23 August 2021

National Skills Week 23 – 29 August 2021

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Apprentice numbers highest in a decade

As National Skills Week rolls around for the eleventh year, there’s positive news for the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) sector, with numbers of apprentices and trainees enrolled at TAFEs around Australia at a ten-year high.

In NSW, there are currently more apprentices studying refrigeration and air conditioning than any other trade.

Annual growth of almost 14 per cent saw total student numbers reach 297,920 in December 2020, according to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

South Australian education provider TAFE SA recorded a massive 21.5 per cent annual increase in apprentice and trainee enrolments in 2020.  School-based commencements in South Australia have also increased by just over 20 per cent.

As society’s reliance on refrigeration and air conditioning increases, demand for qualified RAC technicians continues to grow. 

Refrigerant handling licences and trading authorisations for over 110,000 RAC technicians and businesses are administered through the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC), on behalf of the Australian Government.

Licensed RAC technicians are highly skilled in the safe handling and disposal of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases in the RAC industry.

Nearly 15 million tonnes of ozone damaging CO2e emissions have been captured by Australian RAC technicians since the establishment of the Federal Government’s refrigeration and air conditioning permit scheme in 2004. 

The Australian Refrigeration Council’s CEO, Glenn Evans, says the increase in numbers reflects growing community understanding of the sector and the important role played by RAC technicians and specialists.

“Australia’s RAC technicians are some of the most highly skilled in the world, meeting stringent licensing regulations in order to work in the sector,” Mr Evans explained.

“They perform a vital role maintaining the efficiency of our refrigeration and air conditioning systems while protecting the community from the dangerous effects of gas leakage.”

For more information, call Rachelle Connor, Communications Manager on 0412 577 526.