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''Star combine academic learning with on-site work-based training supported by their experienced engineering teams.  This was an ideal set-up for me, as both the academic qualification route offered, together with support from experienced mentors at Star, have formed the building blocks of my chosen career.''

Charlie Porter, Refrigeration Engineering Apprentice

Charlie applied for an apprenticeship with Star's Bristol branch shortly after completing his GCSE's. He works on multiple different sites, learning from experienced engineers whilst completing a full time college course in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. His future ambition upon completing his apprenticeship is to progress to a management role within Star Refrigeration.

What is your educational background?

I attended a local secondary school, completing all of my GCSE’s.  Following on from this, I joined a facility management company in a building maintenance role, in order to gain hands-on experience. This role helped me prioritise my career direction, and I applied for a vacancy within Star Refrigeration under their apprenticeship scheme.  I did this as a career choice, knowing that Star combine academic learning with on-site work-based training supported by their experienced engineering teams.  This was an ideal set-up for me, as both the academic qualification route offered, together with support from experienced mentors at Star, have formed the building blocks of my chosen career.

When did you start working for Star?

I began working for Star (Bristol) in March 2020.

What kind of work do you do?

When I began working for Star Refrigeration as an apprentice refrigeration engineer, I was working on multiple different sites shadowing and learning from experienced engineers. From September 2020 I began my full time college course in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.

What is your favourite thing about your apprenticeship with Star Refrigeration?

It is very hard to pick a favourite as there are so many. However, I think the main thing that stands out to me is that everybody in Star Refrigeration is very caring and really does work together as a team. I have found whenever I have needed any help or advice, it is there in abundance.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Fortunately, I am in a position where I have a lot of support and valuable resources available to me through Star.  I am currently undertaking my second year of my apprenticeship, and the challenges I face include managing a good work/study/home life balance.  Due to the current pandemic restrictions, parts of my college course were postponed and rescheduled for the next term.  I have had to be very organised to ensure new college deadlines were achieved, whilst managing my workload within the company.

Where do you see your role progressing?

I am very determined and career driven, and I would like to see myself progress to a management role within Star Refrigeration, in the future.

Is it important for you to work for a company that has values around sustainability?

I feel that it is important to work within a company that have firm values regarding sustainability and wants to make the world a better place. Star Refrigeration are committed to making a positive, lasting impact to the environment. Star have ambitious sustainability goals in place to reduce their customer’s environmental impact and carbon emissions.  This is demonstrated through Star’s roadmap towards net zero in the sectors in which the company operates including temperature controlled storage, food and beverage manufacturing, pharmaceutical, leisure and ice, dairies, data centres etc.

Charlie Porter, Refrigeration Engineering Apprentice