Show Gives First Choice a Window to The Future

09 January 2017

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For three days later this month the Great Hospitality Show will wow visitors to Birmingham’s NEC with some stunning new features designed to feed the hunger of all those connected to the foodservice industry.

From 23 January revered chef Cyrus Todiwala OBE, Michelin restaurateur Andreas Antona and Mike Coldicott, director of kitchen design pioneers Tricon, will be joined by thousands of industry professionals and enthusiasts to engage passionate debate and indulge a variety of activities.

First Choice Group, who will be there on stand 250, is hoping to use the event to raise the profile of its specialist training division, Combico UK.

Technical Training Manager, Martin Dagnall, is keen for the show to encourage people into the industry and says perceptions need to change to prevent a potential engineer shortage.

“There is a dearth of young people coming into the industry as engineers, the majority are either second generation plumbers or electricians who just want to train in order to switch careers,” he said.

“Our aim is to bring in people from other industries by offering attractive and advantageous training. Our managed learning packages will provide them with the knowledge and skills they need. You need to learn the new technology but you mustn’t forget about the basics too.”

“Historically, the industry is of little interest to young people. Some might say the profession isn’t glamorous enough to attract younger people but when you consider the average wage of a gas engineer pays over £30,000 and the fact the job is very secure and offers long term stability, it’s a puzzle why recruitment into the industry seems to have waned so badly.

“We are planning on taking on more technical people in the coming weeks to be able to deliver new managed learning programmes for gas engineers.”

Combico UK  Training

Martin and his team will be in attendance for the duration of the Great Hospitality to talk to people about the benefits, advantages of training with Combico UK as well as providing insight into the future of the industry.

“Technology is having a massive impact on the industry with engineers having to consistently refresh their training to ensure they are up-to-date, competent and safe working on the equipment,” adds Martin.

Meanwhile, key show attractions including the Business Briefing Stage – which often features debate and discussion on the trends and topics impacting the industry – will provide Steve James, Refrigeration Manager with First Choice Group the opportunity to discuss evolving regulations and innovation.

The UK’s number one supplier of spare parts to the catering industry has added another cost and energy saving product to its database of more than 1-million spares.

“First Choice Group has supplied LED strip lighting for refrigeration units for many years,” said Steve.

“But now we are looking to move things forward. Building on the success of strip-lighting we intend to trial LED panel lighting. This could make a real difference in walk-in freezers and cold-rooms.

“Consider the impact a 40w LED panel (giving off the equivalent of 200w of standard Bulkhead lighting) would have. Not only would there be high energy savings but such a product would also provide a shallow profile to help avoid knock damage; something which is a big issue with walk-in units because of their low ceiling height.”

“It is all about providing customers with a more efficient option. The focus for everything we do is our customers and how we can help them.

“Not only is LED panel lighting a sustainable, energy efficient product, it could help refrigeration units to reduce their carbon footprint while assisting their primary function.”

Steve J At Conference2

Meanwhile, visitors to the First Choice Group stand (number 250) at the Great Hospitality Show   can speak to Steve and his time about the future of refrigeration and get a handle on what the future may hold for the sector.

“F-gas replacement is currently the biggest talking point within the refrigeration sector with several step changes occurring over the next few years.

“The changes in F-gas have driven cabinet refrigeration manufacturers to make moves towards hydrocarbon and other refrigerants which has a knock on effect for engineers who need to use specialist tools and conform to the regulations as they change each year.

“Efficiency is close behind with end users driving moves toward more efficient product replacement; parts need to have the same levels of efficiency.”

With this in mind, First Choicer Group Refrigeration Spares will, at the 2017 Hospitality Show, be showcasing a selection of coil cleaning products, controls, OEM cabinet parts, walk-in parts & refrigeration tools.

Published : 09 January 2017 10:53