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News Service 29 – Smart & Skilled Update 112 & 110; NSW Small Biz 20; NCVER News Apprentice starts down; AIS FEEDBACK wanted & new website; RTO loses registration; NCC CPD Course; Safe Work Month; Hydrogen; ESI Academy; creating mentally health workplaces

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  1. SMART AND SKILLED UPDATE NO. 112 – 23 SEPTEMBER 2020
  2. NSW SMALL BUSINESS MONTH LAUNCHING THIS WEEK!
  3. NCVER NEWS: APPRENTICE & TRAINEE COMMENCEMENTS DOWN
  4. FEEDBACK WANTED FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION SKILLS STRATEGY DISCUSSION PAPER
  5. RTO LOSES REGISTRATION STATUS FOR SHORT COURSES
  6. AIS ANNOUNCES NEW WEBSITE AND A REFRESHED BRAND
  7. NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION CODE (NCC) PROMOTES CPD COURSES
  8. GETTING HYDROGEN ON YOUR OWN SUPPLY
  9. NATIONAL SAFE WORK MONTH
  10. THOMSON BRIDGE ANNOUNCES CREATION OF ESI ACADEMY
  11. WORKSAFE VICTORIA WAYS TO CREATE MENTALLY HEALTHY WORKPLACES
  12. DID YOU MISS – SMART AND SKILLED UPDATE – NO. 110 – 9 SEPTEMBER 2020

1. SMART AND SKILLED UPDATE NO. 112 – 23 SEPTEMBER 2020

The Smart and Skilled 112 update introduces the new JobTrainer initiative announced by the Federal Government and in NSW supported by the NSW Government.  Known as the Skilling for Recovery program the initiatives aims to offer additional fee-free training places for eligible students, including funding for around 10,000 new full qualification training places for students commencing in the 2020-21 Activity Period.

Importantly, the announcement with respect to Smart and Skilled Providers is, “Whilst eligible students will be able to undertake fee-free full qualification training under Providers’ existing Smart and Skilled Financial Caps where capacity is available, there is also an immediate opportunity for Smart and Skilled Providers to request funding for additional full qualification places, as described in section 2.a.ii of this Update.

Information on the availability of part qualification training places will be provided in a subsequent Smart and Skilled Update.”

Section 2.a.ii of the Update states, “All providers will have the opportunity, as part of the review process, to request the addition of Skilling for Recovery Priority Qualifications (as listed at Appendix A) to their AQAS, where these qualifications are on their scope of registration for delivery in NSW.”

Appendix A – Skilling for Recovery Priority Full Qualifications lists a little of 350 qualifications that will be funded under the initiative.  Training Services NSW has been asked to clarify whether the initiative could potentially affect or undermine the existing arrangements applicable to apprenticeship and traineeship which are governed by Vocational Training Orders (VTOs) for respective qualifications.  A response is expected to be provided in the near future.

Notwithstanding, this important Smart and Skilled Update No. 112 covers:

  1. Skilling for Recovery: Additional training places for Smart and Skilled Providers
    1. overview
    2. eligibility for skilling for recovery fee-free training
    3. priority full qualifications available through skilling for recovery
  1. 2020-21 Smart and Skilled Financial Caps and delivery of Skilling for Recovery full qualifications
    1. opportunities available through the 2020-21 financial cap review 2 process
    2. conditions related to additional financial cap allocations to deliver skilling for recovery full qualifications
  1. 2020-21 Financial Cap Review 2 process
    1. financial cap variation forms will be sent to all providers
    2. smart and skilled financial cap(s) variation requests not related to skilling for recovery training
    3. assessment of funding requests

The Financial Cap Review 2 process:

“Providers will receive a Financial Cap Variations Form and must return the form to the Department at SmartandSkilled.Application@det.nsw.edu.au (if seeking a variation) by COB Friday 9 October 2020.

Please note: This closing date will be strictly applied. There is no capacity to accept late submissions.”

For any technical support in relation to this update, contact Training Market Customer Support at Training.Market@det.nsw.edu.au.

