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SkillFRIDGE regional heats underway

The regional heats for the national SkillFRIDGE competition have begun and the first was held at The Institute of Materials in Grantham at the end of June.

The Grantham heat was hailed a success and competition operating partner (COP) manager, Karena Cooper, said: 'It was a fantastic first heat for the competition and it was great to see so many people engaging with SkillFRIDGE. With some heats left, it's still open for the other competitors to demonstrate their skills and impress the judges.'

Students from The College of North West London, Manchester College and the Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education had two and a half hours in the morning to complete two tasks set by the organiser, followed by a further three and a half hours under the spotlight, in an attempt to impress the judges and gain enough points to qualify for the final. The time quickly passed as all competitors where highly focused and determined to the score the highest before the end of the day. The judges evaluated work and provided valuable and informative feedback, with competitors gaining more confidence in their abilities.

The test project was designed to challenge the RAC students in use of materials, tools and equipment by following detailed instructions, applying industry standards and safe working practices while demonstrating good time management, planning and problem solving in a unique environment.

Competitor Dan Netherwood from the Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education said: 'I thought it was a lot harder than it was going to be, my boss recommended me for it and it's a good chance for me to show my abilities in the work I do, I'd also recommend it as it was a fantastic experience.'

Looking to the future, Karena said: 'It's not all about the competition; our goal for SkillFRIDGE was to highlight the importance RACHP skills in modern life and help create career paths with industry events. Judges at the heats are chosen for their expertise in the industry, and gave individual feedback to each of the competitors. We want to raise standards at a national level, promoting the demand for apprenticeships and training. SkillFRIDGE offers that platform for the RACHP industry by engaging with young people'.

Showing their support for competitors, representatives from the Institute of Refrigeration, McAlpine and brand sponsor, Aspen pumps attended the event. The competitors were supplied with sponsored tools and equipment from Advanced Engineering, FSW, Lawton Tubes, A-Gas and Fieldpiece Instruments.

SkillFRIDGE project manager Mark Forsyth commented: 'The day was a success due to our hosts and of course the companies that sponsored the equipment and materials, which allowed equal opportunity for all competitors to demonstrate their skills and knowledge acquired at college'.

After all three regional heats, the eight highest scoring competitors will be invited to the final, which is to be held in November as part of The Skills Show organised by World Skills UK.

To be involved with SkillFRIDGE & WorldSkills UK Competition Series contact: Karena Cooper on 01622 699150 or email

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