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Update: Sponsors line up to put faith in future at RAC National Student of the Year

Chemours, CBES and JD Cooling join Star Refrigeration and Epta to back the quest for uncovering the cooling industry’s best and brightest engineers 

The industry is signing up in numbers to support the future of the cooling industry, with three contractors already on board to sponsor the RAC and IOR National Student of the Year, which looks for the top ten refrigeration and air conditioning students in the country.

RAC is delighted to announce that refrigerant specialist Chemours is to be headline sponsor of the Student competition. Meanwhile contractors are joining the sponsor roster in force: CBES returns to back the long-running competition, while industrial specialist JD Cooling sponsors for the first time. They join Star Refrigeration and Epta in underlining their commitment to training and apprenticeships - and still more are set to come!

The upsurge in interest comes as the competition enters a new era to mark its 24th year. Key among the changes is a new chairman of judges in the shape of John Skelton, Senior Engineering manager at Sainsbury’s, who is making his enthusiasm for training felt around the industry. He will be supported by a team of judges from all corners of the industry.

Mr Skelton, who started as an apprentice himself, told RAC why he is so enthusiastic about the competition: ”The way in which the industry is rallying round to support the students, with contractors large and small signing up, shows the importance they place on training and skills. Good training is vital because it allows engineers of all ages and backgrounds to develop personally and it opens up further career opportunities for them if they wish to take them.”

By celebrating young engineers in training, the Student of the Year highlights a vital issue for the cooling industry, he added: ”We have an ageing demographic in our industry, so we need to inspire quality people to enter and to develop their cooling careers. The challenges we face currently from a technological and environment perspective require engineers with a good understanding of the basics of thermodynamics - and this is only going to become more important. With the commercial challenges getting ever greater we also need to be able to demonstrate the professionalism of our workforce. This is why we need to celebrate our top young engineers - they will drive the industry of the future.”

”And on top of that, the Student of the Year awards allows not only the engineers. but also their employers and trainers, to be recognised by their peers for their endeavour and excellence. It’s a great way of promoting our industry.”

The competition, which started back in 1995, is the longest-running competition for engineers in training. The finalists are all celebrated at a special reception on the night of the Cooling Awards on September 26, with the National Student of the Year revealed on the mainstage at the London Hilton.

Mr Skelton appealed directly to engineers to enter. He said: “It’s a great thing for the entrants to take part in and it looks good on their CVs, whether or not they win the top prize. And the top ten entrants get to come along with a guest to one of the best events in the industry calendar, so it’s a great opportunity for all concerned.”

Entries are still open for the event, so colleges and employers who have up-and-coming talent in their midst are encouraged to enter their students. The deadline for getting the application form and testimonials in is June 22, so there is still plenty of time. All the entry details can be found here.

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