year apprentice at Coleg y Cymoedd. He said the best advice to those entering the competition in 2020 is to focus.

“Take your time – there’s a lot of bends and measurements,” he said. “That’s what won it for me – taking a step back, looking at it, getting my levels right and double-checking my measurements before I soldered.”

Running alongside HIP Apprentice of the Year will be the popular Meet the Lecturer/Manufacturer series, which gives manufacturers the chance to update lecturers on the latest product innovations in the industry.

Celia Matthews, Managing Director at HIP Magazine, said: “It’s always a pleasure to see the next generation of plumbing and heating engineers show what they can do. The standard of competition is so high and we can’t wait to see what the 2020 competition brings.”

Colin Yearp, Senior Technical Trainer at the competition’s Platinum Sponsor ADEY, said: “Grab the opportunity with both hands. The profile and knowledge you will gain from the experience will stand you in tremendous stead in your future career. The competition is miles ahead of anything I’ve seen.”

> HIP Apprentice of the Year competition