SkillFridge-Grantham

UK: This year’s SkillFridge competition, which kicked off with the first heat in Grantham last week, has attracted wide support from industry.

SkillFridge is a national UK competition for apprentices studying level 3 RAC, leading to a national final that can lead to an invitation into the Worldskills UK international competition cycle.

Three new brand sponsors – Aspen Pumps, Dean & Wood and RW Refrigeration Wholesale – have signed up to show their support for SkillFridge in recent weeks, while Hampshire Refrigeration Society has also backed the competition. Support for SkillFridge has also come from other leading industry names, including A-Gas, Advanced Engineering, Fieldpiece Instruments, FSW and Lawton Tubes, all of which have signed up as equipment suppliers. Pumps2go and Hydratech are also said to have pledged their support for the competition.

Competitors from The College of North West London, Manchester College and the Grimsby Institute took place in the first heat last week at the new Institute of Materials centre in Grantham.

“Our goal for SkillFridge is to highlight the importance of RACHP skills in modern life and help create career paths with industry events,” said competition operating partner manager Karena Cooper. “We want to raise standards at a national level, promoting the demand for apprenticeships and training. Colleges have also been really supportive, encouraging entries and putting forward some of their best students.”

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Warren Root, head of RW Refrigeration Wholesale, commented: “The RACHP industry needs to ensure it attracts young people and educate students that apprenticeships are a viable option to University. With employers struggling to fill technical positions the industry needs to embrace and support such training initiatives that will provide the future knowledge to service and support such a critical industry to the UK.”

Describing SkillFridge as an exciting way for young people to showcase their talent, Nick Kilner, head of Dean & Wood, said that the competition was in line with the company’s own strong belief that training and development is at the heart of the future success of the industry.

Mike Davies of Aspen Pumps, said: “Having worked with colleges for many years, at Aspen Pumps we understand the importance of actively encouraging the training of apprentices and students, ensuring the continued professionalism of engineers in the industry.”

The next regional heat takes place at Bath College on 26 July and the final leg at South East Regional College, Co Antrim, on August 24.

Related stories:

Refrigeration and ac returns to WorldSkills

Ashley Wilson takes SkillFridge Gold