SkillFridge-Gold-Ashley-Wilson

SkillFridge 2016 winner Ashley Wilson receives his medal and certificate from Institute of Refrigeration president-elect Steve Gill

UK: Ashley Wilson of Portadown-based A1 Refrigeration took first place and the Gold Medal today in the UK’s national SkillFridge competition at the NEC.

Ashley, who attends Belfast’s South East Regional College, beat off the challenge from five other apprentices from across UK colleges and training providers to win this year’s competition, which took place during the ACR Show 2016. The apprentices were given a project to install and assemble on the Tuesday and Wednesday of the Show.

The SkillFridge competition provides a potential launch pad for apprentices in the sector to compete internationally at the vocational skills competition, WorldSkills. Ashley follows in the footsteps of another product of Belfast’s South East Regional College, Chris Baillie of BA Refrigeration who went on to win Silver at the WorldSkills competition in Sao Paulo Brazil last year. Chris attended the Show to support and encourage this year’s competitors.

Second place went to yet another South East Regional College attendee Chris Hoy of A&B Refrigeration & Air Conditioning. The Bronze medal was won by Kaine Finlay of Emcor UK and Eastleigh College.

A number of air conditioning and refrigeration companies pledged their support for the event, donating tools and prizes. These sponsors included Javac, Lawton Tubes, A-Gas, FSW, HSS, Star Refrigeration, AC Accessories, Bruntwood and Advanced Engineering.