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Training is vital to maintaining the industry’s future

Companies need to make a leap of faith and invest into something intangible but essential – someone’s future

You know that RAC prides itself on the fact that what we put in our pages is not dictated by the whims of advertisers but by what is going on in the industry.

Sometimes we deliberately have a theme that brings several related articles together – F-gas is a good example, energy is another, of which more later – but sometimes the issues themselves are so important or timely that we find ourselves presented with an overriding theme. You could call it serendipity or, if you are more cynical, an accident.

RAC’s pages this month are infused with the subject of training.

You will see in the news pages the efforts being made by the tireless Chris Vallis to present a dynamic and fun view of cooling to school-age children at the Big Bang science fair.

Then on p14 there is a compelling piece of research from James Bailey showing why end-user customers believe we must invest in training to address the technological changes that F-Gas is bringing.

Training is also a priority for IOR president Graeme Maidment. In our exclusive interview on p18-19, he says that we have to find new ways to bring the younger generation on board as
our engineers get older.

But it isn’t all about concerns for the future. The Trailblazer campaign, described on p33, will, for the first time in living memory, enable apprentices to follow a programme created by cooling people for cooling people.

There is much reason to be excited by this because it means that our industry can shape the future – providing training that is focused on the skills required for refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps, and the practical demands of the job, rather than theory.

Training is often a controversial subject. It requires companies to put investment into something intangible – not a piece of equipment or a service, but someone’s future. But if we don’t make that investment, the industry won’t have a future.

Talking of the future, I have three upcoming events to mention before I sign off. First up is Data Centre Cooling Question Time, which will again see a panel of experts tackling the rapidly changing landscape of the data centre – see the inside front cover for details.

A bit further into 2015, I am pleased to announce our second F-Gas Question Time will take place on May 22, with a brief to provide guidance on both the legislation and refrigerant choice.

With many people asking questions about the new HFO-based gases, we are delighted that DuPont has become headline sponsor to talk the audience through the benefits of R449A.

And finally, next month will see our first digital-only supplement, devoted to the issues around energy. Building Energy Focus will look at all the aspects surrounding energy policy; energy efficiency; technology and techniques. Given how important our sector is as an energy consumer, the supplement promises to be essential reading.

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