UK: The institute of Refrigeration along with industry experts have embarked on an 18-month tour of training facilities across the country to see if today’s learning is compatible with the rapidly changing industry and highlight to students how refrigeration is one of the least understood but fastest growing industries in the world.
Their latest stop has taken them to Bath College were they consulted with more than 20 refrigeration and air conditioning students on how more school-leavers could be encouraged to study the subject or enter the industry as apprentices.
The students put forward ideas on the Institute’s proposals to nationally standardise refrigeration training so that it better connects to the wide-range of job opportunities.
She said: “It’s not a very well-known industry and we are working hard to try to overcome this.
“There are 30,000 engineers in the UK, they are responsible for 10 per cent of all electricity nationally and it’s an industry that is rapidly growing.
“The engineers play crucial roles keeping businesses open but they often work quietly in the background.
“It leaves the majority of people thinking refrigeration is about nothing more than the fridges in people’s kitchens, when in fact, it’s about so much more.
“We want to get the message out there that there’s a huge demand for expertise in the refrigeration industry and so many opportunities for engineers.”
Miriam added: “We want to work with Colleges to help develop the careers of students and show them how they can move forward as there are so opportunities to pursue. We’re saying to them: ‘stick with it and you’ll reap the benefits.’”
Refrigeration Lecturer Simon Robinson said, “It was great for the students to meet so many industry experts and very interesting to see how the Institute wants to link education to the future of the industry.
“It’s important to raise the profile of refrigeration in order to attract more young people as the engineers of the future.
“Most people come into refrigeration through working in the building services as they don’t know enough about it when they are at school. They just think of fridges rather than the large-scale industrial side of the job.
“It’s such a specialist subject area, we want to help people, especially school-leavers, understand what the industry is all about.”