The service division of British cooling systems manufacturer, Airedale International, is currently celebrating its first apprentice to achieve a degree in Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineering. Not only that, but Service Technical Support Engineer, Jamie Acs, one of four learners representing Airedale at the Grimsby Institute on a day release programme, has proved to be a model student achieving no less than a first class BSc honours, the only learner in his year to achieve this classification.
Adrian Trevelyan, UK Service Manager for Leeds-based Airedale said: “When he embarked on his training programme we deliberately did not set an end goal, instead giving Jamie the option to progress as far as he wanted. Achieving the accolade of the first Airedale employee to receive a BSc (Hons) in Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineering has surpassed our expectations.”
Jamie is an integral member of Airedale’s 55-strong service and spares division whose technical support staff and field service engineers provide 24/7 coverage to data centre, industrial, retail and public sector customers nationwide. Like his colleagues, Jamie is expected to hold advanced technical knowledge in order to provide the highest levels of support to customers and site engineers.
Having specialised in mathematics and the sciences at school, Jamie joined Airedale in 2008 because he was attracted to a career in engineering and the opportunity to earn a full-time salary while working towards a degree. His apprenticeship has seen him grow both his technical understanding and commercial skills to take on extra responsibility for key accounts and project-managing Airedale’s bespoke controls upgrades. He learned the news midway through a trip to the USA via a phone call home from the Grand Canyon.
Airedale’s HR Director, Steve Joyce said. “Our apprenticeship scheme works exceedingly well, with all but one of our recruits having stayed within the business, some moving from technical into commercial and managerial roles. I think this success is due to the fact that trainees have a very clear career path which allows them to work their way through the business and are given the support they need to achieve the right balance between working and learning.”
Fellow apprentice Danny Carter who works in Airedale’s test centre is another example of the scheme’s success, having won ‘Engineering Advanced Modern Apprentice of the Year’ with Leeds City College in 2011. Airedale recruits around four to five apprentices a year via the Leeds College of Building .There are currently twelve apprentices within the business including eight in production and four in service. In addition to external training with local education providers, apprentices also benefit from training in both cooling technologies as well as practical skills such as brazing and electrics at Airedale’s dedicated CITB-ConstructionSkills approved training facility in Leeds.