SkillFRIDGE 2018

The countdown to the 2018 SkillFRIDGE final is well underway as competitors fine-tune their skills in readiness for the contest on 15-17 November.


killFRIDGE forms part of the wider network of WorldSkills UK LIVE competitions hosted at the

NEC in Birmingham, and is sponsored by Toshiba Carrier. The industry heavyweight will have a presence at the event, demonstrating some of its latest solutions while promoting the RACHP sector and showing support to the talent that’s emerging through the SkillFRIDGE competition. After a tour of the UK to find the very best

apprentices and trainees studying up to Level 3 RACHP, the six finalists set to compete are Chandler Davison and Kevin Ballantine of Bath College, Sims Gills from Star Refrigeration, Thomas Thompson of Grimsby Institute, Dominic Dray from Eastleigh College, and Edward Davis from Cardiff and Vale College.

The competition has evolved All in all, the finalists will be scrupulously assessed across the areas of pressure testing and evacuation, emissions control, joining, acr system commissioning and set-up, electrical wiring and fault finding, with safe working practice prioritised throughout. However, with the skills crisis presenting a real

threat to industry, and in a move which will raise standards and ensure the SkillFRIDGE finalists are competing in line with these, some changes have been made to this year’s competition. Crucially, the 2018 cycle has evolved to

incorporate elements of the new City & Guilds 6090 standard, which will not only test knowledge of essential subject matter and the application of key industry skills, but will go even further by incorporating flame brazing standards.

As the F-Gas phase-down sees the sector adopting alternative – but often mildly flammable – refrigerants, brazing to ensure safe, leak-proof joints is more vital than ever, and the SkillFRIDGE competition criteria now takes this pressing industry issue into consideration. To ensure that their skills are assessed in

thorough detail, the finalists will take part in two days of intensive competition. Mark Forsyth, WorldSkills UK training manager and lead SkillFRIDGE judge, explains: “The specification has been translated into three tasks for competitors to deliver in the course of 12 hours over two competition days at the NEC, as part of many other WorldSkills UK final competitions. This year, the six competitors will be given a secret, blind test project.” It’s undeniably a challenge, particularly as the

judges will not only be on the look-out for impeccable knowledge and obvious practical capability. In addition, competitors will also be marked on their organisation and management, as well as their communication skills; SkillFRIDGE helps its competitors to grow their careers, and these are all key attributes which will ensure success in the working world. Mr Forsyth elaborates: “The competition

judging does require a personal reference or subjective opinion of a competitor’s performance, and, importantly, the ultimate winner will have demonstrated the essential skills and emotional intelligence against a strict objective marking criteria approved by WorldSkills UK and industry partners.” As the two-day contest comes to an end, the


SkillFRIDGE judges will convene and the overall gold medal winner will be decided. Those who come in second and third place will receive a silver and bronze medal respectively. With over 1000 set to attend in order to celebrate the successes of the competitors and the power of apprenticeships, the WorldSkills UK Live medal ceremony will take place at the NEC on the evening of 17 November, from 20:00-22:00. Mr Forsyth concludes: “A unique gold medal is

the goal for some, but for others scoring above the WSUK benchmark could lead to the opportunity of representing Team UK in Europe 2020 and perhaps on an international stage in China 2021. Either way, this year’s final will also see the prestigious SkillFRIDGE shield go to a training centre which invests in training its students for more than a qualification – it’s a career boosting platform.”

uTo find out how you can get involved and support the SkillFRIDGE competition series, contact Karena Cooper on 01622 699 150 or at

November 2018

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