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Double awards scoop for Refrigeration alumni

Eastleigh College alumni Gemma Dormer and Luke Haile have claimed prestigious awards in national refrigeration competitions.

Gemma became the first female to win the RAC and IOR National Student of the Year prize in the Cooling Awards 2022. It follows on from previous impressive wins earlier this year where she took home both the ARC News and ARC Journal Award. Luke picked up the RAHCP World Skills UK Award in the BESA Awards 2022 and will be further competing in the RAHCP World Skills UK National Finals later in November.

Gary Appleton, Assessor in Engineering at Eastleigh College, said: “I had the pleasure of witnessing Luke getting his award and it was extremely well deserved. The achievements of these two gifted learners truly shows the depth and breadth of upcoming talent in the refrigeration industry and can hopefully inspire more to consider a career in this important trade.”

Gemma joined Eastleigh College in 2019 as an apprentice, working with a number of different refrigeration businesses before settling with J & E Hall International, who she has been with for the past 18 months. J & E Hall International have over 125 years of refrigeration expertise and at one point had installed more than half of the world’s cargo refrigeration.

Gemma commented: “I am very proud and honoured to receive this award, I have been shortlisted twice previously so it shows that perseverance is key. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of my employers and my trainers at Eastleigh College, all of whom encouraged me to make the leap this year. I look forward to continuing my strong progress in the industry and would also like to mentor other new upcoming talent going forward.”

Luke’s Eastleigh College journey also began in 2019, where he undertook a full Diploma in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning alongside an apprenticeship with Lightfoot Defence. Lightfoot Defence have been developing cutting edge refrigeration military solutions since 1885 and having completed his studies earlier this summer, Luke has now progressed onto the role of Junior Technician in the company.

Luke commented: “Winning the RAHCP World Skills Award is an absolute honour. To further reach the World Skills UK National Finals reflects my ability to problem solve, process information and successfully interpret diagrams - the guidance of my tutors has been invaluable to my success in these areas. The future is far reaching in this industry as we collectively seek to adapt to the threat of global warming.”

For more information on our Refrigeration and Air Conditioning courses, please click here.

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