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Tony Iocovazzo being presented with award

CCN apprentice wins national plumbing bronze

29th November 2019 – Tags: Plumbing and heating

Tony Iacovazzo, a City College Norwich apprentice with Anglia Gas Services Ltd entered skillPLUMB 2019, and achieved third place, and a bronze medal.

Tony’s success at skillPLUMB 2019, part of WorldSkills UK LIVE at the NEC Birmingham, was hard-earned.  Earlier this year, finalists competed in a series of regional heats held across the UK.

England’s top plumbing apprentice

As the sole representative from England to reach the final, 22-year-old Tony, from Brooke, can lay claim to being England’s top plumbing apprentice.  

The final was held over two days in front of an audience of thousands of visitors to World Skills UK LIVE.

The task

Working against the clock, apprentice plumbers each installed a small sealed domestic central heating system with expansion vessel, pump and ancillary equipment.

The task had to be completed within a strict time frame, and was marked against tough criteria including joint quality, bend angles, and measuring and marking out, which had to be accurate to within 2mm.

Click here to see Tony’s finished installation and footage from the final of the competition.  

Tony’s experience

After the final, Tony Iacovazzo said: 

It was tricky to get everything in the right place and to a high standard within the time frame.  There was a lot of pipe bending involved, with five or six bends in a single pipe, and a high standard of soldering needed to match the drawing. 


I was happy with what I left in the bay. The standard of the competition was really high, so I was happy to have come in the top three and won a medal.


A City College Norwich journey

Tony has been at City College Norwich since 2015, starting out as a full-time Level 1 student, before moving on to his apprenticeship and progressing from Level 2 to 3.  During this time, he has been successful in regional and national plumbing skills competitions, winning the HIP UK Heating Apprentice of the Year competition in 2018. 

Plumbing lecturer Tony Sandon, who has taught Tony throughout this time, commented:

When I first started teaching Tony, it was clear he had the behaviour and attitude to go far.  After winning a regional skills competition at the Carter Cup, and then winning the HIP UK Heating Apprentice of the Year, it was a natural progression to enter Tony for the SkillPLUMB competition.  


The level of the competitors was high and they all had the same professional behaviour and attitude to the industry. We are so proud of what Tony has achieved and to have been a part of his amazing journey

Recognition and prizes

All finalists received prizes including a BPEC training manual, CIPHE membership, and tools and products donated by the competition sponsors alongside a competition medallion and certificate. Dickies provided the finalists with work wear for the competition which included safety boots.

Neil Collishaw, BPEC CEO, commented: 

We are so proud of all of the finalists. It is challenging for them to work under pressure, especially with the visitors to the show watching them at work, and the standard of work this year has been exceptional. The finalists are all excellent ambassadors for the industry and brilliant role models for other young people who are considering a plumbing career.