For more information visit the Smart and Skills section of Training Services NSW website: SMART AND SKILLED


2. NSW SMALL BUSINESS MONTH LAUNCHING THIS WEEK!

A reminder that the countdown for NSW Small Business Month has begin with only a few days before the festival kicks off this October.  The Government promotion states, “Whether you’re starting, growing or winding down your business, tune in to our live webcast at 10am on Thursday 1 October. Learn how Facebook is helping small business scale through digital media and marketing. Take a tour of the buzzing Sydney Startup Hub and meet the brains behind fintech accelerator Stone & Chalk. Hear Sydney artist Jeff McCann talk sustainability and resilience with Business Connect guru Monica Davidson.

And have your questions ready for a panel of experts including Gumnut Patisserie’s Tracy Nickl, who’s attracted a cult following for the state’s tastiest pastries. Read more and register for our free webcast today.

Spark Festival for Small Business

Got a great idea but don’t know where to start? Looking to grow your business in the new digital economy? Spark Festival is Australia’s largest event for entrepreneurs and innovators. It’s also completely free and happening online from October 12 – 23. There’s a whole bunch of segments throughout the festival that are great for small business – check them out here. And there’s even more on the full program.

Register here to gain access to the livestream and find your spark at Spark.

Coming up…

Here’s a few highlights from some of the activities already available on our website:

  • Various dates – Business Accelerator Using Social Media Marketing – Register here
  • 1 October – Networking in Nature – Register here
  • 8 & 14 October – Managing Team Wellbeing – Register here
  • 20 & 26 October – Your Mental Health at Work – Register here
  • 20-21 October – SMB Digital (powered by CEBIT) – Register here

Contact the team:

The NSW Small Business Month team are here to help. You can contact the team during business hours on 02 4908 4886 or email smallbusiness.month@treasury.nsw.gov.au.


3. NCVER NEWS: APPRENTICE & TRAINEE COMMENCEMENTS DOWN

NCVER News reports that apprentice and trainee commencements for March quarter 2020 were down 11% to 49,015 compared to same quarter in 2019.  It reports that, “Trade commencements were down 9.8% in the March quarter 2020, with the biggest decreases seen in food trades workers, down 20%, and construction trades workers, down 13%.

NCVER MD Simon Walker said that while the underlying data shows some early indicators of COVID-19’s impact, particularly in the month of March, it won’t be until the June quarter that we get a true sense of the pandemic’s effect on apprenticeship and traineeship activity.”

FREE WEBINAR: RATIONALISING VET QUALIFICATIONS

Guest panellist Dr Darryn Snell (RMIT) joins NCVER’s Bridget Wibrow and Joanne Waugh for this webinar, which will provide an overview of international approaches to reducing large numbers of VET qualifications.

One method involves grouping qualifications into occupational ‘clusters’, allowing individuals to train for a number of jobs at once and creating a larger pool of transferable skills in the labour market.

The webinar will also discuss the lessons learned that may benefit the Australian VET system.

When: Wed 7 Oct 2020, 1:30-2:10pm (ACDT)
Report: Rationalising VET qualifications: selected international approaches(out next week – subscribe for alerts)
Cost: Free! Register now

For more information visit the NCVER website: www.ncver.edu.au


4. FEEDBACK WANTED FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION SKILLS STRATEGY DISCUSSION PAPER

Australian Industry Standards (AIS) advises that the specially convened Panel will submit its Digital Transformation Skills Strategy to the AISC for consideration at the end of 2020.  The Panel was charged with the responsibility to:

… provide advice on how Australia’s Vocational Education and Training system can most effectively respond to digital change underway across industry and its impact on the nation’s workforce.”

AIS states, “The Panel has approached this work through the lens of Australia’s existing workers and their need to upskill and reskill in response to digital transformation. 

In developing the strategy the Panel is seeking industry feedback and has released an online Discussion Paper which canvasses views on its five key areas of focus: training products; teaching and learning; learner support mechanisms; industry leadership; system settings.

Responses need to be completed online and submitted by cob 9 October 2020 AEDT.


