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Training has rewards

Paul Singh talks up the merits of being a trainer and encourages companies to keep motivation levels up by entering their staff for industry awards

In the Winter 2007 issue of Service Engineer I posed the question: ‘Are refrigeration lecturers being frozen out?’

It generated quite a postbag of responses so I thought I would share some of the feedback.

Many comments were relayed including one from a very eager refrigeration and air conditioning engineer with some 30 years of industrial experience who would’ve been a potential lecturer.

He’d responded to an advert in the trade press and gave his details to the training establishment. Unfortunately, he is still waiting for a response.

Nothing to worry about there… I hear you say. However, he gave his details more than a year ago.

Another comment received from a would-be lecturer was that he didn’t know where to apply for refrigeration training posts as he wasn’t aware of any training establishments close by.

Can training establishments really afford to turn away and possibly lose the future assets of their business?

But being a trainer brings its own rewards. So what are my personal experiences of training and what do I get out of it?

Working for training institutions has filled me with very fond memories - and I have enjoyed every day of my fourteen years’ service.

I know that I speak for all the trainers when I say that I am very proud of my career, equally satisfied with my qualifications that I worked so hard to achieve (sometimes burning the midnight oil) and get great personal rewards and satisfaction by teaching the future managers and directors of tomorrow.

One such experience was when I was selected as one of three finalists in last year’s, Cooling Industry Awards 2006 in the Training Initiative’ category.

For me, it was a unique and pleasurable occasion, one that I shall treasure forever.

I am also a firm believer that all achievements should be recognised and rewarded. Rewards are great motivators.

Which is why I try and motivate and reward all my candidates - trainees, learners, apprentices, and students – now called candidates – by nominating them for awards.

One particular favourite ceremony of mine is the RAC National Student of the Year Awards.

Ever since its inaugural ceremony some 13 years ago, I have been entering candidates. Every year I have had nominations that reach the top 10 finalists and have had bronze, silver and gold winners.

There are many awards in the industry today, such as the SkillFRIDGE competition, the Institute of Refrigeration Service Engineer awards, the City & Guilds Medals for Excellence, the local refrigeration societies’ awards and the National Training Awards.

Some people may feel that there are too many and they are entitled to voice that opinion.

But I feel the more the merrier. Entering candidates for any award offers every company the opportunity to show off its best talent.

For awards are win-win situations where all interested parties can benefit: just think of the publicity your company or your training establishment gains from being nominated and then attending the awards ceremonies; some of them very glitzy affairs!

You’d think that everyone would be wanting to nominate their best achievers and the awards’ organisers and judges would be overloaded with the entries.

Sadly that is not the case, it is usually the same companies, the same training establishments that you see at the various events every year.

It is a real pity that we cannot attract more participation, which example after example highlights.

One recent event left me exacerbated where I wanted to nominate a candidate for an award and was unable to do so because the company was for some unknown reason against it.

Another example was, when a candidate was the winner, his parents and employer were at the awards’ ceremony but the nominating training establishment were not represented. What a wasted opportunity.

What message are we sending out when we do not nominate and reward our best achievers for the various awards? Or if we cannot be present to watch our best achievers receive their winner’s trophies at the awards ceremonies?

I feel that the ‘new breed’, whether they are refrigeration or air conditioning engineers, technicians or managing directors, is out there in huge numbers – we to reward them to ensure they have the motivation required to reach their chosen goals.

Paul Singh is refrigeration training consultant at MotorClimate Training Academy. Contact him on 07734 926747