Richard Bradley has been named the 2019 NICEIC and ELECSA Electrical Apprentice of the Year.
The 31-year old from Southport, Merseyside was one of eight competitors to reach the grand final, held on Tuesday 4 June at the head office of the competition partner – Scolmore Group.
The final was the third stage of the contest, which saw more than 1,000 apprentices from across the UK take part. Richard studied electronics as part of his apprenticeship with the Ministry of Defence. He is currently working towards his NVQ Level 3 Qualification in Electrical Installation at a local training centre.
“I was so surprised when they said my name. I thought they called the wrong person. I don’t think I’ve ever been so shocked,” said Richard.
“I entered the competition after recently being medically discharged from the marines. I needed to find a career that was similar to the work I was doing but could also help me develop as a person and support my family.
“Being part of the competition has been such a rewarding experience. I’ve got to work alongside some amazing finalists. It has given me more confidence in my ability and I’m extremely proud of what I have achieved. Now, I intend to push forward and keep challenging myself.
“It has been a fantastic experience and I would definitely recommend anyone wanting to push themselves further to consider taking part. You’ve got nothing to lose and you never know what will come from it.”
As the overall winner, Richard was presented with a holiday voucher worth £2,000. Runner up Cameron Molloy received a holiday voucher worth £750, while third place went to James Martin-Lucraft, who received a £250 holiday voucher. All eight finalists were given an engraved glass trophy, an iPad and kit bag containing an array of Scolmore electrical accessories.
“It’s been a fantastic process and I’m so happy to be a part of it,” said Cameron.
“I’ve got no idea what I’m going to do with the holiday voucher at the moment. I might treat the lads to a trip to Benidorm.”
Third place James added: “The competition has been a great learning experience and has shown me that I need to have confidence in my own ability. I will be using the holiday voucher for a trip to Florida.”
The eight finalists were put through a series of challenges across a range of disciplines, including insulation resistance testing, earth loop impedance testing, safe isolation as well as conduit challenge. Each candidate also had to undergo a technical interview with Certsure’s former Technical Standards Director, Alan Wells.
The winners were announced at an awards ceremony at the nearby Belfry Hotel. Handing over the prizes were Kevan Parker, managing director at Certsure, Martyn Walley, group technical director at Scolmore Group, and Billy Byrne, star of TV’s DIY SOS.
Darren Staniforth, senior technical development manager at NICEIC and ELECSA said: “This is the fourth year that we have run the competition and the standards are getting higher each year. That is encouraging for the industry as a whole.
“Through this competition, we want to recognise the talent of electrical apprentices and acknowledge all the good work they do. We want to show them what a rewarding and diverse career they can have within the electrical sector.”
Marie Parry, group marketing director at Scolmore ADDED, “Our aim at the start of this venture was to create and develop a national competition that would not only attract the highest calibre of candidates, but would also generate interest within the industry and this is certainly proving to be the case.
“We will continue to play our part to help develop and reward and apprentices and will be looking to work more closely with colleges and training facilities to provide learning support and materials and hopefully, inspire more apprentices to get involved in future competitions.”