8 Jan 2018 | Aeroventic
Brazing a trail for future engineers: Industry figures lend their expertise to the next generation


The SkillFRIDGE 2017 national final is just weeks away and this year’s competitors are taking part in vital training days, provided by lead sponsor Toshiba, assisted by a selection of industry experts with over 120 years of experience collectively.

These experts will also serve as judges during the final, set to take place as part of The Skills Show at the NEC Birmingham from 16-18 November.

The judging panel is comprised of competition project manager Mark ForsythDerek Davies, technical consultant at EABS/IOM3 and associate consultant at BSI Standards ACP Program; Ian Lemmon, field technical support engineer/trainer at HRP Ltd; Keith Nichols, trainer and consultant at KDSR Training; Nathan Ormson, technician at Toshiba Air Conditioning; Roger Smith, product manager refrigerants at A-GAS and Jason Canning, managing director at NBC (Air Conditioning) Ltd.

Commenting on the calibre of this year’s judging panel, lead judge Mark Forsyth says: “This year’s judges all have their own particular areas of expertise which will really help our engineers excel. Not only that, the judges are examples of the multitude of career opportunities that are available in this industry which will help confirm to the apprentices that they made the right career choice.”

As the organiser of all Toshiba training throughout the UK, Nathan Ormson is experienced in supervising and assisting engineers to ensure they reach their full potential. He notes: “The industry’s standard is rising all the time, so we need to make sure that the engineers of the future are aware of all expectations whilst learning in a healthy environment.”

SkillFRIDGE provides a platform for the judges to educate apprentices, colleges and wider industry on the industry issues that they are most passionate about. Roger Smith is keen to share his knowledge on alternative refrigerants, and with years of experience in flame technology Derek Davies hopes to help hone the apprentices’ flame brazing skills.

Davies comments: “Changes in refrigerant gases and demands for higher competency levels in flame brazing to reduce leakage has identified the need to engage with more colleges and industry to raise standards. SkillFRIDGE provides the profile required to do just that.”

For all of the SkillFRIDGE judges, the opportunity to give back to the industry was one not to be missed. Keith Nichols says: “Being a SkillFRIDGE judge has allowed me to give back to an industry that has been good to me. It’s a chance to help raise the skill levels in the industry, as well as bridge the gap between older engineers leaving and young ones coming in.”

Ian Lemmon echoes this sentiment: “I have worked within the RAC industry all my working life. This is a chance for me to support the development of our next generation of engineers – which at one point we all were!”

To find out more about getting involved with SkillFRIDGE, contact Karena Cooper on 01622 699 150 or at kcooper@datateam.co.uk.

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