Winners of the 2019 ACR Trainee of The Year Awards


01 June 2019

Winner: Kieran Nolan, AirSource Ventilation

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‚ÄčTrained by Practical Refrigeration Training Centre


Employer statement:
Kieran is very adaptable. When on the shop floor he is more than capable of building compressor sets with refrigerant pipework and wiring controls going to the digital compressors and sensors. Once the compressor sets are installed inside the AHU heat pumps, he will complete the pipework installation, then run the units up, charge and commission.

I have no worries with Kieran representing the company on site. If there is a problem to solve or he comes across something he has not experienced before, he will seek advice and stick with it. Kieran was scheduled to carry out a maintenance visit to Newark Academy School. On arrival the compressor trip light was on. He then traced the fault back to the compressor superheat controller. Before leaving site, he advised the client of the problem and the cost of the replacement controller as well as when we could return to install it. We received an order the replacement part and returned to site to fit.

Kieran has shown that he is more than capable of learning new skills. We can send him to site with the confidence that he can commission the refrigeration and controls systems.

Kieran Nolan receives his award from Juliet Loiselle and Robyn Teague of ACR Journal

Kieran has also shown an interest in the development of our new R290 low GWP heat pump chillers, being involved with the compressor set assembly.

He gets on well with his colleagues and has no problem communicating with me or others. He is reliable, which is no small attribute, and hungry to learn and progress. This encapsulates apprenticeships.

David Clayton Managing Director AirSource Ventilation Ltd

Judges’ comments:
Keiran’s involvement with the design team and his overall pro-activeness must be commended, and these qualities led to promotion within 24 months to refrigeration supervisor. His customer and employer testimonials were glowing. He is qualified in F-Gas and hydrocarbons and is on track to complete his Level 3 NVQ Diploma in refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps.

Runner-up: James Lopes, Scotford & Teasdale

Trained by Eastleigh College


Employer statement:
James has proved an exceptional apprentice and we are delighted with his progress and contribution. From day one he displayed a very positive attitude to his work and studies and has now developed into a confident and competent engineer.

He is very willing to learn from both his studies and from his very experienced line manager. He uses his sound technical skills to excellent effect in problem solving for the benefit of our clients, attracting positive feedback and enhancing the reputation of the company

James’ level of commitment and his attitude to his work is absolutely exemplary. He has never been late and works whatever hours are required to get the job done. He never complains at very early starts or early finishes and even attended a breakdown for a major client on a bank holiday, fixing the problem there and then, saving the customer from incurring significant losses.

He is very flexible and will always consider operational needs and impact before booking any time off from work, consulting with colleagues to ensure he doesn't let the team down. We consider James a real asset to our company and very worthy of any award.

Christine Peaden Sales & Operations Director Scotford & Teasdale

Judges’ comments:
James’s level of commitment has been shown and it is clear that he has worked tirelessly to achieve his qualifications. He had excellent references and whilst there were some mixed grades early on, it is clear that he put in the effort to become a high achiever and team player.

Highly Commended - Kane Wignall, ICE Ltd

Trained by Practical Refrigeration Training Centre


Employer statement:
Kane joined our company in July 2018 as an apprentice refrigeration and air conditioning engineer. Applying himself well to a variety of jobs, Kane works on both service and installation projects.

He always conducts his work in a professional and safe manner and is always in the correct PPE. Kane is punctual and reliable; if you ask him to meet an engineer at a certain time, whether this be early in the morning or at weekends, you can be confident that he will be there. Whenever I have attended sites where Kane has been working, I have been highly impressed by his input into the job in hand. He always tries to think ahead and prepare the next stage of the job for the lead engineers. I have witnessed first hand Kane setting up recovery units and vacuum pumps of his own accord.

Kane has the presence and confidence to talk directly to clients and customers. We get only good reports back from clients, college tutors and the engineers that he works with. Some engineers will even request to work with Kane over other more senior apprentices.

Now that he has his own van, he has started attending sites to carry out minor tasks, such as filter cleaning and condensate pump changes, without the help of supervising engineers. Kane pushed to undertake his City & Guilds 2079 F-Gas qualification early, which he passed with the highest percentage score in class.

We will be enrolling Kane on several manufacturer product training courses over the next 12 months as we now believe he has the ability and understanding to benefit. During his time at ICE, Kane has become well grounded in basic practical engineering skills and seems to be enjoying learning about his trade. Kane is an asset to our company and has become a valuable member of our team.

Nick Griffiths Managing Director ICE Ltd

Judges’ comments:
When he was made redundant, Kane didn’t become despondent. Instead, he researched training opportunities for a future trade with long term prospects. He had the initiative to contact his current employer directly for advice on apprenticeships. His interest in renewables as well as refrigeration will stand him in good stead for the future.

“An outstanding and incredibly strong application. Joshua’s submission clearly demonstrates his keen interest, attitude and approach to his working career. He took the time to make his submission presentable, the content complete and the supporting information comprehensive. His list of qualifications and especially the references from customers was impressive. He clearly demonstrated and detailed his work to date and I am sure his plans to move into a management roll will come to fruition.”