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News Service 44 – Skills Reform Consultations (employers?), Smart & Skilled Update 128, NECA Award Teacher of the year 2020, Micro-credentials webinar, Fatalities report 2019 Safe Work, ESI TD&R & Electrotechnology Training Packages – renewables, and Technology updates

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  1. SKILLS REFORM CONSULTATION REGISTRATIONS OVERSUBSCRIBED
  2. SMART AND SKILLED UPDATE – NO. 128 (17 FEBRUARY 2021)
  3. NECA TRADE TEACHER OF THE YEAR 2020 AWARDED TO WA LOCAL TYSON ALDER
  4. HOLON IQ – MICRO-CREDENTIALS ARE GROWING WEBINAR
  5. SAFE WORK AUSTRALIA – WORK-RELATED FATALITIES REPORT 2019
  6. ESI TRANSMISSION, DISTRIBUTION AND RAIL AND ELECTROTECHNOLOGY TRAINING PACKAGES
  7. COMMUNITY BATTERIES?
  8. FIRST SOLAR PANEL RECYCLING SITE ESTABLISHED
  9. ARENA LAUNCHES $71.9 MILLION FUTURE FUELS FUND
  10. DROPPING DEMAND AND PLUNGING PRICES: CAN YOU HAVE TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?

1. SKILLS REFORM CONSULTATION REGISTRATIONS OVERSUBSCRIBED

In the previous News Service, we reported that DESE was conducting a series of Skills Reform Consultation workshops.  Seems there was too much interest and they were oversubscribed.  There were a series of workshops covering Quality Reform, Quality Reform Workshops – RTO Standards, and Quality Reform Workshop – Students and family/carers/enable.  It is unfortunate that DESE could not entertain more additional workshops, after they did add a few more. 

Most interesting though, is that there are still places available of a Worksop for business and employers!!  Given VET is about workforce skills one would imagine that business and employers were a key group to target and encourage significant involvement and engagement.  In fact, would they not be the primary target group?

A national consultation should endeavour to maximise participation in order to affirm a valid ‘confidence factor’ in the statistical measure of representation.  A few online workshops are insufficient to assert there has been robust nationwide consultation.

Notwithstanding, there are other avenues to submit your thoughts and ideas.  DESE has a number of concurrent surveys, which are listed below with relevant links that can provide you with other means to provide your feedback.  Also, feedback can be provided via Training Services NSW representatives to help them learn about the views in the NSW community and industry on these important matters.

If you are having difficulty accessing the workshops, contact: engage@thesocialdeck.com


2. SMART AND SKILLED UPDATE – NO. 128 (17 FEBRUARY 2021)

Smart and Skilled Update No. 128 (attached) – 17 February 2021, covers the following:

  1. Reminder: Skilling for Recovery Part Qualifications – Expressions of Interest close 5.00pm, Monday 22 February 2021 (email to: marketdesign.implementation@det.nsw.edu.au):
    1. additional BSB part qualification available
    1. error in the application form re: timing of training delivery
  2. Recording of Smart and Skilled Provider Webinar Thursday 11 February 2021 now available (HERE)

For more information visit: https://www.training.nsw.gov.au/smartandskilled/index.html

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


3. NECA TRADE TEACHER OF THE YEAR 2020 AWARDED TO WA LOCAL TYSON ALDER

The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) announced the 2020 Trade Teacher of the Year was Mr Tyson Alder.  Mr Alder is an instructor from the College of Electrical Training in Western Australia.  The media promotion for the award states, “Mr Alder was chosen as the winner by a judging panel of electrotechnology industry experts for his tireless work and innovative teaching practices equipping the next generation of skilled electricians.

Receiving the national award during a COVID-safe ceremony from local Member for Jandakot, Yaz Mubarakai, Mr Alder has been described as embodying everything the Trade Teacher of the Year award stands for, exceeding expectations in excellence in teaching and innovative practice.”

Oliver Judd, CEO of NECA said: “For more than a decade NECA’s Trade Teacher award has recognised excellence in teaching within the electrotechnology industry. The commitment of trade teachers to the future of our industry is displayed through setting the highest of standards. I extend my warmest congratulations on behalf of NECA and our industry to Tyson.”

“About the NECA Trade Teacher of the Tear Award

Each year NECA recognises excellence in teaching in the electrotechnology industry through the national Trade Teacher of the Year Award. Now in their thirteenth year, these awards formally recognise and reward electrotechnology teachers for their passion, excellence and commitment to developing and nurturing talent.

Nominated teachers must demonstrate their commitment to excellence in trade teaching and are judged against the following criteria: Excellence in teaching; Innovative practice; and Client satisfaction – both students and employers.”

About Tyson Alder, winner of the 2020 NECA Trade Teacher of the Year Award

Tyson Alder has been a trainer and assessor at the College of Electrical Training (CET) in Jandakot, Western Australia for five years where he teaches pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship and post-trade courses.”

