13 November 2018

Star Refrigeration apprentice reaches SkillFRIDGE final at WorldSkills UK LIVE

Newcastle-based industrial refrigeration apprentice from Star Refrigeration, Sam Gills, is among the six apprentice engineers to reach the SkillFRIDGE competition final being held at WorldSkills UK LIVE.

Star Refrigeration's Sam Gills.

The competition final is set to take place from 15-17 November 2018 at the NEC Arena in Birmingham.

While taking part in a number of regional SkillFRIDGE heats throughout the summer, Sam outperformed scores of all other contestants to find himself amongst the top six in the country.

During the heats, the engineers were asked to display competence in assembling and tightening pipework containing both brass and copper fittings. Under a strict time limit, the participants had to identify and repair an electrical fault in a refrigeration unit, as well as fixing leaks, testing for strength, and charging, commissioning and evacuating the system.

Sam will now proceed to the WorldSkills UK National Final, where the winner receive a SkillFRIDGE gold medal and have the opportunity to represent the UK at international level in future WorldSkills events.

It is not the first time that Sam’s skills have been recognised. Just last year, he was crowned ACR Trainee of the Year at an awards ceremony in Sutton Coldfield. At the time, Sam had just achieved distinction in his BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Engineering and his industrious attitude, eagerness to learn and committed work ethic has since seen him go from strength to strength.

Sam said: “It’s been a whirlwind year for me, to be honest. After gaining a distinction in my studies and receiving the Trainee of the Year award last December, things just haven’t slowed down. I’m honoured to be representing Star at the WorldSkills competition and hope I can do myself and my company proud again.”

Dave Bartlett, Star Refrigeration operations training manager, said: “I could not be more proud of Sam and his achievements, and of all our apprentices and trainees here at Star. We have received a crop of incredibly talented engineers over recent years and all of them have been put through our national training scheme which is producing so many award-winning engineers.”

Star Refrigeration operations director, James Ward, added: “We are delighted with the exceptional job that Sam has done during the regional heats, allowing him to qualify and successfully secure a place in the Worldskills UK Final.

“Our apprentices’ world-class skills are being recognised throughout the industry’s competitions which are set to drive up technical skills. This acknowledgement validates Star’s training standards and confirms our commitment to put individual career development at the top of the priority list.

“We wish Sam all the best over what promises to be an interesting few days of competition in Birmingham, and look forward to supporting him throughout the event”.

Click here for more information on Star Refrigeration’s apprenticeship scheme.


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