5. RTO LOSES REGISTRATION STATUS FOR SHORT COURSES

Climate Control News (CCN) reports that “Training group Construction Industry Training Australia (CITA) has had its RTO status cancelled for ‘short course’ advertising and poor recognition of prior learning (RPL) assessments by training industry regulator Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).”

The article goes on to outline how the matter came to a head.  CCN states, “The Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) originally reported CITA to ASQA for advertising unduly ‘short courses’ and concerns regarding sub-par RPL assessment approaches for Certificate II in Split Air-Conditioning and Heat Pump Systems and Certificate III in Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration courses. This led to ASQA investigating and subsequently resulted in cancellation of CITA’s RTO status.

CITA appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, however, they breached a number of conditions of a ‘stay order’ and continued to operate under a different name.”

Glenn Evans, CEO of the ARC, said this result is a big win for the refrigeration and air conditioning industry.

“Sub-standard courses and dodgy trainers have no place in our industry. Appropriate qualifications are the cornerstone of the skills-based ARCTick licence scheme and ensure a level playing field for our industry,” he said.

“ARC has worked hand in hand with ASQA on this investigation, and others, providing technical support and guidance. We remain committed to ensuring that the qualifications associated with the ARCTick licence scheme are upheld for the credibility of the scheme and betterment of our industry,” he said.”

This is a welcomed development for the industry and we congratulate both CCN for reporting it, and ARC for pursing the matter and maintaining a vigilance on the quality of outcomes both for the industry and for other providers doing the right thing.  Well done to all involved.


6. AIS ANNOUNCES NEW WEBSITE AND A REFRESHED BRAND

AIS advises that it has launched a new website, stating, that it “includes a refreshed logo and provides a knowledge and resource hub”.  It also includes a new video, looking at how it focuses on supporting Australia’s workforce needs.  The website is advises, “is designed with you front of mind. It provides a great resource for the National Training System, including the important role of engagement with industry, business and the training sector in delivering world class training products.

More information is now easy to find for our industries, Industry Reference Committees and the projects they support as well as Skills Forecasts.”

Visit the new website and learn more about AIS – what they do and the partners they work with.  They also, welcome feedback on the new site.

Visit: https://www.australianindustrystandards.org.au/


7. NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION CODE (NCC) PROMOTES CPD COURSES

The NCC is promoting its first NCCC PD course.  Its first course is about ‘Performance Solutions’.  Stating it has “been released to the NCC CPD website in the compliance category.”

Stating further, “This course provides guidance and understanding of the matters that impact the development and acceptance of Performance Solutions. 

We are working hard to release the next suite of courses over the coming months – we will let  you know when courses relevant to your selected practitioner group become available.

If the Performance Solution course is of interest to you, below is some important information for you to know before you get started on the course.

Course overview:

Performance Solutions are a pathway enabling design practitioners to use innovative approaches to meeting a brief while still complying with the National Construction Code (NCC) Performance Requirements.

How do I purchase the course?

Purchasing the course is easy.

How long will it take to complete the course?

The course is roughly 90 minutes including assessment.

How much does the course cost?

Offered for an introductory price of $60 + GST for a limited time only – a saving of 20% on the regular course price of $75 + GST.

Need more information?

Please visit our FAQs for more information on NCC CPD courses.”

COURSE LINKNCC CPD COURSE ON PERFORMANCE SOLUTIONS


8. GETTING HYDROGEN ON YOUR OWN SUPPLY

Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and the Australian Energy Council report that looks over how the government has bet on hydrogen, batteries, green steel, CCS, and soil carbon as the top priority technologies to develop over the next decade to reduce Australia’s emissions.

It states in the article, “If you Google “technology roadmap”, in the ‘People also ask’ section there’s a question: “What is the purpose of a technology roadmap?” It’s described as a “flexible planning technique to support strategic and long-range planning, by matching short-term and long-term goals with specific technology solutions”. And that’s what the federal government seems to have in mind. In a self-described punt, the government has bet on hydrogen, batteries, green steel, CCS, and soil carbon as the top priority technologies to develop over the next decade to reduce Australia’s emissions.

