Growing up, Krishnil Prakash knew he wanted to have a career in the technical and vocational sector, given the high demand for a skilled tradesperson, it would be easier and quicker to secure suitable employment.
Keen to undertake studies in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) trade, Prakash decided to enrol in the Certificate IV in Air-conditioning and Refrigeration programme at the Fiji National University (FNU).
“I wanted to obtain technical training in this area so I could lend good employment prospects and further my interest in the same field,” he said.
Prakash studied at FNU’s College of Engineering, Science and Technology based at Derrick Campus in Samabula, Suva.
“I had a great experience studying at FNU. During the practical classes and fieldwork, we visited different sites each day and were also allowed to work under close supervision on different projects which enabled us to put into practice what we learnt in class,” highlighted Prakash.
Upon completion of the programme, Prakash was not only able to independently install, maintain, service and commission plant and equipment to industry standards but was quickly able to secure employment.
Prakash currently works as an air-conditioning and refrigeration technician at the AirFact Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Services in Suva.
Lecture II at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Alipate Kau said the Certificate IV in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning has over the years gained a strong reputation locally as well as in neighbouring countries Australia and New Zealand.
“There is an increasing demand for qualified tradespeople and HVAC is no exception. We receive enquiries from employers in both these countries who are interested in offering employment to graduates,” said Kau.
“The programme is an exciting learning experience for students, and we have a number of equipment and sophisticated tools in our hand-on workshop practical,” he said.
The Certificate IV in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning programme consists of twenty-four courses out of which twelve courses are examinable while the remaining is course work through workshop assessments.
“The programme runs simultaneously in semester mode as there are two quarter modes in a Semester. At the end of Quarter 4, the students are required to undertake industrial attachment to a total of 12 months or 1800hrs,” he said.
Kau further emphasised that the Certification IV in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning programme is challenging yet rewarding.
“Our programme is an exception from any other training institute in Fiji. We have students from Niue, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea as well who study with us,” he said.
Following the completion of the programme, the students are required to apply for licensing from the Department of Environment.