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Kirby Apprentice Fund, Strengthening Our Trade

As an exciting industry initiative, Kirby announces the formation of the Kirby Apprentice Fund, established to support apprentices and strengthen the technical skills of the HVAC&R industry.

The company will begin to raise funds through various programs and use those funds to provide trade tools and skills development training to industry apprentices.

The fund will be launched on World Refrigeration Day, June 26. All supporters will have the opportunity to purchase a Kirby T-shirt for $10 from a Kirby branch, with all profits directed to the Kirby Apprentice Fund. The trade t-shirts carry the message, ‘strengthening our trade’ - the essence of the fund’s purpose.

In addition, Kirby account customers will have the opportunity to contribute a voluntary refrigerant levy to the fund, which will also be fully invested back into the industry for the provision of tools and training.

While the Kirby Apprentice Fund will be launched on WRD, the fund and fund-raising programs will continue and expand into the future. To maximise opportunities from the fund, all HVAC&R trade apprentices are encouraged to register their details http://www.kirbyhvacr.com.au/kirby-apprentice-fund-registration.

Supporting apprentices is a tradition that has long been part of the Kirby history. For over 20 years, Kirby has been the official Gold Partner, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning of WorldSkills Australia.

One and all are invited to head to their local Kirby branch on June 26, where they will be able to purchase a Kirby T-shirt and in doing so, support the future of the HVAC&R industry.

 

Kirby signs distribution agreement for Viper Chemicals

Kirby is excited to announce a partnership with the SuperCool Group of Companies for the national distribution of Refrigeration Technologies ‘Viper’ HVACR maintenance chemicals.

All Kirby stores have been refreshed with increased stock of the Viper chemicals range, including Viper coil cleaners, the original Big Blu micro leak detectors and application tools, with range expansion to continue.

To support product in store, all Kirby branch and field staff are equipped with the training and resources to guide technicians on the best product selection to suit each application.

The Viper chemical range delivers superior performance without hazardous ingredients. The range is entirely non-toxic, NSF and EPA certified for use in and around food processing areas, and most importantly, technician SAFE.

“This is an exciting time for all and the timing is right,” says Jon Mitchell, SuperCool Group general manager. “SuperCool has enjoyed a long relationship with the Kirby business as Heatcraft. As Kirby embarks on new beginnings under the Beijer Group, we are pleased to join the journey with them.”

Brett Hedge, Kirby sales and marketing manager agrees. “As a leading wholesale business, we look to align ourselves with best in class, forward thinking suppliers. SuperCool with the Refrigeration Technologies Viper range provides that for us. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with customers already using the Viper product range and new customers taking it up through the Kirby branch network.”

   

Heatcraft supports WorldSkills Global Skills Challenge

WorldSkills Australia Media Release

Pie Creek Refrigeration and Air Conditioning professional, Patrick Brennan, is one of nineteen young Australians who have won the right to compete at the Global Skills Challenge following his success at the 2018 WorldSkills National Championships. Patrick and his Australian team mates will take on international competitors from 16 countries including the United Kingdom, China, Russia and Brazil in 24 skills competitions across the 4-day event.

The Global Skills Challenge is the largest international skills competition taking place in Australia this year. Held in Melbourne (10 – 14 April), the competition will be staged in conjunction with the Victorian Skills Commissioner and WorldSkills Australia in several Victorian TAFE campuses.

20-year-old Patrick, who is employed by Tony Stephens Refrigeration and Air Conditioning and is also a student at QLD TAFE, won a gold medal in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning category at the 2018 WorldSkills Australia National Championships. Patrick’s win secured his place in the WorldSkills Australia training team, and he is hoping that the last seven months of training has set him up for success at the Global Skills Challenge, which will be the final stage for selection in his bid to become a Skillaroo; an elite team of young Australian apprentices and trainees who will represent Australia at the WorldSkills International Championships to be held in Kazan, Russia in August.

Patrick is excited about the Global Skills Challenge and potentially representing his country at the WorldSkills International Competition.

“Representing Australia in anything is a great honour and would be the highlight of my life,” he said.

“My training journey so far has greatly improved my skills and has made me more confident in my trade as well as in public speaking. My training expert Carl Balke is always pushing me to be better and finding new things to challenge me.

“I love my skill because it involves a lot of problem solving; I’m always up for a challenge,” he continued.

On behalf of Heatcraft, the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning gold category partner, Brett Hedge, sales and marketing manager, extended his support. 

"Heatcraft wishes Patrick all the best in his quest to become a Skillaroo. The WorldSkills Australia Global Skills Challenge is not only an excellent opportunity for all the competitors to test their skills against the other competing countries, but also allows us to unite and celebrate the young talent that we have in Australia”.

WorldSkills Australia CEO, Brett Judd said, “The young Australian’s competing are the nation’s top up and coming skill and trade specialists. They are supported by some of our country’s best trades and skill experts who act as their trainers and mentors. They have been training since September last year, and all of them are vying for a spot on the Skillaroo team, and their chance to represent Australia in Russia this August.

