The F-Gas regs make it vital to make clear to customers what their responsibilities are.
Spandau Ballet were right: communication can let us down if we are not careful.
It is essential that each message is tailored to its recipient too. It is one of the reasons we have two publications – RAC and RACEngineer – because we recognise that the guy on the tools doesn’t necessarily want to know the latest position on, say, Hillary Clinton’s view on F-gases in developing countries, but those in their offices taking long-term decisions on use of HFC replacements will.
Similarly, the managers aren’t going to have the time to pore wistfully over something technical like Fitters Notes, the by-now almost mythical series of in-depth analyses of the workings of fridge systems.
Communication also extends to the distribution of the message, which is why RACEngineer is only available in wholesalers, for the technicians to pick up with their equipment orders.
Getting the message right is something very much on our minds this month. First of all, there are the new F-Gas regs to get to grips with. Our presentation of the recent F-Gas Question Time is our most extensive yet (RAC July issue p16), purely because there is a lot of new information to digest, as well as a fair few areas where the questions are as important as the answers. The industry now needs to take a good look at what is on the table and, if there are potential concerns, we need to tell the folks at ACRIB.
At the same time, the Question Time panellists were united in their view that there is another crucial level of getting the tone of message right – ensuring that the customers realise what their responsibilities are now.
This holds especially true now that a whole raft of smaller companies come within its scope. For these people, 2,000 words referring to Clause this or Article that won’t wash – they need a set of bullet points. We all need to work on simplifying those messages.
It’s a theme that resonates elsewhere in the magazine. The IoR is working on the development of rac apprenticeships for engineers and this depends on attracting the best candidates into our industry. That means getting the message out to the schools and colleges that a career in cooling offers prospects for technically minded people to match the likes of working in IT or games design, or whatever.
Sainsbury’s head of refrigeration John Skelton is one of those leading the charge, driven by his pride in starting his career as an apprentice 30 years ago. For the rest of us, he is a great example of how you can rise through the ranks. We are pleased to say he will be giving a talk to the finalists of our National Student of the Year at the Cooling Awards in September.
This award is a fine way of showing how the cooling industry puts effort into bringing the next generation along, and of course reflects well on the employers and colleges too – so if you know anyone in training, there is still time to get them to enter. See p40-41 RAC July issue.