ACR-News
18 February 2019

Registration opens soon for SkillFRIDGE 2019

It's less than two weeks until registration is open for the 2019 cycle of SkillFRIDGE, the competition which aims to put the RACHP industry on the map, tackling the UK skills crisis while helping young engineers to develop their careers.

The RACHP industry is intrinsic to modern life in the developed world; it keeps our food fresh and our buildings comfortable, it ensures the safe storage of medicines and helps to keep our data centres running in this digital age.

However, despite its vital role, the UK RACHP industry – along with the entire engineering sector – is facing a major skills shortage.

SkillFRIDGE, in partnership with WorldSkills UK and a network of top industry sponsors, is working to tackle this crisis head-on, highlighting the importance of RACHP skills and the many rewarding career opportunities available to young people entering the industry.

How does it work?

SkillFRIDGE enables young engineers studying up to Level 3 RACHP to engage with the wider industry, testing their mettle against their peers and strengthening their skills through a competition which works in three main stages.

The first stage is online registration. Now open for the 2019 competition cycle until 5 April, training providers and employers are encouraged to provide outstanding apprentices and students with the opportunity to boost their careers, gaining knowledge, connections and confidence.

Prior to registering, all apprentices must complete the preliminary test, carried out by a training provider. Scores must be submitted during registration, while test papers must be submitted to SkillFRIDGE for verification by 5 April.

Once the preliminary test has been completed, any apprentice aged 16+ studying Level 2/3 RACHP may be registered via the online form. When registering, competitors that are eligible for WorldSkills UK competitions can request to be assessed as a WSUK competitor.

After registration closes, the national competition starts. Held throughout the UK from May to August, the regional heats will see registered competitors complete a series of tasks under strict time schedules, assessed by a panel of specially selected industry experts. After the heats have concluded, the competitor who scores highest will be crowned the SkillFRIDGE national winner.

Alongside the national winner, the five other highest scoring competitors from the national competition will be invited to compete at the WorldSkills UK National Final, held at WorldSkills UK LIVE at Birmingham’s NEC in November 2019.

The gold medal winner from the National Final will be presented with a trophy, and their respective training provider will receive the SkillFRIDGE Shield.

Meanwhile – and subject to age eligibility – those apprentices who achieve a sufficiently high score in the National Final will also be considered to represent Great Britain at international WorldSkills competitions.

The competition is undoubtedly challenging, but it is precisely this fact that makes it worthwhile. Last year’s gold medallist, Dominic Dray from Royale Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, explained: “Being able to say that I won the gold medal is a great feeling, especially because it’s a tough competition that really does test your skills and knowledge. It’s a chance to show others what you can do, and having got through it successfully will stand me in good stead for my future career.”

For more information, or to register an apprentice for SkillFRIDGE 2019, visit www.skillfridge.co.uk.

Taking the RACHP industry further

Participants who progress from the WorldSkills UK National Final to compete at an international level will represent their country on the world stage.

Naturally, for the talented competitors who make it this far, the training process intensifies. It was on his way to deliver this crucial training – ahead of the 2019 international competition in Kazan, Russia – that lead SkillFRIDGE judge, Mark Forsyth, decided to get in touch with BBC Radio 2 to explain more.

With the BBC having consistently reported on the engineering skills crisis faced by the UK, it was no surprise that Mr Forsyth subsequently received a shout out on the broadcaster’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show hosted by Zoe Ball, who was keen to know more about the competition and its goals.

As the skills shortage increasingly makes headlines in the mainstream media, SkillFRIDGE has the potential to take the RACHP industry further, reaching a wider audience than ever before.

This means there is no better time than now to align your brand with the competition and show your support for the RACHP leaders of tomorrow.

To find out more about the available sponsorship opportunities, contact Karena Cooper on 01622 699150 or at kcooper@datateam.co.uk

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