Refrigeration apprentices George Shepherd, who is employed by J & E Hall International, won the RAC Cooling Award Student of the Year 2015 alongside classmate, Christopher Lake, from JD Cooling Systems, who was awarded 3rd place. The awards were presented at the prestigious event held at the London Hilton, Park Lane.
The category saw a particularly high number of entrants giving the judges an extremely hard job of selecting the final top ten and ultimately the winner.
After much debate and deliberation by the judging panel, which included John Skelton, Sainsbury’s refrigeration manager and IoR president-elect Stephen Gill, George Shepherd was seen to have all the right attributes combined with the right attitude. There was a real sense of determination that came across in George’s work, said one judge and this was backed by his humble and hardworking outlook along with considerable praise from his line manager.
The panel also commented that Christopher Lake showed clear career aspirations and demonstrated methodical thinking, combined with a good academic record. Furthermore, it was evident there was a real drive and clear career path ahead.
Steve Hilton, technical apprentice lead at Grimsby Institute, said: “We were thrilled to learn that George and Christopher had been awarded 1st and 3rd place at the awards, it was thoroughly deserved. The teaching team in refrigeration – Alan Craggs, Quentin Onyango, Jason Clarke and Carl Burgess – all speak very highly of both of them.
“George has always displayed all the attributes of a determined and disciplined learner. It was during the project element of this year that he impressed us the most; in order to develop the apprentice an element of leadership is introduced to the project and each learner takes a turn at researching a current topic, then delivering a presentation to the entire cohort. All the tutors involved with this added value project noted that George had a flair for being the front man demonstrating many skills usually associated with a seasoned engineer.
“George has taken full advantage of all the opportunities afforded to him whilst at college and of equal importance is the fact that he has had the benefit of an employer who is fully involved with the apprenticeship process and who has backed him all the way.”