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College students compete at SkillFRIDGE

Two acr students from Eastleigh College are excited to be competing in this year’s national SkillFRIDGE competition.

Jack Culhane, Eastleigh College student and SkillFRIDGE competitor.

Apprentices Jack Culhane, employed by Gelidus AC, and Stephen Taylor from Kooltech, will compete against four other top trainees across the country to try to win the competition.

The competition, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham on 16 – 18 November, will test the apprentices’ knowledge and practical skills, taught throughout their Level 2 acr training, plus elements from Level 3. Tasks in previous years have included fabricating pipework from a condenser to an evaporator, electrical and pressure testing and commissioning a system.

Mr Culhane commented: “I entered SkillFRIDGE to test myself and to see how I would do. I think it has been really positive so far and hope to learn more and more along the way.

“What I like about the industry is that you always get to work on new and different systems, which keeps it interesting. You are always learning new things to improve your knowledge of the industry, and meeting new people.”

SkillFRIDGE is part of the wider WorldSkills competitions, where young professionals undertaking further education and apprenticeships can flaunt their talents and grow confidence in their abilities in local, regional and national competitions. Mr Culhane and Mr Taylor were chosen to compete in the SkillFRIDGE final after demonstrating their talent in the internal competition which took place earlier this year at Eastleigh College.

Winning the competition can also lead to even more exciting opportunities, which includes competing on an international level with around 72 countries, battling it out for a medal within their trade area.

Shaun Creech, lecturer in acr, has recently been nominated as a WorldSkills UK Local Hero in recognition of his work to equip students with lifelong, world-class skills to prepare them for the competition and their future career. Mr Creech is excited for the competition and explained: “I’m proud that our students have got to this stage and will represent the College later this month. They are a very talented pair and I’m keeping everything crossed that they win, but either way it’s a great experience for them to be a part of.”

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