10 February 2016

A-Gas UK has been appointed as the official refrigerant supplier for the SkillFRIDGE competition taking place at The ACR Show

The ACR Show, the UK’s only exhibition for the refrigeration, air conditioning, ventilation, heating and heat pump sectors is set to host the national SkillFRIDGE competition next week (16-18 February).

The competition provides a launch pad for apprentices in the sector to compete internationally at vocational skills competition, WorldSkills. In August 2015 Team UK had great success with Chris Baillie (BA Refrigeration Ltd, and South East Regional College, Belfast) gaining silver medal and runner up at the WorldSkills competition in Sao Paulo Brazil. Chris will be at The ACR Show to support the competitors and is and available for interviews.

Six apprentices from across UK colleges and training providers will be given a project to install and assemble on the Tuesday and Wednesday of the show, with the winner being announced on the Thursday afternoon.

The ACR Show has invited Jenny Shackleton, assessment advisor for WorldSkills International and WorldSkills Europe to attend the ACR News Awards on the second night of the show. Jenny will take to the stage to explain what WorldSkills represents, before being joined by silver medallist Chris, who will talk about how this event has benefitted him. The six SkillFRIDGE competitors and the colleges they represent will also be introduced.

For over 35 years Jenny held progressive roles in local government and colleges before retiring from college leadership in 1999. During that time she had also contributed to a range of national bodies.

From 2003 Jenny reviewed and rebuilt Team UK’s WorldSkills performance, stepping down in 2012 having helped the UK to achieve fifth place at WorldSkills London 2011. At that point WorldSkills International appointed her to the role of Assessment Advisor, to support the enhancement of the WorldSkills Competition. In 2013 she also took on the same role for WorldSkills Europe.

In her role as Assessment Advisor, Jenny advises the UK Government on standards and assessment for Apprenticeships, and China, Singapore and other WorldSkills members on quality development. She works with UNESCO and the international research community on the future alignment of vocational standards.

Coriolis International director Mark Forsyth is the national SkillFRIDGE competition manager and lead assessor. Mark was responsible for creating the skill test and marking scheme according to WorldSkills international assessment standards. He said: “By participating in skill competitions, the UK is able to share best practice on vocational teaching, and raise standards and expertise in further education, skills and apprenticeships on a national scale.”

ACR Show exhibitors JAVAC, Lawton Tubes, AGas, FSW, HSS, Star Refrigeration; AC Accessories, Bruntwood and Advanced Engineering have each pledged their support for the event, donating tools and prizes.

Javac is supplying six sets of refrigeration tools to the competition. Managing director, Steve Davies said: “Mark asked us if we would be interested in supplying the tools of choice for the 2016 competition. As one of the UK’s keynote suppliers of refrigeration and air conditioning service and installation tools and equipment, we were happy to oblige. The JAVAC equipment will be used to install, test and commission the top secret project.”

Lawton Tubes is supplying rolls of coiled copper tube. Chris White, head of Air Conditioning & Refrigeration said: “We are delighted to be supporting the next generation of HVACR professionals with the materials they need for the competition. We wish all taking part the best of luck!”

A-Gas has been appointed as the official refrigerant supplier. Its refrigerants and service gases will be used as part of the installation, testing and commissioning of the projects during the competition. A-Gas Managing Director John Ormerod said: “A-Gas likes to support best practice in the industry and the correct way to do so is to help young engineers develop the right skills at the start of their careers. If you get a sense of best practice at this early level it does help raise the overall standard of skills in the industry.”

FSW has supplied Mark and his team a wide range of products such as solenoid valves, dehydrators, and sight glasses for his team to use during the skills competition. Refrigeration & product marketing manager Robin Green M. inst R. said: “FSW is always keen to offer it’s support in the development of trainee engineers in our industry, For many years we have donated equipment and provided support to refrigeration colleges and training centres around the UK. Our support for quality training in the industry is an ongoing project.”

Dr Rob Lamb, group Sales and marketing director for Star Refrigeration said: “The recognition of a highly skilled workforce and the encouragement of good RAC professionals are of paramount importance for the wellbeing of the industry. I would like to praise the commitment of all Skillfridge competitors to maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills by taking part in the competition.

We are delighted to support the competition by providing free training packages, including all CPD certified e-learning courses available through our training website.”

Air Conditioning Accessories has agreed a joint venture with Bruntwood for one of the winning engineers to spend £250 on tools from its Manchester Trade Counter

Advanced Engineering, meanwhile, is to give an Imperial Tool Bag to each contestant, containing the   TC-1000 – Imperial Hi-Duty Pipe Cutter, 70-FH – Triple Head Bender, a  275-FS Flaring and swaging tool kit and a RectorSeal Mighty Bracket and air conditioning split system installation tool.

The competition is also supported by HSS; the specialist training division of the UK’s original tool and equipment hire company – HSS Hire. HSS Training offers over 200 industry-recognised training courses that are professionally delivered via 45 full time employed qualified trainers to individuals and organisations throughout the UK and Ireland.

For more information and to register for The ACR Show, visit www.acrshow.com