SkillFRIDGE 2017 Update

SkillFRIDGE 2017 Update

Hydrogen and oxygen for safer brazing at SkillFRIDGE

With less than four weeks until the qualifying heats are concluded, the 2017 SkillFRIDGE competition is heating up as apprentices and students studying up to Level 3 in the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) sector vie for a spot in the SkillFRIDGE final, which is part of The Skills Show taking place at the NEC Birmingham on 16-18 November 2017.

The Skills Show, organised by WorldSkills UK, is the nation’s largest careers event and is set to attract over 80,000 visitors between the ages of 11-24 who want to explore the vast range of career paths that are available to them. As a largely hidden but vital industry that is suffering from a growing skills shortage, SkillFRIDGE’s presence at The Skills Show is an exciting and crucial opportunity to bring the RACHP sector to the forefront of talented young peoples’ minds.

Ian Shawcroft, head of RW, cites this opportunity as one of the reasons the company has chosen to sponsor SkillFRIDGE 2017: “The RACHP industry needs to ensure it attracts young people and educate students that apprenticeships are a viable alternative to university.” Shawcroft continues: “With employers struggling to fill technical positions, the industry needs to embrace and support such training initiatives that will provide the future knowledge to service and support such a critical industry to the UK.”

Competitors who score above 65% during the final will automatically be considered to represent the UK at the WorldSkills Competition in Russia in 2019, and will be signed up to a two year fast track training course to compete internationally.

A new generation of brazing

The SkillFRIDGE competition will provide a platform for the future of the RACHP industry to show off their talent as well as providing them with the opportunity to use the latest technology within the sector, as the country’s best aspiring engineers are challenged to use the new generation SafeFlame device during the final.

SafeFlame began as an EU funded project in November 2011, as experts from Germany, Italy, Spain, Finland and the UK joined forces to modernise the traditional methods of brazing, cutting and welding, and produce a device that is more user friendly, efficient and safer for engineers.

Whilst traditional brazing methods involve highly flammable bottled gasses, the SafeFlame device takes advantage of recent developments in Electrolysis and uses water as its fuel and mains electricity as the power supply. 

This, along with the easily seen flame, ultra-low emissions and burner that remains cool to touch, not only makes it safer for engineers who are brazing with the SafeFlame, but allows for more efficiency due to the greater control of the flame and avoids issues that arise with traditional methods that involve compressed gases – for example, vehicle modifications that are required for the carriage of these gases and restrictions on access to sites where compressed gas cylinders are banned.

Sponsorship opportunities

The demand for services from the RACHP sector continues to grow as air conditioning and refrigeration becomes even more vital to modern day life, but the escalating skills shortage threatens the future of the industry. This shortage can only be counteracted through the support and dedication from schools, governments and businesses within the industry.

A number of major industry brands, media partners and associations have already shown their commitment to the future of the industry by sponsoring this year’s SkillFRIDGE competition.

Nick Kilner, head of Dean & Wood who are part of this year’s exemplary sponsor line up, says of the sponsorship: “We are delighted to support SkillFRIDGE and The Skills Show in its bid to attract new entrants to the RACHP market. In line with our own strong belief that training and development is at the heart of the future success of the industry, SkillFRIDGE is an exciting way for young people to showcase their talent.”

There are still opportunities for brands to align themselves with the highest standard of up and coming talent in the RACHP industry and show their commitment to a future generation of skilled engineers, whilst being profiled within a wide reaching national and international media campaign. 

For more information on bespoke SkillFRIDGE sponsorship packages, contact:

Karena Cooper, SkillFRIDGE Competition Operating Partner (COP) Manager
T: 01622 699 150


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