For more information, visit the following URL:  NECA TRADE TEACHER OF THE YEAR 2020 AWARD


4. HOLON IQ – MICRO-CREDENTIALS ARE GROWING WEBINAR

Holon IQ is to hold a webinar on alternative and micro-credentials, asserting that they are fasting becoming a growing segment of the digital post-secondary learning.  If you have an interested in this field of this growing credentialing phenomena, then register for the upcoming webinar at: REGISTER

The webinar will be held on Wednesday, 24th February 2021 at 4.00pm ET

The promotion for the event states, “As drivers for change in post-secondary education strengthen, micro-credentials are set to play a critical role in supporting ongoing learning and up-skilling, both within and outside traditional providers of education and training.  While the space is still forming, and multiple models and approaches abound, there are clear signals of emerging standards, definitions and recognition of micro-credentials. This, along with digital infrastructure to support adoption at scale, is likely to lead to broad acceptance of micro-credentials sooner rather than later.

  • Micro-credentials are set to play a critical role in reshaping post-secondary education landscape.
  • $2.6T was spent in 2019 on post-secondary education and workforce training and up-skilling.
  • ‘Micro’ and ‘Alternative’ to what?  Post-secondary education has traditionally been dominated by a long-form learning model, comprising of carefully curated, sequenced and selected curriculum, aggregated to form a body of knowledge considered appropriate for one’s future role or profession. … However, traditionally these smaller modules (subjects, units, courses, classes) have not been credentialed/recognized independently from their whole (beyond ‘credits’), thus vesting control in the ‘supplier’, rather than the learner.
  • New, alternative forms of learning and verification are gaining credibility.
  • A spectrum of options to support knowledge and skills acquisition.
  • Learners, companies and governments currently spend at least $10B each year on Micro and Alternative credentials. The market will double in 3-5 years with the medium term growth rate heavily dependent on which scenario gains the most traction.
  • 4 Scenarios explore a range of possible futures for post-secondary knowledge and skills acquisition.

Alternative and micro-credentials have emerged over the past five years in response to the increasing need for smaller, more frequent and more focused learning opportunities that attract academic or industry recognition. However, this space is still in a formative state with no universally agreed format or definition, and with many participating actors and emerging models.

This session provides an overview of HolonIQ’s comprehensive analysis of the alternative and micro credentials market globally, including definition and market segmentation and analysis of the likely future role of micro-credentials in the post-secondary landscape.”

For more information visit: MICRO & ALTERNATIVE CREDENTIALS. SIZE, SHAPE AND SCENARIOS – PART 1


5. SAFE WORK AUSTRALIA – WORK-RELATED FATALITIES REPORT 2019

Safe Work Australia recently published its 2019 Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, Australia report.  The report provides statistics about people who traumatically die each year from injuries that arose through work-related activity.  The data presented in the report is based on the information available about the fatalities as at September 2020 when the 2019 dataset was finalised.

The following infographic summarises the worker fatalities by state/territory and by gender, 2019:

Serious claims by gender, 2018–19p:

Worker fatalities by industry, 2019:

Serious claims by mechanism of incident, 2018–19p:

Serious claims by occupation, 2018–19p:

Table 11: Worker fatalities: Construction industry occupations, 2015 to 2019 (combined total):

Table 12: Worker fatalities: Construction industry sub-divisions by mechanism of incident, 2015 to 2019 (combined total):

To download a copy of the infographic report (full report attached), also visit Safe Work Australia website at the following link: WORK-RELATED TRAUMATIC INJURY FATALITIES, AUSTRALIA 2019 and INFOGRAPHIC


6. ESI TRANSMISSION, DISTRIBUTION AND RAIL AND ELECTROTECHNOLOGY TRAINING PACKAGES

Australian Industry Standards (AIS) advise that the ESI Transmission, Distribution and Rail, and the Electrotechnology Industry Reference Committees (IRCs), the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has considered all stakeholder feedback and revised draft Training Package materials for the Renewable Technologies project.

The materials include a new Skill Set and Units of Competency in the following Training Packages:

  • two new units and a Skill Set for the Electrotechnology Training Package with a focus on safe work requirements for the rooftop solar industry and the identification and isolation of multiple supply systems.
  • one new unit for the ESI Transmission, Distribution and Rail Training Package ensuring safety requirements and identification and application of control measures for alternate supplies on the distribution network.

VIEW DRAFT MATERIALS AND SUBMIT FEEDBACK

The ESI Transmission, Distribution and Rail, and the Electrotechnology IRCs are seeking your feedback to validate these draft materials to ensure the proposed products meet industry needs.

Detailed mapping information, tracking changes to the existing Training Package, is also available to view.

