Tony left school and trained as a fabricator and achieved a City and Guilds NVQ level 3 and has been a vital part of the Integral team for 6 years after joining in 2016 as a general maintenance operative.
Whilst working on a large retail contract he was paired with a senior multi-skilled engineer in refrigeration and gas and it was this partnership that inspired Tony to look further with his own career path and take interest in air conditioning and additional responsibility.
After Tony self-funded his training for a City and Guilds f-gas qualification he was sent to solo jobs for service and maintenance and caught the eyes of Shaun Daley and Peter Beatham who brought him into the commercial team. With their guidance and support, Tony was enrolled at City of Liverpool College to gain qualifications of NVQ Level 2 and 3 in RACHP (Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump). Tony said, “This was a life changing opportunity. Due to a restructure, I no longer had Peter and Shaun as managers, but they kept in touch throughout my training to offer guidance and support and I have now completed my Level 2 and 3, achieving distinctions in all sections.”
Tony, now an Integral air conditioning engineer, was awarded the National Student of the Year Silver Award at the RAC Cooling Industry Awards 2022, after being 1 of 6 shortlisted from thousands across the UK.
On being nominated for the award by his college tutors, Tony was appreciative of the recognition but thought that would be it. He said, “It was a huge surprise to receive the ‘You’ve been shortlisted!’ email but going on to be awarded silver as well, I just felt a huge sense of pride in myself and appreciation for the support I received and still receive from my managers and tutor. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
After taking over line management for Tony, Shaun Daley said “It was evident within the first couple of weeks that his drive to learn and progress within the business was one of his passions. Enrolling onto the apprenticeship was something that Tony immediately embraced, his enthusiasm to get started was second to none.”
Often people think apprenticeships are only for young school leavers or that they have missed the time for a change of career, but Tony seized the opportunity using it to achieve the next steps in his career and now has eyes set on one day stepping into leadership.
What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship?
“I would say go get it. Don’t always wait for the opportunity, just go get it. You do these things for you, if you want to better yourself, put yourself out there and ask questions. Speak to people. You get out what you put in and with drive and ambition you will succeed.”