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''He told me of all of the benefits Star offered with employment and after hearing these amazing benefits I couldn’t turn it down.''

Keir Dickson, Refrigeration Engineer

''The trust the management showed continued throughout my apprenticeship and even to this day, I have been a fully qualified engineer for almost 5 years now and I would say that has definitely helped my career progression. Overall Star has a great apprenticeship program and this produces engineers at the top of the trade.''

Keir Dickson, Refrigeration Engineer

After the factory he was working for closed down and he had to leave his previous Apprenticeship, Keir joined Star as a second year Industrial Refrigeration Engineering Apprentice, attracted by the benefits that Star offers to its employees. 5 years on from completing his apprenticeship, he works as an ST2 engineer and hopes to progress to an ST3 engineer by the end of the year. In the future, Keir has ambitions to enter a supervisor or manager role.

''Having both academic and hands on learning has been the perfect route for me and has provided a great foundation to build my future career.''

''I have had a great experience as an apprentice at Star Refrigeration so far, everyone I have worked with have been extremely helpful with anything I have needed assistance with. I have progressed very quickly to being given responsibility over full contract models and drawings which has made me feel like an integral part of the star design team.''

Cameron Coleman, Apprentice Draughtsperson

After completing his Higher exams, Cammy joined an apprentice training centre which introduced him to Star and he began a draughtsman apprenticeship. Through working, learning and training he produces and develops 3D models and 2D drawings from refrigeration packages, site layouts and large site pipework models. His advice to other young people is to do something you will enjoy investing the time and work into, and find a company who is also willing to put the time and effort into progressing you to your full potential.

''Being awarded third place at the IOR Scotland Apprentice of the Year Awards in 2018 after being nominated by my line manager was a huge highlight for me.''

''I was attracted to Star because they work with a lot of big customers such as Asda and Tesco with big sites which I was really interested in. Star are always looking to improve and expand into different areas of refrigeration and heat pumps where others have not been before.''

Gavin Kidd, Refrigeration Engineer

Gavin began an apprenticeship at Star’s Bellshill branch in May 2016 and now works full time as a fully qualified refrigeration engineer. Through his apprenticeship he gained multiple qualifications including an NC and an SCQF Level 5 in Electrical Engineering but his highlight was winning third place at IOR Scotland Apprentice Of The Year awards. He now hopes to undertake an engineering management course and progress to a more senior role within Star.

''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''

''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.

''I originally joined SDA as an engineering intern, where I supported the physical installing of Ethos hardware on sites and provided support to the Lead Software Developer.''

''The most enjoyable part of my job is having the freedom to explore ideas that I have, which may improve the product. This is something I don’t believe is common within the industry, so I take a lot of encouragement in the trust that the team have in me.''

Jack Caven, Software Developer at SDA

Jack works as a Full Stack Software Developer with Star Data Analytics (SDA) on their Ethos energy management system. He initially joined Star in 2020 as an engineering intern upon graduating from his masters in Mechanical Engineering, however he discovered a passion for software development and was then supported to pursue studies in this area.

"With the right attitude and this understanding of what you are working on, anything is possible."


"I really enjoy the amount of exposure to different challenges and customers sites I receive on a daily basis."

Lylle Perks, Refrigeration Engineer

Star Refrigeration’s Lyell Perks was crowned National Student of the Year at the RAC Cooling Industry Awards 2014. Lyell began his journey with Star at the Oxford branch in 2011 and became a fully qualified engineer in the summer of 2015 after completing his apprenticeship. Here are Lyell’s thoughts on apprenticeships, becoming Student of the Year, working with Star, and what’s in store for his future in the industry.

“The main benefit is the diversity and range of staff and their knowledge and having access to them daily”


“The variety and the responsibility and autonomy I have been given; seeing the finished product of my work is really rewarding.”

Nicola MacDougall, Finance Graduate

After studying a BA in Accountancy at Glasgow Caledonian University, Nicola began a finance internship with Star. Her main focus is working on Starfrost- looking at Star’s reports and processes and ensuring consistency with these.

“My placement has given me valuable real life experience”


“The main thing that stands out to me is the culture…It was clear what a close knit community the Star staff are and how close the branches are.”

Mehreen Ahmed, Finance Graduate

“It was good to see in person and made me realise engineering was a good choice for me.”


“Ethos has tapped into a market with huge potential whilst having a key focus on reducing impact on the environment – which I think is very special and responsible.”

Tom Paton, Intern at SDA

While studying Mechanical Engineering at Herriot Watt University, Tom has done 3 summer placements with Star. Tom initially worked on Ethos; after this he worked a within in the design department and in 2020 moved over to SDA.

"If I had known how diverse and bespoke the refrigeration systems were, I would have joined the industry earlier."

Bruce Smeaton, Senior Consultant at STS

After graduating from Glasgow University, Bruce worked initially with heat exchangers, fans and compressors. After this, he moved to work for Star within in design department and in 2014 moved over to STS where he has progressed further to Senior Consultant.

