PD03: The Modern Technician: The future of the refrigeration trade

Panel members:

Steve Smith, TAFE NSW

Irfan Hai, TAFE NSW

Laura Steedman, Executive Manager, Training & Development, AMCA

Noel Munkman, Technical & Training Manager, Australian Refrigeration Council

Session will be facilitated by Noel Munkman

A panel session exploring barriers and opportunities to the uptake of refrigeration apprenticeships and traineeships in Australia and proposed changes to training packages.

Presenters will discuss the importance of attracting a diverse range of people into trades training and outline what is required to support their successful completion and ensure the level of skill required to meet future workforce needs.

A case study on students in the TAFE NSW Certificate III in Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration apprenticeship program will be examined, outlining challenges facing Vocation Education and Training (VET) providers. The ARC’s Green Scheme Accreditation will be discussed and training opportunities and needs for future refrigeration technologies will also be explored.


Noel Munkman is the Technical and Training Manager at the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC). Noel has spent his career shaping training for the refrigeration and air conditioning sector through senior roles with TAFE NSW, WorldSkills Australia and E-Oz Energy Skills Australia. In his current role at ARC, Noel helps technicians and businesses improve their day-to-day operations, as well as participating in various national industry and technical committees and working groups to recommend solutions for safety issues, technology, training and refrigerant evolution in the sector.



Stephen Smith is a respected and practicing Refrigeration and Air Conditioning mechanic with over 25 years teaching experience in HVAC&R at TAFES in NSW.

He has supervised the installation, servicing and commissioning of coolrooms and freezer rooms, supermarket merchandising cabinets, milk bar display cabinets and high wall splits and ducted systems.






Irfan Hai is the Senior Head Teacher of the HVAC & Refrigeration Section at TAFE NSW – Ultimo College. He graduated from the University of Technology Sydney with a Master’s Degree in Arts (Major in e-Learning). His educational design for the Diploma of Engineering Technology in Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning qualification earned him and his teaching section the prestigious ARBS Outstanding Education and Training Award. He is currently working on a new Instructional Design Model fit forfuture Vocational trade students.






As Executive Manager, Training and Development with the AMCA, Laura focuses how the emerging innovations and technology are transforming education practices within construction industry, and the development and implementation of quality education and training programs to meet identified skill gaps in the industry.  

Prior to joining the AMCA in 2007, Laura held Engineering positions overseas with Motorola Personal Communication Section, and then with the Irish Concrete Federation.

Laura is a passionate about Fostering sustainable partnerships between Industry and academic institutions regarding, stakeholder engagement, industry-based learning and creating scholarship Opportunities.

Laura represents the AMCA on various Industry /education working groups, including the Box Hill Institute, Board for Education Quality & Effectiveness Committee, the Refrigeration and Climate Control Centre of Excellence (RCCC) and the Centre of Excellence for Design, Installation, and Commissioning of HVAC Systems at Holmesglen.



Note: The seminar program may be subject to change. If you have registered for this seminar any topic, presenter, timetable or price changes will be communicated as soon as possible prior to the event.