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Second SkillFRIDGE heat hailed a success

Bath College played host to the second of three regional heats for the latest instalment of the SkillFRIDGE competition on 26 th July.

Bath College played host to the second of three regional heats for the latest instalment of the SkillFRIDGE competition on 26 th July.

Students from Eastleigh and Bath College faced three rounds of intense competition under the scrutiny of the judges. They had to attempt various test projects, designed to challenge the RAC students in the use of materials, tools and equipment. They followed detailed instructions, applying industry standards and safe working practices, whilst demonstrating good time management, planning and problem solving in a unique environment.

The highest scorer of the regional heat was Steven Monk of Bath College, who received a tool bag as a prize, courtesy of Aspen Pumps. He will now wait to see if he has won a place to compete in the national finals at The Skills Show, organised by WorldSkills UK in November, where the six highest scoring competitors will compete to be selected for the WorldSkills UK training squad.

Steven is a Level 2 apprentice studying at Bath College and is working as an apprentice at the Bath-based company, Ambient Engineering Limited.  He said: “I wasn’t expecting to win at all, I’m over the moon. It was tougher than I expected. Although I’m studying air conditioning and refrigeration, I was out of my comfort zone because I normally do air conditioning rather than refrigeration in my day job. It’s good to challenge yourself and set yourself goals.”

The event was attended by technical director John Smith from Brand Sponsor, Beijer Ref UK & Ireland (Dean and Wood & Refrigeration Wholesale), who assisted in judging the competitors.  He said: “I was invited to represent Beijer Ref UK as a judge at the SkillFRIDGE Regional Heat held in Bath. This was my first involvement in a SkillFRIDGE event and I was immediately struck by how well the event was organised and the professionalism of the other judges.

“The students were clearly challenged by the demanding tasks and they all did exceptionally well. Once the marking had been completed, they all received useful and constructive feedback on their performance from Mark Forsyth.

The judging panel consisted of Derek Davies from SkillFRIDGE Association Sponsor, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) which has merged with the European Association of Brazing and Soldering (EABS), and head judge, Mark Forsyth, who is also the competition’s project manager.

Representatives from Eastleigh College were also present, including apprenticeship achievements officer, Julie Richmond and lecturer and lead internal verifier David Standing.

Supporting the judging team and competitors, was previous SkillFRIDGE competitor and BESA’s North West Air Conditioning Engineer of the Year 2016 (Level 3) winner, Ryan Unwin from Bruntwood Management Services.

There are ample opportunities for businesses in this sector to show their support for the next generation of RACHP professionals; for more information contact Karena Cooper on 01622 699150 or email

The final regional heat will take place on 24th August at the South East Regional College in Lisburn. Follow @skillfridge on twitter for the latest news.


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