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Since leaving school over 10 years ago, Dan has tried his hand at various different trades before settling on Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. When he first left school at 16, Dan got an Apprenticeship in Painting and Decorating, but he didn’t enjoy this so he moved onto a Plumbing Apprenticeship instead, which he was unable to complete.

Unsure what to do next, Dan worked in a variety of roles including as an electrician, a courtesy driver and as a Sales Assistant in JD Sports. During this time he also got the opportunity to work in a Refrigeration company for a while, which he thoroughly enjoyed. At this point Dan began to seriously consider his future and choosing a career path, and decided that, of everything he had tried, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning was the right path for him.

He developed his CV and sent applications to lots of employers, and heard back from Ensys with a training opportunity. When asked his first impressions of Ensys, Dan said, “They immediately gave me a good impression; they were willing to invest in my training even though I was slightly older, which is what I wanted.”

Dan is now in his final year of the Level 3 qualification, and says his favourite parts of his job are installation and repair. He says, “Maintenance is important, but repair is much more interesting because it’s something different all the time that you have to figure out. And you get a sense of achievement when you install a system and switch it on to see it working.”


According to Dan, the theory at Level 3 has been the hardest part of the course so far, as it’s much more in-depth, “This year we’ve been working with lots of graphs working out pressure / temperature relationships, and using lots of formulae. There’s lots of maths involved.”

However, Dan feels that his previous experience in other trades has massively benefitted him. With his background in both plumbing and electrics, he feels much more confident than his peers in dealing with pipes and electrics involved in air conditioning systems. Even his customer service experience from his role in JD Sports has come in handy!

Despite coming into the industry later than other people, this year Dan has been named a finalist for the ‘ACR Trainee of the Year’ award, and won the ACR 'Apprentice of the Year' award. His lecturer nominated him for his consistent hard work, and the title means a lot to Dan. He said, “I’ve already updated my CV – I thought I did well last year but didn’t realise I’d done that well! If I won I’d be quite chuffed.”

Broaden your horizons beyond the traditional trades – come to an Open Event to see what’s available.


Dan is keen to emphasise the importance of getting a qualification behind you – he wishes he’d known at 16 what he knows now! Having tried many trades himself he understands that you might decide not to stick with the same thing, but he says getting a formal qualification that lasts for life is so important. Any experience in any field is a step towards a career.

To find out more about the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning courses offered at the College, please visit the career page. Alternatively, call 023 8091 1299 to speak to one of our Advisors.




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