Keeping Your Cool

The A.G. Coombs Group focuses on HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning), Refrigeration, Mechanical Services, Fire Protection and Multi-Services installations in commercial and industrial buildings and the Construction Industry.

The company was founded over 60 years ago, and remains privately owned. They currently have around 50 apprenticeship placements internally, and also work with RTOs and other organisations to supplement their team with an additional 30 or so apprentices.

The structure, environment and practice of the company is quite corporate, and its organisation is basically split into two key areas:

  • Installation (large projects such as hospitals, shopping centres and commercial buildings where they plan and install the systems in the buildings during the construction process.
  • Service (they have a maintenance team that is on the road servicing customers).

The company fosters a culture that promotes career progression, ongoing training and support, and many of management team are tradespeople who have moved up.

An example of such a tradesperson is Robert Pezzano, who we meet in this video. He began his refrigeration mechanic apprenticeship at the age of 18. Although he had family members who were refrigerator mechanics (of both the domestic and commercial variety), he wasn't certain during school that he wanted to pursue a trade.

Robert was interested in working in an electrical field, so he originally enrolled in an electrical engineering degree at university. He soon tired of this though, and - having family in the industry and therefore knowing what was involved - Robert decided to pursue a refrigeration mechanic apprenticeship at A.G Coombs.

VJ Rodney Meier