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Good news for apprenticeships –and the future

Let’s hope the reward is a new generation of cooling engineers with a broad outlook on their industry

Following on from our training-themed magazine last month, it is with great satisfaction that we can follow up this month with the news on page 4 that the government has accepted the industry’s framework for dedicated apprenticeships.

The decision means that the cooling and heat pump industry can train up its young people in the way that it wants to and provide the skills that they will need for the future.

It means that apprentices will be equipped with the broad knowledge they will need for practical application, not just to satisfy some examination board.

What does it mean for the industry? Well it means we can have every hope now that the efforts of the IOR, BRA and the like in creating the dedicated framework will be rewarded with a generation of engineers that are competent in the essential arts of reducing leakage – not only via high-quality brazing but also by knowing the risk points – and of working with all types of refrigerant, including naturals like carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons.

But what I would also like to hope for is that the subsequent new crops of bright young things will have a broad outlook on their industry; that they will think bigger; that they will desire to work in an integrated fashion, looking at the links between the cooling, heating, heat recovery and controls; that they will have an appreciation of the importance of equipment lifecycles, so that recycling or remanufacturing increases in importance in the industry; that they will be keen to build links outside of cooling with other relevant sectors; and that they will do all within their remit to reduce energy.

And in taking this broader view, I hope that the new generation of cooling engineers will be able to work in a manner that doesn’t see them either capitulating to the buying teams of undercutting each other in a desperate bid to win work.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a dream.

That’s my Martin Luther King moment over. In the light of all that, it is good to hear that the Cool Science project caught the imagination of young people and the wider media alike.

By giving the kids some inspiration about cooling, we can hope to entice them away from a career as a games designer or professional footballer.

I said last month that we were working on making closer links to the world of energy and so can I ask you to look out in your inboxes on 30 March for our digital supplement, Building Energy Focus.

Within its pages we will look at the wider issues surrounding energy efficiency, demand and supply, including technology, analysis and case studies.

The intention is to allow us to talk to you about topics that are important to building energy, but not restricted to cooling. If it doesn’t drop into your inbox, it means we don’t have your email address, but you can register online at racplus.com, where you can also register for the weekly cooling newsletter.

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