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News Service 53 – UEE Workshop Newcastle 4 June, Budget 21-22 Skills Training Apprenticeships and tradies, Hydrogen questionnaire, CIB 704 Electrotechnology VTOs, Cadetship program, Sparkies for 61439, EEHA Courses, Safety News, Solar Tariffs iPart

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  1. 2nd ELECTROTECHNOLOGY TRAINING PACKAGE PRACTITIONER WORKSHOP – NEWCASTLE 4 JUNE 2021
  2. FEDERAL BUDGET 2021-22 INITIATIVES ON SKILLS, TRAINING AND APPRENTICESHIPS
  3. NSW HYDROGEN RESEARCH SKILLS QUESTIONNAIRE FOR NSW HYDROGEN STRATEGY
  4. COMMISSIONER’S INFORMATION BULLETIN 704 – ELECTROTECHNOLOGY VTO ISSUED
  5. BIG SPENDING BUDGET FOR TRADIES, CONSTRUCTION
  6. NEW NATIONAL CADETSHIP PROGRAM NEEDED TO HELP BUSINESSES RISE FROM COVID-19
  7. NHP HELPING PREPARE SPARKIES FOR 61439
  8. EEHA AND OVERHAUL/REPAIR TRAINING COURSES ALIGNED TO UPDATED UEE TRAINING PACKAGE
  9. CONTACT WITH ENERGISED PAD MOUNTED TRANSFORMER
  10. SAFE WORK AUSTRALIA NEW REPORT – SNAPSHOT OF COVID-19 RELATED WORKERS’ COMP CLAIMS 2020
  11. iPART SEEKS FEEDBACK ON SOLAR FEED-IN TARIFFS

1. 2nd ELECTROTECHNOLOGY TRAINING PACKAGE PRACTITIONER WORKSHOP – NEWCASTLE 4 JUNE 2021

The NSW Utilities & Electrotechnology Industry Training Advisory Body (NSW UE ITAB) will hold a second Electrotechnology Training Package practitioner workshop.  On this occasion it will be Newcastle on Friday, 4th June.  Details are:

DAY:Friday
DATE:4th June 2021
TIME:10.00AM TO 2.00PM (30-MINUTE LUNCH BREAK)
VENUE:TAFE NSW Newcastle (Tighes Hill) Building M, room M1.06 Building M is via Chin Chen Street, Islington and using the car park on the left, adjacent to Building M.  Campus map is attached highlighting the building and parking area.
WHO CAN ATTENDAll stakeholders are welcome – TAFE NSW staff, Private RTO staff, Training Services NSW staff, employers, unions, etc.

The workshop will explore and hold discussions with regional practitioners about issues associated with the roll-out and implementation of Electrotechnology Training Package UEE20, particularly the new workplace evidence requirements and likely impact on resourcing.  As well, other related Utilities Training Packages and associated issues including apprenticeship mode, apprenticeship funding, workplace evidence gathering mechanisms preferred by the industry, mutual recognition of licenses and licensing/training matters in general.

If you are able to attend, please confirm your interest and potential for attending by emailing Tony at: tony@uensw.com.au

The workshop invitation is open to RTO practitioners, Training Services NSW officers, employers including GTOs, employee representatives, and other interested stakeholders.  It is intended that other regional events will be held progressively, in a series of workshops, leading to a major forum in Sydney, sometime in the third quarter of 2021.

More details will follow in subsequent News Services, leading to the event day.


2. FEDERAL BUDGET 2021-22 INITIATIVES ON SKILLS, TRAINING AND APPRENTICESHIPS

The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) issued a Federal Budget 2021-22 snapshot of the key measures contained in the federal government’s budget delivered by the Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP on the 11th May 2021.  In its member alert it stated, “There’s a grab bag of initiatives in there designed to support businesses in the post-COVID economic recovery. A number of the infrastructure, energy and industry investments will sustain and enhance opportunities for electrical contractors.

