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New state-of-the-art facilities and training for trades

GOTAFE has partnered with Bendigo Kangan Institute (BKI) and HVAC&R industry bodies to improve education opportunities for the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration industries.

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Post date: 29th October 2020

The working group applied for joint funding and on March 15, the Hon. Gayle Tierney, Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education granted $2,000,000 toward the project that will be provided by the Workplace Training and Innovation Fund (WTIF).

One of the most significant parts of the delivery of this project is the development of state-of-the-art refrigeration training pods, which are mobile units that can be towed behind a car. The pods are custom designed and manufactured to meet the needs of industry, which allows GOTAFE and Bendigo Kangan Institute to deliver specialised training to students all over regional Victoria. Ian Tuena of CA Group Services, who was involved in the original funding submission, noted that the pods “will incorporate virtual reality systems and presentations”.

"“The new training pods and resources will enable GOTAFE to train to current industry standards. This project won’t just assist current apprentices but will also help businesses in our region to upskill with new training opportunities.”"

GOTAFE Director of Technology and Built Environment, Brett Ambrosio

The project will see students learn to install, set up, test, repair and maintain refrigeration systems and equipment. The project also aims to develop training modules to assist with the transition from the use of dangerous global warming gases to green-house friendly refrigerants and other related technologies.

According to Trevor Cheeseman, General Manager of Real Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, the refrigeration industry has been in a constant state of flux since the discovery of global warming and the subsequent obsolescence of chlorine-based refrigerants.

GOTAFE Trades Aircon Heating Refrigeration

“It would appear the correct course for the industry to adopt a greater use of natural refrigerants, however they come with characteristics that require a different approach to the mainstream refrigerants,” Mr Cheeseman said. “The pods will give us the opportunity of seeing these characteristics in a live system, in contrast to drawings on a whiteboard.”

Steve Crapper, Refrigeration Teacher at Bendigo Kangan Institute agrees that the new pods will allow meaningful practical classes for students wanting to learn about natural refrigerants. “The new pods will support the theory in this area of refrigeration and air-conditioning in both existing and new competencies being introduced next year.”

“These pods will also allow us to deliver new competencies which relate to the new environmentally friendly natural refrigerants. This will bring current industry up to speed with the new refrigerants being introduced into the refrigeration and air-conditioning trade.”

Brett Ambrosio added, “This project will strengthen GOTAFE’s already large industry base. The partnership with Bendigo Kangan Institute has been a great opportunity for both our organisations to come together and offer training in regional Victoria.”

With its first-class facilities and highly skilled trainers, GOTAFE and BKI are the ideal choices for completing a Certificate III in Air-conditioning and Refrigeration, which leads to becoming a qualified air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanic.