In the rapidly changing HVAC industry, the pace of technological innovation is outpacing skills acquisition. Professionals in the industry who have trained or worked on now outdated HVAC technology are ill equipped to repair or perform maintenance on newer, more advanced HVAC solutions. This phenomenon is not limited to the HVAC industry, but is hitting almost every high-tech sector. This lack of skilled workers has been called the “skills emergency”, and insiders have proposed several solutions to counter its negative effects on the industry.
Equipping HVAC Professionals
Some governments are opting to implement policies to improve the skills of domestic workers, with the United Kingdom requiring large companies to finance apprenticeships to help fill shortages in the engineering, science and high-tech sectors. However, this policy has met heavy criticism, as similar apprenticeship programs which started in 2013 and 2014 placed only 2 percent in their target sectors1.
However, the private industry is stepping up to fill the void left by public sector initiatives. LG has set up air conditioning academies all over the world, teaching much needed skills to thousands of current industry professionals including installers, consultants, designers, sales staff and service technicians. The academy program is being used to share expertise and cultivate these HVAC experts by providing a cutting-edge technical educational experience with the newest and most advanced technology and equipment. Moreover, as LG’s entire product range is installed on site, professionals can be trained in a realistic way that offers them the chance to experience the latest products first-hand.
In the UK, LG Academy attendees not only gain hands-on practical experience, but the training they receive enables them to independently commission air conditioning units. With four LG owned academies and more than 15 Partner Academy Programs across the United States, LG offers basic engineering and product classes for building owners as well as classes that cover installation, commissioning and advanced services for contractors. Moreover, LG’s Learning Management System (LMS) allows trainees to review the curriculum, register for courses, and access dozens of online on demand (OLOD) features and content. This flexibility gives contractors access to top-of-the-line training from the comfort of home. In keeping with LG’s philosophy of innovation, the company’s Brazilian AC Academy has developed an exclusive ‘Educa Program’ which offers detailed, customized air conditioning training that integrates theory with application. All-in-all, LG’s worldwide network of AC Academies work together to ensure that HVAC professionals are fully equipped to deal with the latest changes in the industry.
Raising the Next Generation
A recent poll found that 87 percent of business leaders in the United States feel that most college graduates lack the most important skills to succeed in today’s workplace2, so many companies have partnered with colleges and universities in order to provide practical workplace training for prospective employees.
LG is working with colleges and universities all over the world to secure future employees and help increase skills across the entire HVAC industry. For instance, LG’s prominent partnership with Moscow State University of Civil Engineering (MGSU), the most famous civil Engineering and HVAC design school in Russia aims to improve the theoretical and practical understanding of professionals working in HVAC management, engineering, installation and maintenance. LG’s Academy in Dubai not only provides expert training in sales and customized installation methods; it also recruits local university students and serves as a hub for internship programs. In Hungary, LG has partnered with the Technical and Economic University of Budapest, one of the most respected technology universities in the region to offer lectures from industry experts. Furthermore, the new LG Educational Initiative in the Levant region offers partnerships with various colleges including Jordan University, Damascus University, Lebanon University and Baghdad University, helping undergraduates become better-equipped professionals in the world of HVAC solutions. These partnerships with prominent universities across the globe demonstrate LG’s commitment to providing effective training for tomorrow’s HVAC professionals.
“Through these academies we aim not only to nurture leading HVAC professionals but also further their talent development,” said Lee Jae-sung, president of the LG System Air Conditioning business unit. “Moreover, we hope these advanced programs will strengthen the synergy between the company and our trustworthy partners, and we will continue to concentrate on helping improve LG’s ties to local business communities across the globe.”
1. According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Source: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/fc713afa-2884-11e5-8db8-c033edba8a6e.html