The British Refrigeration Association (BRA) is currently in talks with several key industry bodies, as well as City and Guilds and the Carbon Trust, to produce a recognised skill set for CO2 technology.
Addressing industry demand in CO2 and hydrocarbon technology, the BRA is working to incorporate various retailers’ CO2 approaches into a set of harmonised training standards, the RAC Magazine reports.
CO2 and hydrocarbon training courses
Speaking at RAC’s Retail Question Time, Bob Arthur, BRA president, announced, “There will be a City and Guilds CO2 course in 2011, offering around 200 hours of training, with one on hydrocarbons following. He added, “We are currently in discussions to harmonise training standards, bringing together key parties across the industry and beyond to produce a skill set for CO2.”
Supermarkets express commitment to CO2
Several major supermarkets confirmed their commitment in carbon dioxide technology. Colin Coe, Morrisions refrigeration manager, said: “Carbon dioxide looks right for us, due to the feedback and results we’ve had in testing.”
Mr Arthur, who is also refrigeration technology specialist at Marks and Spencer, said: “For us CO2 has proven to be the most acceptable solution and we will apply it in the best possible way. Other new refrigerants will have their place - the challenge is understanding where they will go.”
CO2 training poses specific challenges for contractors, who have to absorb the cost and time constraints, as well as handle employee retention.
Nick Jamieson, director at Ryan Jayberg, said: “In the last two years we’ve trained 55 per cent of our engineers on CO2 technology. However we can’t guarantee that once trained, people will stay - we’ve previously had engineers who’ve been headhunted and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
An additional challenge for training is the lack of training facilities, which may slow down the process. Even if the proposed City and Guilds course goes ahead, there is no university that has the facilities currently to deliver it. As Bob Arthur noted, “There are currently no available colleges with the required equipment for the proposed City and Guilds course - we need to tackle this issue.”