Tony Iacovazzo, a plumbing apprentice with Anglia Gas Services Ltd, who trains with City College Norwich, has won this year’s HIP UK Heating Apprentice of the Year competition.
The 20-year-old apprentice from Brooke came out on top following an extremely close competition held over 2 days at the ADEY Training and Conference Centre in Cheltenham.
The eight finalists, who had each previously won their respective regional heats, had 10 hours in which to follow a diagram to the millimetre and install a toilet, two radiators, a Vaillant boiler with a MagnaClean, a Mira Showers shower and a Wilo pump.
Tony Iacovazzo’s achievement saw him take home a cheque for £1,000 and a MagnaCleanse kit with a hose bag from ADEY, whilst City College Norwich also received £1,000 for its plumbing department.
Reflecting on his success in the HIP UK Heating Apprentice of the Year final, Tony Iacovazzo, said:
“The final was a lot harder than the regional heat. There was a couple of ridiculously hard bends. On the second day, I knew I was a little bit behind, so I knew I had to pick up the pace. I just did my best and I did it. It was hard keeping the pace up whilst also doing it to a very high standard. To be honest, I did not expect to win, I could hardly believe it when my name was read out in first place.”
City College Norwich plumbing lecturer, Tony Sandon, commented:
“Out of the eight finalists, four of them were a level above Tony. They were Level 3 Apprentices, so they’d already had a year or even two years, more education. I’m immensely proud of him. Hopefully Tony will come back for Level 3 next year and we will try and do bigger and better things with him! We’re now looking into whether Tony could potentially take part in international skills competitions in the future, through WorldSkills.”
Nigel Bales, Director, Anglia Gas Services (Norwich) Ltd, added:
“Yet again! Congratulations to Tony with his continued success. It was fantastic when he won the regional competition, but the fact that he’s now gone on to win the HIP UK national apprentice of the year really is an amazing achievement. Here at Anglia Gas Services we are all immensely proud of him and really do appreciate what an asset he is to our small business.
“It would be great to see him go even further in international competitions should the opportunity arise, but one thing we can all be certain of is that Tony has a very bright future in front of him indeed.”
Head judge Tony Kite said:
“It was a close competition and every contestant should be very proud of themselves. Each finalist will be able to say that they competed in a UK competition at the highest possible standard; it’s a fantastic achievement.”