The search for Australia’s top 20 refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) technicians under 25 has begun with the official launch of the NextGen program today.

NextGen aims to connect the industry with Australia’s next generation of RAC technicians and nominations are officially open at

The average age of the RAC workforce is 39 with 24 per cent aged over 50. In a bid to address this critical skills shortage CCN has formed a partnership with WorldSkills Australia to promote trade excellence by publishing NextGen's annual Top 20 under 25 representing every state and territory in Australia.

The current shortage of skilled labour in Australia’s HVACR industry is a critical issue that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency, according to Dan Tosh, the national marketing manager for Daikin Australia.

Tosh said it is the reason why Daikin Australia has chosen to be platinum sponsor of the NextGen program.

He said a skilled workforce is the lifeblood of this industry and programs like NextGen serve as a great vehicle to promote the trade as a rewarding vocation.

“Daikin is committed to the development of technical capability through the Daikin Training Academy and by also providing employment opportunities through a consistent intake of apprentices over many years,” he said.

“We feel that the NextGen program aligns with these key initiatives and to our objective to contribute to the progress of the industry.”

Tosh said the industry is continually evolving with a broad range of technologies being introduced to market to bring comfort, health and efficiency to the buildings we work, live and play in. 

“For the industry to thrive in this era, organisations at all levels need to continue the development of technical capability and ensure the knowledge transfer between the more experienced professionals and the younger generation,” he said.

As part of NextGen, CCN has partnered with WorldSkills Australia, the experts when it comes to recognising excellence. WorldSkills Australia is an organisation that has built a movement around changing the lives of young people through skills.

WorldSkills Australia general manager, Brigitte Collins, said the organisation is pleased to support CCN’s search for Australia’s top 20 under 25.

“WorldSkills Australia focus on skills excellence and we endorse any programme that highlights the success of our young trades people to highlight the importance of vocational education and training and showcase where great training can take you which we see evident through our WorldSkills Australia programs,” Collins said.

An expert panel of industry representatives will review the nominations and the winners will be announced at a special event in May. Nominations officially close on April 15, 2020.



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