It looks at Coronavirus and recovery measures, skills, training and apprenticeships with a $2.7 billion allocated to expand the boosting of apprenticeships, tax offsets and the continuation of instant-asset write-off to businesses, the extension of small business loan schemes and a significant allocation of budget to infrastructure and energy investments.” 

NECA has developed and published a report which can be downloaded at the following URL:  DOWNLOAD THE FULL NECA REPORT HERE

Key initiatives in relation to skills, training and apprenticeships outlined in the report, states:

  • “$2.7 billion to expand the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy:
    • this measure will uncap the number of eligible places and increase the duration of the 50 per cent wage subsidy to 12 months from the date an apprentice or trainee commences with their employer;
    • from 5 October 2020 to 31 March 2022, businesses of any size can claim the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy for new apprentices or trainees who commence during this period;
    • eligible businesses will be reimbursed up to 50 per cent of an apprentice or trainee’s wages up to $7,000 per quarter.
  • $506.3 million over two years to extend the JobTrainer Fund – a partnership with the states to deliver around 163,000 additional low fee and free training places;
  • Support for 5,000 training places to help women break into non-traditional trades;
  • 2,700 places in Indigenous girls’ academies to help them finish school and enter the workforce;
  • $149 million over four years to establish up to 15 industry owned Skills Enterprises to deliver improved skills and workforce outcomes.

These measures will help the sector retain existing apprentices, and directly fund new intakes.”

A copy of the Securing Australia’s Recovery Creating jobs and rebuilding our economy publication which supports and outlines the budget measures and initiatives with respect to skills, training and apprenticeships.  For a copy of the actual Budget documents visit:  https://budget.gov.au/2021-22/content/documents.htm


3. NSW HYDROGEN RESEARCH SKILLS QUESTIONNAIRE FOR NSW HYDROGEN STRATEGY

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) has written to advise that it is collaborating with the University of Sydney on developing a NSW Hydrogen Strategy.  Connor Kerr, Capstone Researcher from the University of Sydney advises of the work to compile research into the skills development required for an emerging hydrogen economy in NSW.  The project is looking to further their knowledge of the skills that are required for a hydrogen workforce and how they can be developed and delivered.

They would appreciate your time in providing your thoughts on the hydrogen skills development landscape.  They have developed a questionnaire with a range of discussion points to guide a response from industry stakeholders.  Connor is keen to incorporate stakeholder feedback (either credited or anonymous) into the research with the hope that it can inform future government strategy.  The questionnaire is attached for your review, consideration and feedback.

If you are involved in any way in hydrogen activities, it would be very important to help out in the survey.  We ask if you could please take the time and submit a response.  The survey is meant to close on 21st May 2021, however, the NSW UE ITAB has been given a week’s grace to circulate the News Service and questionnaire to stakeholders to provide an opportunity for feedback.  Thus, the survey closes on Friday, 28th May 2021.

PLEASE COMPLETE THE QUESTIONNAIRE IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN ANY HYDROGEN RELATED WORK ACTIVITIES

Questionnaire closes Friday, 28th May 2021.  Please send response to: hydrogen@planning.nsw.gov.au

For more information contact:
Connor Kerr
Capstone Researcher from the University of Sydney
T – 0411706676
E – connor.kerr@dpie.nsw.gov.au


4. COMMISSIONER’S INFORMATION BULLETIN 704 – ELECTROTECHNOLOGY VTO ISSUED

The Commissioner for Vocational Training, David Collins has issued Commissioner’s Information Bulletin (CIB) number 704 covering Electrotechnology Apprenticeships and Traineeships.  The date of issue is 14 May 2021.  Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) should note the issuance of the CIB and associated VTO as this will assist in the transition of learners as well as associated funding to the updated Electrotechnology Training Package 2.0.

In the new Commissioner’s Information Bulletin (CIB) the following apprenticeships/traineeships are designated or repealed, and the associated qualifications established:

NEW: Electrotechnology – Fire Protection Control – Apprenticeship

REPEALED AND DELETED: Electrotechnology – Winding and Assembly

  1. Apprenticeships

Fifteen qualifications support apprenticeship pathways, as follows:

  • Traineeships

Twelve qualifications support traineeship pathways, as follows:

Additionally, all industrial instruments have been updated.

