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ROUND UP SkillFRIDGE 2019: RACHP apprentices


start to showcase their skills Regional heats for the SkillFRIDGE 2019 competition series have begun, as aspiring RACHP engineers demonstrate their abilities while vying for a coveted place in the national final.


judges and be in with a chance of taking home the gold medal. After the final is over, the age-eligible


competitors with sufficiently high scores will have the opportunity to form part of the WorldSkills Squad UK, heading to the 2021 international skills competition in Shanghai, China.


Uniting apprentices and industry Championing best practice and aiming to tackle the engineering skills crisis head-on, SkillFRIDGE is a crucial initiative – and close collaboration with industry is key to maximising its impact. The competition has forged links with many of


T


wo of the regionals took place last month – the first on 8 May at Cardiff and Vale College,


and the second on 29 May at Glasgow Kelvin College. During each regional heat, the competitors


undergo two three-hour long tasks in order to test their knowledge and practical skills. Lead SkillFRIDGE judge Mark Forsyth explains: “This stage covers the standards and competencies taught within the Level 1 and Level 2 RAC qualifications. “Importantly, it is also relevant to the new


6090 framework of competencies for RAC apprentices. The SkillFRIDGE competition covers a considerable number of skills required to pass the 6090 RAC qualification end point assessment.” Following the Cardiff and Vale heat, apprentice


coordinator Stephen Traylor commented: “The standard we’ve seen this year has been exceptionally high. SkillFRIDGE is important because it’s a really good way to get apprentices engaged with the industry, which is essential if we’re to close the engineering skills gap. That said, the outlook is positive; the past two years have seen record highs for the Cardiff and Vale College Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, with 17 apprentices currently signed up and studying with us.” This month will see Bath College hosting a


regional heat on Tuesday 11 June, closely followed by Eastleigh College on Thursday 13 June. Meanwhile, the Practical Refrigeration Training


Centre in Burnley, Lancashire, will be holding its regional heat on the inaugural World Refrigeration Day on Wednesday 26 June to demonstrate its support for the refrigeration sector. This particular SkillFRIDGE event will therefore be supplemented with an additional area dedicated to the provision of industry information and advice, supported and attended by Pendle Refrigeration Wholesale, Controls UK,


44 www.education-today.co.uk June 2019


The Skills Company, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce – Low Carbon, and the Institute of Refrigeration. The final regional event will be held on Tuesday 16 July, hosted by Grimsby Institute.


What happens next? Once the regional stages are concluded, all competitors will be ranked according to the scores they achieved in their respective heats. At this point, the highest scorer overall will be


announced as the national winner, and will be invited to receive their accolade at the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) Awards later this year on 21 November. The SkillFRIDGE national final, meanwhile, will


take place from 21-23 November at Birmingham’s NEC, featuring the top six highest scorers from the 2019 national heats as well as SkillFRIDGE 2018 gold medal winner, Dominic Dray. Ahead of the national final, each participant


will undergo a series of training tasks to ensure they are fully prepared to impress the SkillFRIDGE


the foremost air conditioning and refrigeration businesses, which have pledged their support through sponsorship and the generous provision of top quality equipment to ensure that the next generation of engineers have the tools they need to succeed. One such company is low GWP refrigerant


distributor Climalife, whose managing director Allan Harper stated: “Climalife is really proud to be supporting SkillFRIDGE as a brand partner for a second year running. We have loved being involved in some of the events and competitions that have run over the last year, as well as meeting the competitors. “We feel it’s hugely important to encourage


and support younger blood coming into our industry and SkillFRIDGE is an excellent mechanism for motivating and developing the talented engineers of tomorrow. We wish this year’s candidates the best of luck.”


uSponsoring SkillFRIDGE is a unique opportunity to project your brand to up- and-coming engineers while ensuring that the RACHP industry of tomorrow has a skilled workforce and a secure future. For more information, contact Karena Cooper at kcooper@datateam.co.uk


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