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Time for an industry makeover

Guy Hundy calls for help in making the rac industry more attractive to young people

It’s all too easy to forget about the needs of the future – especially in the current economic climate – but legislation, new technology, environmental pressures, global competition and increasing complexity still demand the very best skills now and for the years to come.

The image of refrigeration engineering as a career needs to improve and the IOR is starting a fresh campaign to raise the profile of exciting careers in refrigeration and air conditioning among school-age young people.

To start the ball rolling, a video in which people talk about their differing roles in the industry – taking in service technicians, designers, engineers, researchers and sales people – is currently being filmed and will be available on-line later this year. The youngsters, parents and teachers will be informed about the opportunities in today’s rac industry through the experiences of people who are enthusiastic about their career in the sector.

Over the next 12 months, the IOR campaign will be focusing on secondary school Engineering Academies, and the Connexions careers service, as well as joining a programme of school engineering competitions. The rac industry has a chronic skills shortage as employers struggle to find engineers and designers with the range of skills and experience needed. It takes time in training and experience for an individual to develop his or her potential in one of the many roles the industry has to offer.

Urgent action is therefore needed to attract the next generation of high calibre, enthusiastic young people who will be able to meet the challenges faced by the industry in the future.

The IOR is planning to launch this initiative to schools in the autumn when its on-line video will go live. The video can be linked to from any website so it can be used as a recruitment or public awareness resource.

So, if you want to help promote engineering careers and are keen to help ensure the future of our industry, the IOR wants to hear from you in the following ways:


  • Do you recruit apprentices, trainees or school leavers?
  • Can you offer work experience for local students?
  • Could you use skills of a talented young undergraduate on a one year placement?


  • Would you be willing to give presentations to local schools based on IOR material?
  • Could you give up one afternoon a week for 10 weeks to lead a school engineering project?
  • Are you interested in acting as a judge for a national schools engineering competition?

If you can help with one or more of these initiatives please contact the IOR. Funding as well as literature and audio visual resources are available through the Institute, SummitSkills (the national sector skills council) and the Engineering Development Trust. If you are unable to participate actively, please consider making an individual or corporate financial donation – this will enable the IOR to sponsor a project and a prize for a mini project related to refrigeration and energy efficiency for children in year 8 throughout UK secondary schools. The IOR is a registered charity so these donations will be eligible for Gift Aid, meaning the Inland Revenue will make a contribution too.

To sign up or find out more contact Secretary Miriam Rodway at Miriam.@ior.org.uk

Guy Hundy, past president of the Institute, chairs the IOR marketing committee.