The finalists of the 2023 HIP Learner of the Year competition have been announced. The event took place in the Worcester Bosch headquarters for a 2-day finale of the well-established plumbing competition on 19th & 20th of April.

The quest to find the UK’s most promising plumbers culminated in a challenge to install a boiler, heat pump and radiator, using copper pipework, as well as a basin and shower connected to a Sanitop Up macerator pump from Saniflo. 

The event followed six regional heats, which started in January and the winners of each round, along with the highest runner-up, gained a place at the final.

Saniflo was delighted to be a sponsor throughout the competition which included the donation of 13 x Sanitop Up domestic macerators for use in the practical challenges and which have since been donated to the respective colleges for the benefit of other plumbing apprentices. 

The finalists were: 

  1. Theo Dobinson, Newcastle College
  2. Miles James, Farnborough College of Technology
  3. Nathan Kelly, Cardiff Vale College
  4. George Anderson, City College, Plymouth
  5. Elliot Julian, Cornwall College
  6. Louie Diver, Cambridge Regional College
  7. Connor Sutherland, Tresham College, Corby

Head Judge, Jerry Whiteley of CIPHE, worked with HIP Magazine to develop the challenge and was delighted at the competency shown by all candidates.

He says: “The quality of the work of these 7 finalists demonstrates that the future of plumbing is in very capable hands. The judging criteria is exceptionally strict with all jointing techniques assessed, levels checked and pipe bends measured for accuracy. The winner, Elliot Julian from Cornwall College, carried out an outstanding piece of work and was also the first to complete the task. Louie Diver from Cambridge Regional College was a close second. Each of the learners worked tirelessly over the two days and demonstrated great aptitude. Their lecturers should be extremely proud.”

Graham Davies, technical manager from Saniflo, attended the events and delivered a series of presentations, Meet the Lecturer, to the college staff.

He adds: “The lecturers and apprentices I have met over the last four months have reinforced that the plumbing sector has some serious talent coming through, thanks to the great NVQ courses at the colleges. Not only is it a fantastic career opportunity, it is great for industry knowing that there is a talent pool of potential employees. This competition really does bring out the best in the sector.”