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College students battle it out at National SkillFRIDGE competition

Two Refrigeration and Air Conditioning students from Eastleigh College are excited to be competing in this year’s National SkillFRIDGE competition.

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 this year’s National SkillFRIDGE competition.

The competition which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham on 16 – 18th November, will test the apprentices’ knowledge and practical skills, taught throughout their Level 2 Refrigeration and Air Conditioning 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.

Jack Culhane comments on what the competition means to him, “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 in Further Education and Apprenticeships can flaunt their talents and grow confidence in their abilities in local, regional and national competitions. Jack and Steven were originally chosen to compete in in the SkillFRIDGE final after showing their talent in the internal competition which took place earlier this year at 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.

Congratulations to Shaun Creech, lecturer in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, who has recently been nominated as a WorldSkills UK Local Hero which recognises his hardwork with students to equip them with lifelong, world-class skills to prepare them for the competition and their future career. Shaun Creech, is excited for the competition and explains, “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.”

To find out more about our Refrigeration and Air Conditioning courses, please visit our Refrigeration and Air Conditioning courses page, call 023 8091 1299 or email