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Skilled Trades Training Blog
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Branson’s Tech Forecast to Empower the Trades

Jan 18, 2019 10:47:12 AM



At the start of this month, business tycoon, Richard Branson, declared Air Conditioning (A/C) to be the next big industry ripe for disruption - and we think that’s pretty cool.  

Branson points out that the technology for this hundred billion dollar industry has remained largely unchanged for over a century. And, dismally, the most advanced refrigeration and A/C technology have only begun to scratch the surface of achieving their maximum efficiency. With global warming on the rise, and the use of A/C projected to skyrocket globally, this certainly leaves a lot of room for pressing technological improvements. What’s more, is that this could mean a ton more jobs to be added to the skilled trades industry.

But what about the already existing skills gaps?

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of HVACR mechanic and installer jobs will increase by 21 percent through 2022” AND “During this time, the Social Security Administration estimates 22 percent of the U.S. workforce will retire, which is expected to create a large talent gap.”1

2019-01-17 14_22_15-Executive Summary.pdf

Source: "The HVACR Workforce: Demand Heats Up as Supply Melts Away," HVACR Workforce Development Foundation. September 2015.

The A/C industry is projected to keep growing, but the labor market just isn’t ready to keep up… yet. That being said, there are some key players well-positioned to manage this surge in labor demand, and they can’t wait to embrace the disruption.

Interplay Learning has been laser-focused on bringing innovative, VR technology to HVAC training, as a way of keeping up with skilled labor demand. Virtual Reality is training for the future, and it’s specifically fit for hands-on workers who want to learn heating and air conditioning. This training combines two critical components of learning: simulating a real-life task and repetition. The implementation of VR into HVAC courses makes it possible for techs to get up to speed and into the field a lot more efficiently than the yesteryears of classroom learning in HVAC schools.

So what does this mean for the Industry as a whole?

As A/C use continues to rise around the world, technological advancements for efficiency, as well as training become absolutely critical. But these initiatives don’t necessarily have to be separate. If powerful training like VR, can reduce labor gaps, and lead HVAC techs into the field at a faster pace, then maybe, this same technology, could be the catalyst for new innovations in A/C technology.

Stay tuned Branson, empowered new techs might just be the ones to lead the way into the next big industry disruption.




Kristina Bentle

Written by Kristina Bentle

Kristina is the Digital Marketing Manager for Interplay Learning. As an expert in all things digital, Kristina has brought her passion for technology and innovation to the Interplay team. With experience in B2B and B2C marketing, she brings a unique perspective to her work and understanding customer needs. She values being able to help customers find products and services that help make their lives better.