Please submit your feedback by close of business Tuesday, 9 March 2021.  For more information on this project, please contact the Industry Skills Manager: Erin Knudsen, Industry Skills Manager, M: 0418 434 302 | E: erin.knudsen@aistnds.org.au


7. COMMUNITY BATTERIES?

A media release of 15th February 2021 by Ausgrid states, “Ausgrid has today unveiled a community battery in Beacon Hill, which will harness and store solar power from local homes, providing bill savings and allowing more renewable energy into the grid.”

HOW DOES IT WORK?

“The community battery works by allowing local residents to store their excess solar power, and is the first of its kind on Australia’s east coast.

The launch of the community battery marks the start of a two year trial being run by Ausgrid, that aims to transform the way solar energy is stored, reduce resident’s hip-pocket costs and is a big step towards cost effectively increasing the amount of clean energy that goes into the grid.

Ausgrid CEO Richard Gross welcomed NSW Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean and Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan to the unveiling today.

“This is an exciting milestone for Ausgrid and the first step in our community solar battery project which we know can benefit customers by keeping downward pressure on energy prices by reducing peak demand, and supporting the use of renewable energy,” Mr Gross said.”

Learn more about the Ausgrid two-year trial: AUSGRID LAUNCHES COMMUNITY BASED BATTERY TO INJECT RENEWABLE ENERGY INTO THE GRID


8. FIRST SOLAR PANEL RECYCLING SITE ESTABLISHED

Electrical Connection Magazine reports of the first solar panel recycling site being established in South Australia.  It reports, “Securing this site marks a significant milestone for Reclaim PV as it will create the country’s first national solar panel recovery and recycling network, with further facilities to be established in the other major metropolitan areas in the next one to two years.

Reclaim PV is simultaneously securing environmental licenses to conduct full scale recycling operations at an initial rate of 70,000 panels per annum and is putting the call out for end-of-life solar panels from anywhere in Australia. It’s also seeking to partner with Australian businesses that are interested in joining the national network as a drop off point.”

Read more about this very interesting development:  FIRST SOLAR PANEL RECYCLING SITE ESTABLISHED IN SA


9. ARENA LAUNCHES $71.9 MILLION FUTURE FUELS FUND

In a recent media release on facilitating the expansion of fast charging infrastructure, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) on behalf of the Australian Government announced the launch of the $71.9 million Future Fuels Fund, announced as part of the 20/21 Federal Budget.  It is aimed at addressing barriers to the roll out of new vehicle technologies.  It states in its media release, “The first round of the Fund will see $16.5 million of grant funding made available to fund battery electric vehicle (BEV) public fast charging infrastructure to expand the network and reduce blackspots.

The funding will be available to support the roll out of networks of fast charging stations (50 kW and above) across eight geographic areas including each Australian capital city, alongside large regional centres including Newcastle, Wollongong, the NSW Central Coast, Geelong, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. …

The initial funding round is focused on BEV fast charging stations to increase consumer choice, after industry consultation identified that a lack of public fast charging in major population centres is a key barrier to uptake of BEVs for both the public and fleets.

Subsequent funding rounds, kicking off later this year, will focus on supporting business fleets to transition to BEVs, as well as explore opportunities with hydrogen and biofuels.”

For more information visit the ARENA website at: FUTURE FUELS FUND OFF AND RACING

To learn more about the Future Fuels Fund and how to apply, please visit the ARENA FUTURE FUELS FUNDING PAGE.


10. DROPPING DEMAND AND PLUNGING PRICES: CAN YOU HAVE TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?

The joint Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and Australian Energy Council (AEC) newsletter, EnergyInsider this week reports on the latest developments regarding the lowest average demand in electricity since Q4 2001.  The article states, “Australia’s transition to more renewable energy generation has seen major changes in the wholesale energy market. The fourth quarter of 2020 saw the National Electricity Market experience the lowest average demand since Q4 2001 – with South Australia and Victoria’s spot prices hitting record lows. But are customers finally benefiting from the price suppression effects of renewable energy generation? Or is the market telling us a different story?

But when you dig deeper, the story behind the average price in Q4 2020 is not all good news.

So, what’s the market telling us? We take a look…

Demand drops

Average operational (grid) demand in the NEM has been declining steadily since 2010 (figure 1). AEMO attributes 2020’s significant drop to a record uptake of distributed PV and mild weather conditions.

New large-scale solar and wind need to realise average prices over $50/MWh to recover their capital costs. Early mover investors who locked into renewable positions when technology costs and interest rates were higher need to realise considerably higher prices again.

It is not surprising that rather than taking market risk, developers are attracted to the growing numbers of state underwriting schemes. In these the state becomes the risk-taking investor and will make up future shortfalls (or more correctly the taxpayers or customers in turn underwriting them).”

READ MORE…

For more, contact Ben Skinner, Australian Energy Council