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News Service 58 – UEE Package update, Manufacturing scholarships, NCVER Dec 2020 Apprentice data, COVID-19 Check-in, AIS UE Training Package News, ASQA Auditor review, Woolworths apprentice drive, RAC News & skill sets, Industry & Safety News

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  1. ELECTROTECHNOLOGY IRC TO REVIEW QUALIFICATION ISSUES
  2. MSA ANNOUNCES 3rd ROUND OF SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WORKERS IN MANUFACTURING
  3. NCVER DECEMBER QTR 2020 APPRENTICE AND TRAINEE NUMBERS RELEASED
  4. NSC RELEASES 2021 SKILLS PRIORITY LIST
  5. NSW GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES UPDATED RULES AROUND QR CODE CHECK-IN
  6. AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY STANDARDS UE NEWS
    1. ESI GENERATION TRAINING PACKAGE
    1. SMEs NEEDED FOR TD&R SECTOR TRAINING PACKAGE
    1. GAS TRAINING PACKAGE – AISC REINSTATES DELETED LPG UNITS
    1. GAS TRAINING PACKAGE –SUBMISSION
    1. ELECTROTECHNOLOGY TRAINING PACKAGE –SUBMISSION
  7. ASQA HAS A WAY TO GO
  8. WOOLWORTHS – NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP RECRUITMENT DRIVE
  9. AIR CONDITIONING BAN
  10. RAC SKILL SETS ADDED TO SKILLING FOR RECOVERY – PRIORITY PART QUALIFICATIONS LIST
  11. NEW $5M ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM TO BOOST HYDROGEN CAPABILITIES
  12. BY 2025 THE IT INDUSTRY COULD USE 20% OF ALL ELECTRICITY PRODUCED
  13. WORKER SUFFERS ELECTRIC SHOCK FORMING CONCRETE SLAB
  14. NSW LEADING THE CHARGE WITH ELECTRIC VEHICLE REVOLUTION
  15. SOLAR SUPPLY CHAIN COSTS: A PASSING CLOUD?
  16. ENERGY QUEENSLAND – POLARITY TESTING
  17. REVIEW OF SOLAR FEED-IN TARIFF BENCHMARKS

1. ELECTROTECHNOLOGY IRC TO REVIEW QUALIFICATION ISSUES

Following on from the recent round of Regional Workshops undertaken by the NSW UE ITAB, subsequent feedback and reports in the recent NSW UE ITAB News Services, the Electrotechnology Industry Reference Committee (IRC) along with Australian Industry Standards (AIS – the SSO for UE) has acknowledged there are critical issues, specifically related to the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician qualification in need of urgent attention.  To this end, meetings have been held with a range of stakeholders including NSW UE ITAB to identify options for moving forward and addressing critical issues impacting on the prospective roll out of the Training Package and particularly, the Electrician’s qualification.

It is understood the Electrotechnology IRC will consider these issues and more at their next meeting, scheduled for August 2021. 

RTOs and industry stakeholders should maintain regular contact with respective AIS officers including the Electrotechnology IRC members to ensure they are well-informed of the latest developments, as they unfold, as changes to qualification components and units of competency may impact on current or prospective resource development.

The NSW UE ITAB applauds AIS and the Electrotechnology IRC for acknowledging stakeholder concerns and commends the actions to explore options to address deficiencies or inconsistencies.

For more information on specifics of the options and potential course of action, please contact the Industry Skills Specialist at AIS, Paul Humphreys; M: 0429 670 588 | E: paul.humphreys@aistnds.org.au.

Also, feel free to contact Tony Palladino at NSW UE ITAB at tony@uensw.com.au to discuss respective matters of concern or identified issues.


2. MSA ANNOUNCES 3rd ROUND OF SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WORKERS IN MANUFACTURING

Manufacturing Skills Australia (MSA) Industry Development Fund (IDF) has announced that it, “is pleased to promote that it is giving away $80,000!” to successful applicants to develop their skills and knowledge through research, education and/or training within the Manufacturing industries.

