To reach EU’s decarbonization targets and the diffusion of green heating and cooling technologies, with low carbon and efficient emissions, relying on skilled labour force, with a suitable training and certification, is of fundamental importance. All current updating and redevelopment opportunities need not only additional promotion and funding, but also the support of further tools and programmes of training and partnership with the concerned parties. Moreover, we must grant that training and certification are mutually accepted in EU countries, which in their turn should assure a process of reciprocal acknowledgement of such certifications coming from abroad. In the specific review context of the regulation about fluorinated gases, the extension of the present training and certification scheme on fluorinated gases and alternative refrigerants is essential to reach the regulation’s goals, which largely depends on a broad diffusion of alternative refrigerants with low GWP. In fact, training and certification are necessary to avoid accidents, injuries and deaths in plants with alternative refrigerants to greenhouse gases. Currently, the percentage of certified staff for fluorinated gases and trained on alternative refrigerants is by far inferior to the market potential, so creating a gap that limits the adoption of alternative refrigerants. The extension of the present training and certification scheme about fluorinated gases to alternative refrigerants would solve this problem. However, to grant the diffusion of the training and of the certifications for these refrigerants in all Europe will take some time.
As the President of AREA Coen van de Sande stated «Our sector accepts great challenges like the transition of refrigerants, the energy transition and digitization. However, to face these challenges and the evolution of the panorama, we must attract new talents. The European year of competences represents an exciting opportunity to help us to demonstrate how much our sector is appealing for newcomers and for the people coming from other sectors that are searching for significant workplaces in a dynamic environment. AREA will support the spirit and the activities of the European competence year to attract new talents, to help people in obtaining the right competences to satisfy the growing demand for skilled manpower and to assist them in facing the new technological challenges, such as the use of new flammable refrigerants and of more complex H&C systems».