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The skills gap needs filling, and quick

So, why join the industry? I raise this point, as it’s been noted that a decent percentage of younger people are now turning their backs on going to university and opting for a trade.

When I was at school, and it was a long time ago, and no, dinosaurs were not roaming the earth (it was before that – Ed). There was never a refrigeration career option, you simply fell into via family or friends who were in the Industry.

The reason I raise this point is that in the last couple of weeks I have been approached by friends who would like their children to have a trade and a proper apprenticeship.

Now, I am a realist and I am not going to sugar coat it for them. I have tried to impart the realities of working in the retail sector, and there are several key factors that you really have to take into account.

For starters, you have the long and unsociable hours and the weekend working, then adding to that you are constantly under pressure to resolve issues quickly for retailers, dealing with grumpy managers etc.

But there are a lot of positives to be had to working in our industry - we are able to make a decent living, will become multi-skilled while constantly learning new ones and you get to work with a wide range of talented people.

And then there are the numerous avenues you can go down within the industry, which provides plenty of options for those wanting to specialise.

Add all this up and it should mean it’s easy to entice younger people to come through the door.

However, the reality is that a lot of younger people don’t particularly want to work in this sector, unless they have family in the industry, my kids see the hours I do and have stated it’s not for them, which is a shame as I have got a lot out of this industry and met some great people along the way.

The real question is, how we able to make our industry, not necessarily more exciting, but appealing to the younger generation of potential engineers out there, and how do we get that message across to them when they are looking for a career option to choose?

Because if we don’t do something soon, there may be serious consequences on the horizon.

Anonymous Fridge Guy works as a contractor in the supermarket refrigeration sector

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