When it comes to climate control, Past Competitor Michael Ridenton is cool as a cucumber.
It was in 1988, when he was a 20-year-old refrigeration and air conditioning apprentice at Cooke Industries, that Michael was shoulder tapped to join the New Zealand team for the WorldSkills International Competition in Sydney. He competed in a demonstration skill, climate control, and bested Competitors from seven other countries, winning gold.
“I used to be scared of competitions, of the unknown. Participating in the WorldSkills International Competition helped me gain a lot of confidence, having competed in an international event,” he shares.
So much so that he got into sports and became a professional footballer, joining the All Whites toward the end of that year.
He did, nonetheless, stay on with Cooke Industries before moving onto Carrier, where he initially worked for three years and went back to a few years later. He stayed with Carrier for nine years, wherein he took a Diploma in Engineering Management and worked up the ranks within to commercial manager. After which, Michael set up his own business, Oasis Technology Ltd, which supplies commercial heat pumps to New Zealand and Australia.
Today, thirty years later, Michael says he certainly encourages apprentices to join WorldSkills competitions. “No risk, no reward after all.”