  • Superseded Bulletin

This Commissioners Information Bulletin supersedes Bulletin 559 and CIB 579.

For a copy of the full Commissioner’s Information Bulletin (CIB) 704 and associated Vocational Training Orders (VTOs) visit: https://www.training.nsw.gov.au/cib_vto/cibs/cib_704.html


5. BIG SPENDING BUDGET FOR TRADIES, CONSTRUCTION

Editor of Climate Control News (CCN), Sandra Rossi reports on the big budget spending announcement by the federal government budget for construction and tradies with an additional $15.2 billion allocated to infrastructure projects.  The article states, “The government has extended a range of tax breaks for business including a one year extension to the “full expensing” scheme, which allows businesses with a turnover or income of less than $5 billion to immediately write-off the cost of assets they first use or install by June 30, 2023.

An instant write-off allows businesses to claim deductions upfront, rather than spread it over several years through depreciation.

The government is also providing tax incentives to encourage businesses to upgrade information technology.”

Further, “The Federal Budget is providing support for 5000 women to learn a trade in building and construction.

This is in addition to extending the 50 per cent wage subsidy to apprentices.”

For more information visit: BIG SPENDING BUDGET FOR TRADIES, CONSTRUCTION


6. NEW NATIONAL CADETSHIP PROGRAM NEEDED TO HELP BUSINESSES RISE FROM COVID-19

Innes Willox, Ai Group Chief Executive in the latest Manufacturer’s Monthly pens in a feature article of Ai Group’s advocacy for more support of apprenticeships has paid off with the Government extending the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program in its 2021-22 Budget.  He writes, “That program, which has now been extended, provided support for businesses to retain or take on new apprentices. It has been an overwhelming success which has benefitted more than 100,000 apprentices and trainees.”

He goes on to outline another proposal the Ai Group is championing in support for the creation of a strong pipeline of skills to help lift the economy out of the COVID downturn, is a National Cadet Program.  He states, “Ai Group has urged the Federal Government to use the May budget to fund national wage subsidies to assist employers to engage VET and higher education students as cadets and interns.

The rapidly changing work environments and skill needs thrown up by COVID-19 are best served by learning that is connected to the workplace and closely reflects workplace skill needs, such as work-based and work integrated learning models.

Apprenticeships are a typical employment-based learning model but work-based learning includes internships and cadetships, where formal education and training is supplemented by actually doing the work on the job and support from other skilled co-workers.

There is much evidence that combining an employment contract with formal education and training results in better employment outcomes. Benefits of work-based learning include a stronger connection to current workforce needs and better linkages with labour market demand.

For employers, such programs create potential long-term employees in addition to benefits gained through the productive work completed during placements.”

For more information regarding the proposal and Innes’s drive for Ai Group to advocate for better skilled outcomes via new Cadetships, visit:  NEW NATIONAL CADETSHIP PROGRAM NEEDED TO HELP BUSINESSES RISE FROM COVID-19


7. NHP HELPING PREPARE SPARKIES FOR 61439

Sean Carroll, Editor at Electrical Connection reports in an article of the 10th May 2021, that’s NHP has released a number of compliant solutions to help prepare electricians for the changes arising out of the new switchboard standard coming into effect this May.  The article states, “The new switchboard standard, AS/NZS61439 Low-voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies – has been penned into the diary for a while now and as of the time you’re reading this, it’s in effect. The changes are, in part, based on the European IEC61439 with specific in-country notes for Australia and New Zealand.

It covers a range of topics around switchboards including the testing and verification process and the discrimination and selectivity of protective devices across all low-voltage switchgear among others. New switchboard designs will be tested in a laboratory, subjecting them to a variety of tests such as short circuit, IP rating and temperature rise. The tests aim to determine how a switchboard operates in an installed environment.

In terms of manufacturers, their responsibility ends at the outgoing terminals and how it is applied will always remain the responsibility of the installer.”