We take a look at the plan and how it was received.

The plan went down better than the government’s announcement the week before when it told the energy industry to commit to 1000MW of new generation in NSW by the end of April next year or it would build a gas fired plant to do so.

The Tech Roadmap is ambitious in its scope.

Mr Taylor says Australia will avoid 250 million tonnes of emissions by developing the following technologies if it reaches the stretch goals it has outlined by 2040.

  • Hydrogen production under $2 per kilogram, ‘H2 under 2’.
  • Long duration energy storage dispatched at under $100 per megawatt hour, which would enable firmed wind and solar to be delivered at prices around or below today’s average wholesale price.
  • CO2 compression, transport and storage at under $20 per tonne.
  • Low emissions steel production at under $900 per tonne, and aluminium under $2700 per tonne.
  • Soil carbon measurement for less than $3 per hectare, per year.

The minister told the NPC “mature technologies” like coal, wind and solar will still play an important role in Australia’s energy future.

The government will invest in them “where there’s a clear market failure, like a shortage of dispatchable capacity”.

A hydrogen future

The attention in the new tech proposed has been falling on clean hydrogen generated by electrolysis. If that process is powered by renewables, then it has zero emissions, and this is where the Tech Roadmap seeks to make inroads into lowering Australia’s emissions.

The stretch goal is H2 under $2/kg. At $2/kg clean hydrogen it would be competitive in applications such as producing ammonia as a transport fuel and for firming electricity.

If all goes to plan and Australia successfully develops a booming hydrogen production industry there may be money in it, quite a lot according to some estimates.

ARENA and the CEFC

The government’s statement on technology follows its announced intention to change the remit of the CEFC and ARENA and lift funding by $1.9 billion so they can invest in technologies including carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, soil carbon, and green steel.

It is an extension of a trend that had already commenced with ARENA already making grants to support hydrogen, biofuels and electric vehicle developments, for example.

Meanwhile the CEFC saw its mandate grow with the announcement of a grid reliability fund to support Australian Government investment in new energy generation, storage and transmission infrastructure, including eligible projects shortlisted under the Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program.”

The full article is available at:  GETTING HYDROGEN ON YOUR OWN SUPPL

For more contact Hamish Fitzsimmons, Australian Energy Council

HALVING THE COST TO NET-ZERO EMISSIONS WITH HYDROGEN

ENA Media release of 25 September 2020 also explores the subject of hydrogen, stating, “The latest update to Gas Vision 2050 – Delivering a Clean Energy Future has found that net-zero emissions can be reached with hydrogen at half the cost of electrification.

The report was released today by a partnership of energy industry associations including Energy Networks Australia (ENA), Australian Gas Infrastructure Trust (AGIT), Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA), Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association of Australia (GAMAA) and Gas Energy Australia.

Gas Vision 2050 modelled three scenarios for a net-zero emissions future: green hydrogen (produced from renewable energy), blue hydrogen (from natural gas with carbon capture and storage) and electrification (where all gas and gas networks are decommissioned).”

“Australia is on a pathway to decarbonise the gas sector to help meet our nation’s emission reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change.”

“ENA’s Head of Gas, Dr Dennis Van Puyvelde, said gas distribution networks were constructed of plastic materials that were compatible with delivering hydrogen as a fuel in place of natural gas.

“Gas pipelines could be repurposed or rebuilt to become hydrogen carrying pipelines at a much lower cost than delivering that amount of energy through electricity transmission lines,” Dr Van Puyvelde said.

“Furthermore, gas infrastructure also delivers molecules to industrial processes which cannot be electrified. Hence, there is a clear benefit to being able to continue doing this with gas pipelines and networks.”

For a web version of this media release, click here.

Media Contact: Michael Lewis, (03) 9103 0405, mlewis@energynetworks.com.au


9. NATIONAL SAFE WORK MONTH

Safe Work Australia has announced that October is ‘Safe work Month’.  It states on its website that, “This year’s theme, Work Health and Safety through COVID-19, acknowledges and reflects the wide-reaching impacts of COVID-19 on Australian businesses, employers and workers.

