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Cool under pressure - Apprentice makes UK SkillsFridge final

Congratulations to Eastleigh College Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Apprentice, Joseph Conroy, who has reached the National SkillsFridge Final!


The competition, which will take place at Birmingham NEC on the 14th to 16th November, sees the best contestants from each trade come together to compete to become UK champion. The final will be held as part of The Skills Show, which is the largest careers and skills event in the country. The show will host over 60 competition finals, including stonemasonry, floristry, media make-up, landscape gardening and refrigeration and air conditioning.


To get to this stage Joseph and the other finalists competed in a Regional Heat, where each contestant started with 100 points, which the judges then reduced depending on how well the contestant completed each of their tasks. The six highest scores across all of the heats were then invited to the National Finals.


When speaking about the competition Joseph noted "It was Shaun's [my lecturers] encouragement that made me enter. I fancied a challenge, and thought 'why not!'. I had no reason not to do it and thought that a challenge like this would be good for me, and would look good on my CV."


The National competition can also allow progression onto a world stage. Competitors who are below 23 and show potential at the National event may also be asked to be part of Team UK and compete against other competitors in their trade from across the globe at the WorldSkills competition in Brazil in 2015.


Shaun Creech, Assessor, Verifier for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning at Eastleigh College also added "The competition opens a lot of doors; one of our previous entrants has had a wealth of job offers since competing. The training that they get if they are able to make it to WorldSkills level is also second to none. For example, the training that Steve [one of our previous entrants] received when preparing for WorldSkills would have been worth thousands of pounds! He had the opportunity to learn one-on-one with industry experts, which also allowed him to find out more in an intensive week than other specialised engineers would find out in years!"


Joseph, aged 20 from Maidenhead, Berkshire is currently undertaking a Level 3 NVQ in Commercial Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Apprenticeship at Eastleigh College, with employer Trane UK.


For more details of the full and part-time courses at Eastleigh College, please call 023 8091 1299 or