In relation to the solutions NHP has developed, the article states, “NHP is an Australian owned specialist in electrical products, with a global network of supply line partners. It has recently released a number of solutions that help the electrical market prepare for AS/NZS61439.”

For more information visit:  NHP HELPING PREPARE SPARKIES FOR 61439


8. EEHA AND OVERHAUL/REPAIR TRAINING COURSES ALIGNED TO UPDATED UEE TRAINING PACKAGE

VERICO Training Services has advised that it has updated its Electrical Equipment in Hazardous Areas (EEHA) and Overhaul/Repair training courses to align with the updated UEE Electrotechnology Training Package 2.0.  The update included redevelopment of ‘hazardous area’ units to better align to the current AS/NZS Standard.

These updated units allow for training to be tailored to the specific needs of various industry clients, depending on the explosion protection techniques they work on.

VERICO Training Services was the first RTO on the East Coast to receive approval from the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to deliver the updated Electrical Equipment in Hazardous Areas (EEHA) and Overhaul/Repair training courses.

The course has already been rolled out to mines in NSW, whose electricians are now credited with the new units.  Interested applicants of these specialist and important high-risk programs can book or read more about them, by visiting VERICO Training Services’ course menu at:  https://www.vericotraining.com.au/calendar/


9. CONTACT WITH ENERGISED PAD MOUNTED TRANSFORMER

This week’s Mine Safety News reports of a Dangerous Incident (IncNot0039789) regarding open cut construction materials.  In summary the article states, “An excavator … unintentionally contacted an energised pad mounted transformer (main transformer substation) forcing it from its normal position and causing a high voltage electrical fault which caused the electrical protection to activate. The excavator was digging a trench close to the transformer when the machine slewed around, and the counterweight hit the transformer dislodging it from its mounts.”

The NSW Resources Regulator’s advice to industry was, “When working in proximity to live high voltage equipment, mine operators should consider the associated hazards and apply the hierarchy of controls. De-energising the high voltage equipment prior to work or minimising the risk by using alternative plant, the erection of barriers, the application of safe operating distances and using observers should all be considered.”

For more information go to NSW Resources Regulator’s website:  WEEKLY INCIDENT SUMMARY and for incident ISR21-18 WEEKLY INCIDENT SUMMARY WEEK ENDING 7 MAY 2021


10. SAFE WORK AUSTRALIA NEW REPORT – SNAPSHOT OF COVID-19 RELATED WORKERS’ COMP CLAIMS 2020

Safe Work Australia advises that it has published a new report providing a snapshot of COVID-19 related workers’ compensation claims data for 2020.  The data in the snapshot has been fast-tracked to provide timely information on the impacts of COVID-19 for Australian workers.

The report uses preliminary data from Commonwealth, state and territory workers’ compensation authorities and details COVID-19 related workers’ compensation claims by type, industry, occupation and jurisdiction.

As at 31 December 2020:

  • 1,222 workers compensation claims related to COVID-19 had been lodged
  • 974 claims were accepted, 127 claims were rejected and 121 claims were pending
  • 75% of accepted and pending claims were for workers who had contracted COVID-19
  • 69% of accepted and pending claims were from the healthcare and social assistance industry
  • the ‘community and personal services workers’ occupation had the highest number of claims
  • Victoria had the highest number of accepted and pending claims by jurisdiction

For more information, download COVID-19 related workers’ compensation claims – 1 January to 31 December 2020.


11. iPART SEEKS FEEDBACK ON SOLAR FEED-IN TARIFFS

The NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (iPART) has advised that it is eager to learn and receive submissions from interested stakeholders on solar feed-in-tariffs.  It states, “There is just over a week to go until submissions close for our review into solar feed-in-tariffs.

This is the amount people with solar panels are paid for any unused electricity they export to the grid. We’ll be setting a guide to what customers are paid.

However, the main benefit of solar panels is that customers can buy less electricity from their retailer when they use the electricity that they generate with their panels. These savings can be around $750 per year.

You can make a submission until May 24 on our website.”