Luke Edgell is a third year Industrial Refrigeration Apprentice at Star Refrigeration’s Service and Maintenance branch in London. Luke joined Star just two days after his sixteenth birthday and has never looked back. Read more about his inspiring story.
I joined Star Fefrigeration straight from leaving year 11 at school.
What is your current job title?
I’m a year 3 Industrial Refrigeration Apprentice
What brought you to Star?
I started working for Star Refrigeration after finding their recruitment advertisement on www.apprenticeship.gov website. I researched the refrigeration industry and determined that Star was an industry leader and seemed to have the best training scheme in the sector. I then decided to apply for the role and luckily got an interview with John Simpson, Star Refrigeration’s Operations Group Regional Manager for the South East. John told me that it wouldn’t be an easy apprenticeship and I would have to be prepared to study in my own time to pass the college course but I was already expecting that would be the case. Finally, I got the job and started working with Star 2 days after my 16th birthday and loved it ever since.
What attracted you to the refrigeration industry and to Star in particular?
I was attracted to the industry because after looking online and asking teachers they ensure me that it was a career that was constantly changing with the times due to the introduction of more stringent environmental legislation. I also liked that you would be doing different things daily and constantly learning new skills. I applied to Star as it was clear that the company was dedicated to training young people and providing first class training to work in a challenging but extremely rewarding environment.
Describe your apprenticeship/training progress with Star?
Overall, my apprenticeship with Star has probably been one of the best decisions I ever made. The team of engineers I work with at the London branch are nothing but helpful. Star senior engineers are incredibly knowledgeable and always answer the many questions I ask. In the rare event they are unable to provide an immediate answer, they will pull out a manual and work it out with me. Star’s training manager Dave Bartlett has also helped me during my apprenticeship and attention to detail was one of the many lessons he directly taught me. I do firmly believe that if you pay attention to the details everything else will fall into place.
What qualifications have you gained from your apprenticeship up until now?
I have completed a NVQ Level 3 in engineering operations and maintenance and a BTEC Level 3 in Electrical Engineering. I haven’t been signed off by Star yet as I have not completed my apprenticeship in full but I am keen to become a fully qualified refrigeration engineer and continue to work with Star. Also, the company incentivise the promotion of internal staff and I would be happy to go on to further education if a chance appeared.
What do you enjoy most about your job, and what are the biggest challenges you face?
I mostly enjoy the challenge. For example, if I have to fix a fault in a system but I’m not 100% sure of the cause and I have to learn as I go along. My supervisor encourages me to find my own answers and will only intervene if I can’t figure it out. The biggest challenge I face is my F-gas assessment to become an engineer.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
A career highlight for me was being invited to the RAC Awards Dinner and also completing the college aspect of the apprenticeship.
How do you see your career progressing?
Once I qualify as an Industrial Refrigeration Engineer I hope to progress through Star’s engineer grading structure and hopefully I can access a managing or supervisory role.
What advice would you give to young people who are just starting a similar career path to yours?
It’s a great way to start a career. You can still obtain a qualification while getting paid to learn. Nothing happens like the apprentice pranks you see online and I have never been asked to get spirit level bubbles or tartan paint!
Luke Edgell - Industrial Refrigeration Apprentice