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Refrigeration apprentice in final two to represent country

A Refrigeration and Air Conditioning apprentice has made it down to the final two in the race to represent the country at next year’s WorldSkills competition.

Orlando Rawlings (20), from Bristol, has been shortlisted for the UK squad, following the national finals last November.

The apprentice engineer, who works for Daikin UK, is based in the south, however spends nine weeks each year studying at the Grimsby Institute.

“My employer sent me here because they believe it’s the best college in the country to do this course,” he explained.

Orlando is now up against one other student for a place in the squad, which will be heading to Kazan in Russia next August to compete in the prestigious contest.

Having already completed a number of tasks, such as wiring and commissioning a control system, he will find out if he has been successful in this final stage in September.

“It’s been a big extra commitment, with all of the additional training, but I’m really pleased I’ve made it this far.

“The college put me forward for it, after doing the regional round here this time last year, and both my tutors and employers have supported me all the way.”

Nick Marshall, Curriculum Manager for Manufacturing Technologies, said: “Orlando’s achievement in making the UK squad with a view to making it to Kazan is significant.

“The refrigeration team are excited and very proud of what Orlando has achieved in making it this far and all fingers will be crossed as he edges closer to UK Team selection.

“Orlando’s dedication and enthusiasm are undeniable and is a fantastic role model to other apprentices in the sector.

“His endeavour and drive will stand him in good stead along with his high skill levels as his training continues to make the plane to Kazan.”