Competition hots up as Space Engineering Services apprentice reaches SkillFRIDGE final

Sidney Copus, one of 7 apprentices supported by Space Engineering Services, has topped the board to earn a place at the final of one of the UK’s biggest skills competitions.

SkillFRIDGE, now in its eighth year, is dedicated to recognising the technical skills of talented individuals in the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) industry.

Sidney competed at one of six regional heats around the UK in the hope of securing a place at the WorldSkills UK National Final. During the competition, which was hosted by Bath College, Sidney and his fellow contestants were tasked with a series of challenges that included fault-finding, brazing, system evacuation, pressure testing and commissioning under exam conditions and the eager eyes of the judges.

Sidney impressed the judges throughout the competition and after completing a series of practical tests, tabled in first position across all regional heats. Sidney’s impressive score means he goes through to the national final in November.

Commenting on his SkillFRIDGE journey so far, Sidney said “It’s been a lot of fun and a great learning experience, and I’d definitely recommend it to other apprentices. I feel very lucky to be able to go to the final.”

Last year, Sidney and 6 other individuals were selected by Space Engineering Services to embark upon an intensive learning and development programme to become qualified Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers. Dale Nouch, Managing Director at Space Engineering Services, commented on the programme’s success; “We were delighted to have received so many applications for our nationally-recognised apprenticeship scheme. It demonstrates there is widespread and significant interest among individuals to upskill and become RACHP engineers. Creating career opportunities in our industry is something we’re really passionate about.”

In partnership with education and training providers Bath College and Cool Concerns, the apprentices have worked incredibly hard to gain in-depth technical knowledge and hands-on experience across the full spectrum of refrigeration and air conditioning applications. They’re now out in the field working alongside qualified Space Engineering Services Engineers at customer sites which include supermarkets, food production facilities and chilled storage sites.  

Before beginning his qualification, Sidney was a Remote Engineer at Space Engineering Services’ National Operations Centre, supporting field Engineers in trouble-shooting and fault resolution. Sidney’s background and insight into the industry made him the perfect candidate for our apprenticeship course and begin to transfer his remote knowledge into practical skills. “Space Engineering Services has been really supportive the whole way through my apprenticeship. I’ve developed a lot of new skills that I never would have had the chance to do so without it” said Sidney.

Having successfully completed his 6090-204 Level 2 Diploma in RACHP, C&G 2079-11 F-Gas and C9/C12 Refrigeration Electrical course, Sidney has shown excellent potential and his competition scores are testament to this. Dale further commented on Sidney’s achievement; “The professional attitude, technical skills and determination that Sidney has displayed while working towards his qualification has really impressed us. We’re proud to be supporting him on his career journey and absolutely delighted that he’ll be competing in the SkillFRIDGE final.”

Sidney will compete alongside the best RACHP apprentices and trainees across the country at the SkillFRIDGE National Final at the Birmingham NEC in November.