ARC’s request comes as COVID-19 causes suspension of license testing.
Saying that the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) industry provides an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC), a trade group based in Victoria, Australia, has called for RAC apprentices waiting to receive their driver’s license or take driving tests to be prioritized once restrictions are lifted.
Due to the pandemic, on March 25 the state of Victoria suspended all driving tests and all computer-based (knowledge and hazard perception) license testing for light-vehicle cars, utes (utility vehicles or pickup trucks) and vans, according to the HVAC&R news website.
There is currently a “backlog of almost 30,000 applicants,” said the website. “This includes refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) trade apprentices.”
This is a problem for apprentices, “whose ability to drive to work in support of their employers’ businesses is currently in jeopardy.”
According to the website, the “CEO of the ARC, Glenn Evans, says his organization is communicating with state driver licensing bodies to ensure that RAC trade apprentices are being prioritised in the queue, as soon as restrictions are lifted.”
“This is particularly important for the RAC industry as they support essential services like hospitals and food transport, and play a vital role in modern society,” said Evans.
ARC has already lobbied local governments to recognize refrigeration as an essential service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.