20 April 2023


ARC figures show RAC workforce aged in its prime

Australia’s refrigeration and air conditioning workforce is not as old as many people think, with new figures released by the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) showing that the dominant age group in the industry is 30-39 years old.

As the national regulator for the industry, ARC has published a breakdown by age group of the technicians who currently hold active refrigerant handling licences (RHLs).

ARC chief executive officer Glenn Evans said the figures challenged the concept of an ageing workforce, since more than half of licensed technicians are under 40 years of age.

“Although in a sense any workforce will always be ageing, ARC’s figures show that we have a vibrant, relatively youthful workforce in the climate control sector,” he said.

“Of the current licence holders, fully 30% are in the 30-39 age group, and a further 21% are under 30 – not even half way through their working lives.

“That means we have 51% of our workforce under 40, while the number grows to 63% if we look at those under 50 – and most 50-year-olds would hardly consider themselves old.

“At the same time, training licences account for 9% of all RHLs, which suggests that efforts by employers to recruit and retain new technicians are enjoying a level of success.”

“Our sector’s inclusion in the Green Energy Priority List for apprenticeships confirms the need for more apprentices, and ARC’s figures show we are heading in the right direction,” he said.

“The challenge now is to ensure our industry has the training for both new apprentices and mid-career upskilling so our specialised trade keeps pace with new technology and remains relevant in a low energy future.

“As climate control becomes an ever-more specialised area, it is good to see that the vast majority of our technicians are in the prime of life and well up to the challenges that lie ahead.”

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Media Contact:          Greg Shoemark          0412 577 526                       gshoemark@arctick.org