Piyush Chakraborty, Officiating Head
Electronics Sector Skill Council of India (ESSCI)
Want to go into a career that will always be in demand? Consider Refrigeration and Air Condition (RAC). Because nearly every building has a climate control system comprising of refrigeration and air conditioning, which will always be a great career with opportunity. RAC service technicians the RAC systems, figure out why it isn’t working. It takes mechanical skill, technical aptitude, and practical knowledge. Every refrigerator or air conditioning repair requires the ability to look at the entire system and fix the problem.
The availability of skilled and certified manpower is the need of the hour across the ESDM sector especially the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration industry, which is expanding at a very fast pace. The industry requires certified technicians to handle the Hydrochloricofluorocarbons Phase-Out Management Plan (HPMP) as per the Montreal Protocol.
Need of Training Air Conditioning Technicians and Certifications:
India has been witnessing high growth in the air-conditioning (AC) market which is expected to grow fivefold by 2030 from the existing stock of 35 million units. Refrigerants used in ACs are either Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) or have extremely high global warming potential (GWP). Refrigerants leak out of ACs especially due to poor servicing practices by AC service technicians, causing adverse impacts to the environment of the 2, 00,000 estimated technicians in the country, the majority are semi or unskilled. Given that around 50% of refrigerant consumption is happening in the servicing sector, training technicians on proper servicing practices to reduce leakages can have significant benefits. This training would also benefit technicians since the training would include safety practices and would increase their employability level within the formal sector.
In its way forward, the Electronics Sector Skills Council of India (ESSCI) which is an apex body for skill development and certification in the electronics sector, with the support of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Controls interacted with the stakeholders of the UN HCFC phase-out action plan and developed ‘Qualification Packs in Air Conditioning’ with a Pan-India training ecosystem. The council has aligned its skilling capability to the industry requirements and is making an all-out effort in ensuring the industry requirements for skilled and certified AC technicians with relevant technical capabilities, thus giving a boost to the growth of the sector along with creating employment opportunities for the youth of the country.
ESSCI has over 400 training partners (TPs) having over 3200 training centers across the country. They are very well-equipped to undertake skill development across various job roles in all the segments of ESDM. The council has 160 Qualification Packs (QPs). Out of these, 200 training centers across the country are well-equipped to undertake training in the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration job roles and also have the required infrastructure, tools and training competence.
Qualification Packs for Skill Development:
The SSC has numerous credible Qualification Packs for the skill development in this segment which have been closely developed with the support from the industries in the segment. The Qualification Packs creation also involves the assessment of the intrinsic demand for trained technical manpower in the industry in near future through Market Research and Industry’s consultation.
Some of the Qualification Packs developed by the ESSCI for the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry are:
- Field Technician – AC (NSQF Level – 4)
- Field Technician – Refrigeration (NSQF Level – 4)
- Field Engineer – RACW (NSQF Level – 5)
- Functional Tester – RAC (NSQF Level – 4)
- Safety Tester – RACWO (NSQF Level – 3)
- Performance Tester – RACWO (NSQF Level – 4)
- HVAC Technician – (NSQF Level – 4)
Skill Training of RAC Service Technicians under PMKVY:
The Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) have agreed to jointly undertake upskilling and certification of 1,00,000 refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) service technicians on good servicing practices and knowledge of alternative refrigerants to ozone-depleting chemicals. The project is funded under the Skill India Mission – PradhanMantriKaushalVikasYojana.
Role of RAC Technicians:
Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics install, maintain, repair and overhaul residential central air conditioning systems, commercial and industrial refrigeration and air conditioning systems, and combined heating, ventilation and cooling systems.
As a Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Mechanic, one’s duties may include:
- Installing, troubleshooting and overhauling entire heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems
- Measuring refrigeration and air conditioning components for installation
- Working with hand and power tools to install refrigeration and air conditioning components
- Measuring and cutting piping, and connecting piping using welding equipment
- Testing heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems for leaks
- Performing routine maintenance
- Repairing and replacing components for entire heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems
- Installing, maintaining and repairing equipment in refrigerated trucks
- Preparing work estimates
Skill Training Outcomes:
Listed below are the few training outcomes:
- Better awareness of safety and environmental practices in RAC servicing by technicians.
- Reduced consumption of refrigerants among trained technicians
- Increased number of certified technicians who can seek employment in the formal sector
Job opportunity after skill training:
Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics install, maintain, repair and overhaul residential central air conditioning systems, commercial and industrial refrigeration and air conditioning systems, and combined heating, ventilation and cooling systems. Refrigeration and air conditioning jobs, however, will always be in demand. Reason being, nearly every building has a heating and air conditioning system. The RAC industry will continue to, provide a great career opportunity for individuals who enjoy working with people, have an aptitude for technical work and seek job security. RAC jobs will continue to exist in every community where there are people in buildings. Skilled one’s can start their career as an employee or can start their own micro-entrepreneur. RAC skilled people are employed by installation contractors, construction companies, food wholesalers, engineering firms and service establishments. It is an extremely rewarding, and challenging career that teaches one great life skills as well as technical skills, and allows you to make a comfortable living.