“Australia is regarded as a high performing Vocational Education Nation, and we are currently 10th on the WorldSkills rankings after the 2017 International Championships.

“Countries taking part in the Global Skills Challenge, many of whom are important Australian trade partners including China, United Kingdom, Korea, Japan and India, are eager to see the Victorian TAFE facilities while they measure their performance against the Australian team before the world championships in August,” continues Mr Judd.

About WorldSkills Australia
WorldSkills Australia is a social enterprise that passionately believes that skills drive your future and Australia’s prosperity. Since 1981 we have been the leading voice for skills excellence in vocational, technological and service-oriented careers in Australia and have raised the awareness of hundreds of thousands of young Australians, as well as their parents, industry and employers that our nation’s future depends on an effective skills training system. For more information visit www.worldskills.org.au

About Global Skills Challenge
2019 Global Skills Challenge will be the biggest international skills excellence event to be held in Australia in 2019 with 500 competitors, from 16 different countries taking part in 24 different skills competitions. The four-day competition will be hosted in several Victorian TAFE Institutes including: Holmesglen Institute, Kangan Institute and RMIT University. The championship will simulate International competition conditions. The event is the final training exercise for the WorldSkills Australian Skills Squad before the Skillaroo selection, the team that will go on to represent Australia at the WorldSkills International Championship.

About 45th WorldSkills International Competition
The 45th WorldSkills Competition – the leading international event of 2019 in Russia – will bring together more than 1,600 young professionals representing over 60 countries and regions who will compete in 56 skills. It will take place in Kazan, Russia on 22-27 August 2019. It is expected that more than 250,000 spectators will attend the Competition and associated events.

Heatcraft Australia rebrands to Kirby

Heatcraft announces a new trading name and logo as part of an Australia wide rebrand. The Heatcraft business will now be known as Kirby.

The rebrand is an evolution of the acquisition of Heatcraft Australia by Beijer Ref in April 2018. The new logo Kirby - A Beijer Ref Company, unifies the business with the global Beijer Ref Group and carries forward the heritage of the Kirby brand, established in Australia since 1924.

Heatcraft has been a leading force in the industry since 2004. It built its success on a foundation of product innovation and the strength of its people from the merger of the former Kirby and Lovelocks wholesale businesses to today. As a Beijer Ref Company, Kirby will continue its commitment to quality and innovation, making the appropriate investments to expand capability and increase total market share.

As one of the largest refrigeration wholesalers in Australia, Kirby will continue to service its customers through its distribution network of over 60 outlets. Over the coming 12 months, all Heatcraft store fronts will undergo a rebrand to Kirby.

The new Kirby business will continue to operate alongside the Group’s Beijer Ref Australia operation as two independent businesses and Kirby will continue to distribute and promote its exclusive brands including Kirby Refrigeration Equipment, Lennox HVAC Equipment, Gas2Go and smart@ccess alongside the extensive range of other leading brands.

Gas2Go Cylinder management just got a whole lot smarter

The latest release of the Heatcraft Smart@ccess Portal now includes improved features with a new Gas2Go app to better manage your cylinder fleet. Exclusively available to Heatcraft customers with a smart@ccess account, the Gas2Go app is an extension of the smart access customer portal, so users can choose to manage their fleet from a desktop, tablet or mobile - now enhanced with the introduction of the app.

Incredibly simple to use, business owners and contractors now have complete visibility of their fleet with the ability to assign and transfer cylinder holders, bar code scan and geo-locate cylinders.

For even greater visibility, users can assign locations and add activity notes against each cylinder.

Adjusting fill weights to fully understand how much refrigerant is being held across the fleet is also easily done via mobile or desktop.

Heatcraft has also built in alerts to notify users when cylinders are due for leak testing. Alerts also notify when cylinders are due to be returned, reducing the risk of cylinders being invoiced as lost.

Feedback following a successful pilot launch highlighted the responsiveness of the app and has allowed Heatcraft to configure significant functionality enhancements before transitioning to the APP platform.

The enhancements provided customers greater confidence knowing their own information was instantly recorded against their assigned cylinders.

Commenting on the app and complete smart@ccess cylinder management program, Heatcraft Sales and Marketing Manager Brett Hedge said refrigerant and cylinder management was identified as a huge risk by customers and the cost of mismanagement can be significant.

“Our customers want a simple yet comprehensive way to manage their cylinder activity and highlight cylinder ownership to their technicians. We’re pleased to be able to offer them this new functionality, free of charge,” he said.

“As we progress through the early stages of the HFC refrigerant phase-down, tools such as this which alert business owners of leak test requirements and improved tracking are imperative to ARCtick compliance and minimizing environmental impact.”

The Gas2Go app is available for the latest versions of iOS and Android and is free to download.

It is available to all Heatcraft customers with a smart@ccess account. For more information or to open a smart@ccess account, contact your local Heatcraft branch or Account Manager, or  on 13 23 50.