The IOR's Annual Dinner, held in London on 22 February, served as a stage for President Graeme Fox to highlight the Institute's forward-thinking initiatives in shaping the future of the RACHP sector. He highlighted the work that the IOR is leading to support emerging talent entering the industry and to encourage commitment to environmental goals.

Winners of the various industry student and trainee awards were invited to take part in the dinner as guests of the IOR and joined a networking session with industry leaders to help them establish connections within the RACHP sector as they embark on their professional journey. Graeme Fox highlighted the work the Institute has been doing to promote careers in the industry to young people including the Fantastic Fridges website which now boasts a new section for post GCSE students and apprentices, as well as the Fantastic Fridges STEM Tool kit, a resource packed with activities and games to support members during their talks to schools and career fairs.

The newly launched IOR Masterclasses also got a mention - these free online webinars support colleges and students (or anyone wishing to refresh their knowledge) with live online educational sessions across a range of subjects from pressure enthalpy charts to heat pump technology.

He also paid tribute to members actively involved in promoting the sector to young people from STEM Ambassadors to female members who have taken part in the IOR-funded STEMAZING training programme. While stressing that still more needs to be done to attract and retain new talent, he said “We have 20 members who are already STEM ambassadors. So, we encourage you to sign up, to go out there are start promoting our industry - if you aren’t already.”

Progress in addressing environmental issues also featured in the speech with the launch of a new IOR “Beyond Refrigeration Environmental Award” for emissions reduction achievements which went to Sustain for its work on recycling circular economy in the cooling industry. Additionally, Graeme Fox mentioned the Global Cooling Pledge which the IOR has signed up to this year, and the net zero research project the Institute is part of which covers emissions reduction in the transport, industrial and commercial refrigeration sectors (TICR) and will produce valuable technical guidance for end users to help them understand and reduce emissions.  

Closing the evening, he underlined the importance of pursuing these challenges to prepare the RACHP industry for the future saying “please continue to support your Institute as we strive to meet that challenge and contribute towards developing and delivering a fit for purpose training landscape, to turn out competent refrigeration engineers and more future leaders just like the ones we have met this evening.”

For further information, see the pages on the IOR's educational and environmental pages.