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For HVAC technicians today it’s no longer about dirty spanners and oily compressors, most tradies today rely on laptops and software apps to get the job done.

This is particularly true for chiller technicians working in the central plant world.

“It’s a different world today, it is a highly technical job,” according to Airvision director, Adam Raas. “It’s all about data and analytics.”

As Perth’s largest chiller, data and central plant solutions provider, Airvision has a team of 15 staff including seven technicians and two apprentice technicians.

While not on the tools today, Raas is passionate about chillers. His enthusiasm makes Airvision a great place for technicians that love what they do.

“There is a massive skills shortage out there and retaining staff isn’t easy,” he said.

“But it isn’t just about money it’s about doing interesting work and being challenged by what you do.

“We don’t reinvent the wheel here but the work we do is varied and staff are always learning. That is why they stay.

“Once you are in the central plant world you don’t want to go into rooftops.”

Raas is aware of supervisors that have been forced to return to the tools due to the skills shortage.

“For technicians it is great to be surrounded by skilled tradies and to be constantly challenged,” he said.

Confident he has an outstanding team of technicians, Raas nominated five staff for NextGen.

“I’ve had apprentices in their first year going out to mines and big breweries these guys are miles ahead,” he said.

Nominees include chiller technicians Darcy Sexton and Aedan Whyte, chiller & data technician Ryen Imrie as well as two apprentices Logan Hay and Arshia Kemali.

Time is running out as nominations close 1 April, 2022.

Go to www.climatecontrolnews.com.au/nextgen

According to the latest apprentice and trainee data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) there have been improvements in the number of apprenticeship commencements in the September quarter 2021 compared with the same quarter in 2020.

“Over the last four quarters NCVER has reported notable annual growth in commencements, following four quarters of decline,” explained NCVER managing director Simon Walker.

Only three per cent of tradies are women, according to Empowered Women in Trades (EWIT), a registered charity organisation encouraging women to take up a trade as a viable career path.

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