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AIRAH looks to raise industry recognition

AUSTRALIA: The AIRAH, Australia’s Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating, is encouraging members to classify themselves as being employed in HVAC&R in the country’s census in August.

The campaign seeks to correct the lack of recognition of the sector despite having found answers to some of the world’s greatest engineering challenges, and how the HVACR industry underpins almost every aspect of modern human life.

This lack of recognition in the general community is common around the world, and prompted the creation of World Refrigeration Day (WRD), which is held every June 26. WRD is an international awareness campaign to raise the profile of the HVACR sector. It focuses attention on the significant role that the industry and its technology play in modern life and society – from food and vaccine storage, to cooling of buildings and data centres, as well as the control of pandemics.

AIRAH chief executive Tony Gleeson, said: “AIRAH has been around for 100 years, and for that entire time, we have represented a hidden industry. It is strange that a sector worth $38bn, that uses more than 24% of Australia’s electricity and that accounts for 11.5% of our carbon dioxide emissions is basically unknown to most Australians.”

The AIRAH is urging its members and the wider industry to make a statement by highlighting this vital sector of the country’s economy in the Australian census to be held on August 10. In the field that records industry of employment, AIRAH is asking all of those working in the sector to classify themselves as “HVAC&R”.

The Australian the HVACR industry is estimated to employ almost 300,000 people, more than double the number of those employed by Australia’s fossil fuel industry.

“Unfortunately, the ABS [Australian Bureau of Statistics] does not provide statistics specifically on the HVAC&R industry, because we are not listed as our own standard industrial classification,” said Gleeson. “And that is what we would like to address this World Refrigeration Day.”

“We know that our workforce is diverse and includes engineers, trades, business managers, salespeople, communicators and so much more,” he says. “That’s one of the reasons we have traditionally been split across other job categories. But if we can wave one flag, we will have a better chance of being seen.”

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