Refrigeration Apprenticeships | Star Refrigeration


Star Refrigeration celebrates National Apprenticeship Week & Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2019

Star Refrigeration are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week and Scottish Apprenticeship Week by sharing some numbers and facts behind our apprenticeship programme. With a long history of creating apprenticeships across a wide variety of areas, we asked some of our apprentices to share their journeys under the #BlazeATrail, #HereBecauseOf theme to encourage more people to choose a pathway into Refrigeration Engineering. Did you know?
  • 9% of our workforce are apprentices
  • 23% of our current management team joined the company as apprentices
  • Star’s Engineering Apprenticeship Scheme has been running since 1973
  • Over 95% of the apprentices complete their 4-year training which is 80% work-based and 20% college-based
  • 99% of the apprentices who have completed their training, have been offered permanent positions

If you’re thinking of taking up an apprenticeship you might want to take a look at the stories of our Star apprentices. Enjoy!

"I was impressed by the focus on my development.”
“I also like the idea of working for a company with a reputation for innovation and sustainability. Star is a family business renowned for their employee centred values and the benefits you receive from Star, from the start, are pretty good too!”

Harley Wilkie, Business Systems Analyst

Harley Wilkie left school in 2009 and joined Star Refrigeration three months later. Having gone through different development opportunities and through different roles within the company, Harley is now committed to the successful upgrade of the company’s business management software system as a Business Systems Analyst.

“There’s no need to struggle with anything, there’s always someone you can ring for advice and help.”
"I was placed on lots of different training courses. I was also mentored by an experienced engineer who would provide on the job training. After just 3 months, I was given the extraordinary chance of helping with the installing and commissioning of a branch contract.”

Drew Thornton, Service Supervisor

Drew Thornton achieved top competence level for an industrial refrigeration engineer after following Star’s Refrigeration training programme. As a fully qualified ST5 engineer, Drew is utilising his exhaustive knowledge & experience to serve customers and train new apprentices.

“Industrial refrigeration is a great trade to be involved in.”
“Star is a great place to train and work…. I am so grateful to my mentors and colleagues at Star who have dedicated so much time and effort to my training and development and have given me complete support throughout my apprenticeship.”

Sam Gills, Refrigeration Engineer

Sam Gills is an apprentice trainee at Star Refrigeration Operations Group in Newcastle. He was named ACR Trainee of the Year 2017 and then went on to compete in the national finals of Skill Fridge at the NEC in Birmingham in 2018 where he won the bronze medal. More recently he has been awarded Student of the Year 2019 at the RAC Cooling Awards

"You can obtain a qualification while getting paid to learn.”
“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.”

Luke Edgell, Refrigeration Engineer

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.

"Every day is different- new sites, new issues and new plants…you never stop learning.”
“Moving to the service side of the business has also helped me develop personally. I was very quiet and lacked self-confidence…I have now become a much more confident and self-assured person”

Brian Greig, Refrigeration Engineer

After finishing his apprenticeship in mechanical fitting and welding at Star's manufacturing facility in Glasgow, Brian Greig decided to retrain as an industrial refrigeration engineer. He then transferred to the service and maintenance side of the business where he has been working for the last fourteen years. As an operations engineer, Brian now services some of the systems he helped build. His extensive knowledge of refrigeration systems allows him to foresee any potential issues and solve them before they cause downtime.

"Star Refrigeration were very focused on developing my skills and education.”
“My biggest career highlight was when I graduated with my BA in Business. I’ve done this while still doing my weekly hours at work, it was hard but a great accomplishment!”

Niamh Connelly, Assistant Management Accountant

Niamh Connelly is an Assistant Management Accountant at Star Refrigeration’s head office in Glasgow. Niamh joined Star after leaving school when she was sixteen years old. She went on to successfully complete a Modern Apprenticeship in Business and Administration and a BA in Business. She admits “I never thought that I would have gone to University”.

“Being able to apply what I am learning at university in the workplace is also very satisfying."
"I have been working at Star for over 3 years and feel I am a valued member of the team. The most enjoyable thing about working at Star is that there is always someone happy to spend time with you and help you, whether that be with a work problem or university coursework.”

Craig McIntosh, Projects Trainee

Craig McIntosh is currently undertaking a Graduate Apprenticeship at Star Refrigeration. Two years after he joined Star as an Assistant Site Engineer for the contracts department, Craig was offered the opportunity to continue his further education and obtain a degree. He is now in the second year of a BEng in Mechanical Engineering at Glasgow Caledonian University and attends university one day a week on a day release basis.

"In particular, I was attracted to Star because of their high industry standards and their year on year success with apprentices.”
“I started my apprenticeship with Star and almost immediately an individual training plan was set up for me...I also had monthly meetings with my mentor and quarterly meetings with the training manager to measure progress and assess key areas for development.”

Tom Woolston, Refrigeration Engineer

Now a fully qualified industrial refrigeration engineer at Star Refrigeration’s maintenance and service branch in Bristol, Tom Woolston started his career as an apprentice. Tom received the silver prize at the RAC Cooling Industry Awards 2018 and was crowned ACR Trainee of the Year 2018.