Meet the 2018 finalists

Dominic Dray

Employer Royale Refrigeration & Air Conditioning
Trainer Eastleigh College

The SkillFRIDGE 2018 champion, Dominic works for Royale Refrigeration & Air Conditioning and is now over halfway through his two year apprenticeship. He notes that he was drawn to the industry because he “wanted to get a trade, and this industry offers a bit of everything.”

On the impact of his win, Dominic says: “It’s given me so much more confidence in the workplace. It was definitely worth taking part for that reason, and also to meet more people from the industry and make useful connections.”

Chandler Davison

Employer Thermocold Ltd
Trainer Bath College

A SkillFRIDGE silver medallist at the WorldSkills UK LIVE final, Chandler also topped the national rankings to receive the SkillFRIDGE National Winner accolade, and was presented with his trophy at the BESA Awards last year. 

Employed by Thermocold Ltd – a family-run business working in and around the South West region – Chandler explains why he chose to build his career in the ACR industry: “It was a great apprenticeship programme to enter at college and was a subject that I was interested in, especially due to the fact that my Dad has worked in the industry his entire life.”

Sam Gills

Employer Star Refrigeration
Trainer Star Refrigeration

Sam came away with the SkillFRIDGE 2018 bronze medal, and is on course to complete the fourth and final year of his apprenticeship with Star Refrigeration. Prior to starting his apprenticeship, Sam completed work experience with his company and enjoyed learning on the job and the chance to work on numerous refrigeration plant, cooling different applications.

Variety was a key factor when it came to pursuing his apprenticeship, as Sam notes: “Working on different sites and being involved in different service, maintenance and install tasks was a big attraction to me.”

Thomas Thompson

Employer Refrigeration Lindum
Trainer Grimsby Institute

Thomas notes: “I was drawn to the trade because of the range of skills I would be learning, for example both electrical and mechanical, as well as brazing and welding pipework.”

Thomas has just finished his Level 2 qualification and has been an apprentice for two years. The security of a career in this vital sector was also a key consideration for Thomas, who continues:  “Refrigeration is an industry that we will always need, and will only improve in the future.”

Kevin Ballantine

Employer TKB Air Conditioning
Trainer Bath College

Kevin spent fifteen years in other trades before pursuing a career in RACHP, after his elder brother asked him to partner with him and start their own company; TKB Air Conditioning.

Following a year on the tools, Kevin opted for a course with Bath College. He notes: “We decided it would be beneficial for me to get a qualification in the industry to help us progress further.

“I signed up to a two year apprenticeship with a possibility of doing a third after. I’ve just completed my first year and it’s all going well so far.”

Edward Davis

Employer Dunbia Foods
Trainer Cardiff and Vale College

Edward studies at Cardiff and Vale College and is employed as an apprentice by Dunbia Foods, a meat processing factory in West Wales. He has just finished the second year of his two year apprenticeship, which he was put forward for by an on-site refrigeration engineer after showing an interest in how the ammonia plant operated.