"I have received practical, hands-on training and theoretical training at a college. The practical aspect of it involved shadowing the most experienced refrigeration engineers in the company to whom I will always be grateful for their continuous support and encouragement."

Paul Newton, Service Manager

After breaking his ankle during the first week of his training in the army, Paul Newton joined Star Refrigeration’s Operations Group as an industrial refrigeration apprentice engineer.  His story illustrates the way careers are sometimes forged through unexpected circumstances. Paul’s first career choice was not an apprenticeship, but turned out to be the right one! Paul has since progressed to his current role of Service Manager for Star Refrigeration’s Derby branch.

"I’ll never forget that I left the army on Thursday 28th February and entered into my new engineering job the very next day (yes a Friday)!"

“Star Refrigeration is highly renowned for innovation and for their pioneering technological developments across the world. With an award-winning engineering team, I was confident I was in good hands and was going to learn from the best.”

Dave Bartlett, Operations Training Manager

From star musician to Star Refrigeration– how Star’s Training Manager moved from the army to the office. Dave Bartlett served in the Armed Forces for 18 years. On leaving the military Dave began a career in refrigeration as an engineer with Star, before moving into management. He’s now been with the business for nearly 25 years. We spoke with Dave to find out how the transition happened and what it was like for him.

“Refrigeration has a funny way of getting you hooked. It is fast paced and no two days are the same, which is the way I like it.

“I completed my fast track training pathway in just under a year. A year later I was given the opportunity to become the Branch Contracts Manager. It has been a steep learning curve with many challenges but it is extremely rewarding. There is always someone happy to lend a hand and offer their advice."

Marc Gault, Regional Branch Contracts Manager

Marc Gault decided to transition from the military back to civilian life after serving in many operational tours. He was keen to continue down an engineering career path and had some exposure to refrigeration during his time in the Army. After some research, he reached out to Star and was enrolled into the fast track training programme he completed in under a year.

"There are lots of opportunities for career development and promotion – which I really value."

"I fancied the refrigeration sector as it’s a skilled trade and it would allow me to be mobile, hands on, along with being a fresh new challenge for me.”

Aaron Garner, Refrigeration Engineer

Aaron decided to transition to civilian life after 17 years in the Army. He looked to the refrigeration sector as a new challenge. After more research, he applied for an apprenticeship at Star, using the online learning portal and enrolling in the fast-track program to become an industrial refrigeration engineer at our Manchester branch.

"When I looked into the industry I couldn’t believe the scale of it - refrigeration is needed everywhere.”

"My eyes were firmly focused on Star Refrigeration due to their reputation and attractive employee package. I applied for Star Refrigeration a couple of months prior to leaving the Armed Forces and I was lucky enough to be offered a position at the Newcastle branch as a fast-track engineer, for which I am eternally grateful.”

Steven Abbott, Industrial Refrigeration Engineer

Steven joined Star after over 22 years service in the Army. His journey with Star began through our elearning website, leading to completing the fast-track training programme in just 18 months and becoming an industrial refrigeration engineer.

“Engineering is about creativity, innovation, hands on practical work and problem solving.”

women in engineering 2018

“I work with a really good team of people at Star who are passionate, knowledgeable and ambitious in what they do…There are opportunities to enhance your career, help gain chartership and attend industry training courses and events. It is rewarding being part of company that provides top quality products and services to secure a better future for staff, customers and environment.”

Claire Syme, Design Engineer

After completing her Masters in Chemical Engineering and trialling a few industrial placements and a graduate programme, Claire came across the refrigeration industry. After some research, she applied for a position within Star and joined the Design team in 2016. Read more about her career highlights.

"I admire the active involvement Star have in the development of the refrigeration industry"

“I have undertaken three summer internships and will start a design engineer position after my graduation this summer.”

Brooke McKenna, Chemical Engineer Graduate

Brooke is a student at Strathclyde University, she is close to finishing her Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering. After graduating she will start her career as a design engineer with Star.

"Star gave me the opportunity to return to the industry after a long career break – it is fantastic to be back"

"I have benefited from spending time in contracting, consultancy and design. It helps to understand everyone’s different roles in a project and appreciate their individual challenges and objectives. A view of the whole picture is especially helpful in a sales environment."

Anne Flanagan, Business Development Manager

Anne works in Business Development and has a Mechanical Engineering background. She enjoys the balance of sales and engineering within her role. After a career break she returned to Star working on Energy Management System, Ethos.

"There are great opportunities for development and career growth”

"I really enjoyed the practical, hands on aspect of the apprenticeship and I gained lots of onsite experience from seasoned engineers who were happy to share their knowledge and offer encouragement."

Dean Thompson, Service Manager

Dean Thomson started his apprenticeship as an industrial refrigeration engineer at 16 after completing his GCSEs at secondary school. He now serves as a Service Manager for Star Refrigeration Operations Group in Derby.

"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, Design Engineer

Now a fully qualified design 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.

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