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In January Matthew Cripps, an Installation Electrician/Maintenance Electrician Apprentice, from the Exeter centre competed at the regional heats of the Sparks of the year competition. This annual event is conducted to find the best young apprentice in the country. This assessment is completed over 6 hours. In the regionals Matthew lost only one point when his installation was marked, and he was declared the Sparks South-West regional champion. This meant Matthew was entered into the UK finals where the country’s top seven apprentices would compete against each other for the title of ‘UK Apprentice of the year 2023’. Matthew completed this final stage in Coventry at the Schneider headquarters and innovation centre.

The assessment this time was completed over two days (10 hours) and the installation requirement and technical difficulty was double of what was seen in the regional stages. The other regional finalists were of the highest calibre as you can imagine. Chris Linder (Focus Training Consultant and Assessor) attended with Matthew, and he stated that the pressure was immense on all the competitors and lectures/assessors who were desperately trying to support and guide learners through a technical mine field. All the competitors completed their installation work and testing in the required time.

The Judges were asked to decide a winner on a scoring basis, they were armed with tape measures and levels and took over 3 hours to decide a winner. Their decision came down to the smallest detail or discrepancy for the provided specification.

We can all, at The Focus Training Group, feel proud of Matthew who came in the top seven of the best Apprentice in the UK Sparks competition which is a fantastic achievement and will look great on his CV for the rest of his career. Of course, Matthew was disappointed not to win but as there was only a few marks between the top seven, he can go away with his head held high knowing he is one of the best.

Matthew said he was glad that his dad advised him to carry out an electrical apprenticeship which he has now nearly completed, he has enjoyed the course and felt well supported at The Focus Training Group and with his employer Electrix Ltd. He is immensely proud of his success in this competition.

For us as a training provider this competition result is a fantastic news as there were many different colleges from all over the UK involved. By reaching this final stage we have once again proved that we are one of the best.

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