Chris Bailie of BL Refrigeration has been named as the SkillFRIDGE UK 2013 winner after three days of practical competition during The Skills Show at Birmingham’s NEC.
Mr Bailie, a student at South Eastern Regional College, beat five other competitors to take the gold medal after judges gave him top scores for correct refrigerant handling and accuracy of pipework installation, electrical circuitry and operating temperatures.
Umesh Kara of Climate Control (South East) and studying at the College of North West London, won a silver medal and Joseph Conroy of Trane UK, studying at Eastleigh College, took bronze.
Watched by judges and more than 80,000 visitors to the show, the finalists were faced with a complex installation and commissioning of a refrigeration system into a simulated cold room.
All finalists received a certificate, finalist medallion and tools donated from competition sponsors. The top three contestants also received a cash prize along with their medals.
Speaking after his win, Mr Bailie said: “It was really hard work and tested our skills to the limit, so I’m amazed to have won. Going up to collect my medal at the awards ceremony I was so proud and I want to thank BL Refrigeration and South Eastern Regional College for helping me get to this point.
“It has inspired me to keep learning and testing myself, and I hope in future to be able to play a part in supporting other people to take part in competitions like this.”
Neil Collishaw, head of skills competitions and awards at SummitSkills, organiser of the competition, said: “A big congratulations to Chris. Everyone was so impressed by the focus and dedication of all our competitors; they were an inspiration to The Skills Show visitors to show them how highly skilled the refrigeration and air conditioning industry is.”