Workplaces have had to quickly adapt their practices and procedures to reduce the WHS risks arising from COVID-19 and to manage the psychological effects of the pandemic on workers.

The National Safe Work Month theme highlights the WHS challenges, as well as the positive outcomes brought on by the pandemic and the significant role WHS plays in keeping workers safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Let’s work together to navigate WHS during COVID-19 and beyond.”

Join National Safe Work Month

Join National Safe Work Month and download a range of resources to help you promote work health and safety.

SIGN UP AND DOWNLOAD THE CAMPAIGN KIT HERE or here: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/national-safe-work-month/campaign-kit


10. THOMSON BRIDGE ANNOUNCES CREATION OF ESI ACADEMY

RTO has announced that it is to establish a new ESI Academy.  It reports in its promotion that, “Thomson Bridge is responding to the needs of the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) and our partner clients in creating the Thomson Bridge ESI Academy.

The skills to construct, operate, upgrade and maintain ESI infrastructure are in high demand, and the Thomson Bridge ESI Academy will support the industry and those wishing to enter it or expand their skills with a comprehensive training offering. With flexible delivery by the highly experienced Thomson Bridge team, and the support of the many industry organisations we partner with already, the ESI Academy will be ready and able to build the pipeline of skilled and safe workers we need to support the investment boom in Energy Infrastructure underway across the country.”

For more information review the media release at:  THOMSON BRIDGE ESI ACADEMY

Contact the team at Thomson Bridge via email: info@thomsonbridge.com or call: 1300 15 66 85.


11. WORKSAFE VICTORIA WAYS TO CREATE MENTALLY HEALTHY WORKPLACES

WorkSafe Victoria is promoting ways to create a mentally healthy workplace.  Stating, “Work is a big part of our daily lives and can help to prevent mental ill-health by giving us a feeling of purpose and a sense of contribution.

Also known as psychosocial hazards, work-related factors are anything in the design or management of work that can affect an employee’s mental health. If these work-related factors are not managed well, there is an increased risk of work-related stress, which can lead to physical injury, mental injury or even both at the same time.

A list of common work-related factors and actions to manage these factors are explained on the webpage, which include:

  • Job demands are too high or too low
  • Low level of job control
  • Poor support
  • Poorly managed organisational change
  • Poor organisational justice
  • Lack of recognition and reward
  • Low role clarity
  • Poor workplace relationships
  • Remote and isolated work
  • Violent or traumatic events
  • Poor environmental conditions

The webpage also offers ways to get started today to manage these factors.  It provides a free WorkWell Toolkit, which gives prospective users a step-by-step guide to creating a mentally healthy workplace.

For more information visit the site and download the toolkit:  HOW WE CREATE A MENTALLY HEALTHY WORKPLACE


12. DID YOU MISS – SMART AND SKILLED UPDATE – NO. 110 – 9 SEPTEMBER 2020

The NSW UE ITAB received advice as to whether it had forwarded Smart and Skilled Update 110.  A review of News Services indicates it was missed.  The ITAB apologises for any inconvenient and attaches a copy for the record.  The update covers:

  1. Smart and Skilled Targeted Priorities Prevocational and Part Qualifications (TPPPQ) Program Infection Control Training Strategy: Update
  1. allocation of student places for the periods up to 31 December 2020
    1. PAS acceptance and conditions
    2. potential reallocation of student places
    3. contact information
  1. Updates re: Priority Skills Sets available under Training Needs Identification (TNI) part qualification funding
    1. amendments to transport and logistics priority skills sets due to superseded units of competency
    2. traffic control priority skills sets – units of competency now available
  2. Participants sought for online survey on availability of professional development for VET practitioners
    1. survey details

Appendix A: Amended listing of Priority Skills Sets

For any technical support in relation to this update, contact Training Market Customer Support at Training.Market@det.nsw.edu.au.

For more information visit the Smart and Skills section of Training Services NSW website: SMART AND SKILLED