MSA IDF is seeking applications from around Australia with a theme of Innovation in manufacturing.  The outline states, “If you are working at any level in manufacturing and you are passionate about innovation, we want to help you achieve your goals. We are encouraging people that work or study in sectors and occupations associated with manufacturing.”

These manufacturing industries include:

  • metal, engineering and boating
  • aerospace
  • process manufacturing, including chemicals, hydrocarbons, mineral products, plastics and rubber
  • laboratory operations
  • recreational vehicles
  • textiles, clothing and footwear
  • furnishing
  • competitive systems and practices
  • environmental monitoring and sustainable operations.

Applicants can apply for between $1,000 and $10,000 to develop their skills and knowledge through research, education and/or training. Application will be accepted between 1 July 2021 and 31 August 2021.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

“Send a short (60 second) video and a few short paragraphs explaining what this opportunity for a support payment would mean for you, your career, your industry.”

Please refer to the attached flyer for further information. If you have any further questions or wish to apply, please submit your proposal to Leon Drury, Executive Officer MSA: leon.drury@mskills.org.au


3. NCVER DECEMBER QTR 2020 APPRENTICE AND TRAINEE NUMBERS RELEASED

NCVER has advised that it has released the Apprentices and Trainees 2020 — December Quarter Report.  The Report, provides a national picture of apprentice and trainee activity, including both quarterly and annual figures that can be broken down by state and territory.  The December Report is a quality data point for identifying trends in apprentice and trainee numbers, in that it takes into account the hole year’s activity.

Highlights from the Report are:

  • In-training as at 31 December 2020:
  • There were 297,920 apprentices and trainees in-training as at 31 December 2020, an increase of 13.9% from 31 December 2019.
  • For NSW 93,880 apprentices and trainees in-training as at 31 December 2020, an increase of 13.6% from 31 December 2019.
  • Quarterly training activity:
  • In the December quarter 2020, compared with the December quarter 2019:
    • commencements increased by 141.5%, to 69,320
    • completions decreased by 15.7%, to 22,255
    • cancellations and withdrawals decreased by 4.5%, to 19,140
  • Training activity: 12-month ending series
  • In the 12 months ending 31 December 2020, compared with the 12 months ending 31 December 2019:
    • commencements increased by 10.6%, to 167,240 (NSW 50,350 up 15.2%)
    • trades were 75,480 up 8.3% (NSW 22,365 up 4.7%)
    • completions decreased by 14.9%, to 75,815 (NSW decreased 12.0% to 22,795)
    • cancellations and withdrawals decreased by 14.9%, to 71,710 (NSW decreased 14.0% to 24,400)

For more information or wish to download the data reports, visit the link: APPRENTICES AND TRAINEES 2020: DECEMBER QUARTER – AUSTRALIA


4. NSC RELEASES 2021 SKILLS PRIORITY LIST

The National Skills Commission (NSC) has released its 2021 Skills Priority List.  The NSC states, “The NSC has responsibility for regularly reviewing the national skills needs of Australia and producing a Skills Priority List (SPL).

The SPL provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level. The future demand rating (available nationally) is a proportional measure that expresses the prospects for an occupation relative to that occupation’s size.

Electricians as well as ICT occupations are listed as national shortage, with strong future demand, whilst the occupation of refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) is listed as in national shortage, with moderate future demand.  Electrical Lineworkers, cable jointers and telecommunications technicians are also listed as in national shortage, with moderate future demand.

From anecdotal evidence the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) seem somewhat questionable given the NSW Productivity Commission White Paper noted that skill shortages in this occupation have been evident in 29 of the last 30 years reporting (

A copy of the Report is attached and can also be downloaded from the following link:  NSC SKILLS PRIORITY LIST JUNE 2021


5. NSW GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES UPDATED RULES AROUND QR CODE CHECK-IN

The NSW Government has announced that from 12 July 2021, more businesses and organisations will need a NSW Government QR code so that staff and customers can check in using the Service NSW app.

“Check the list of premises that need to comply.

To access the NSW Government QR code, “check if you’ve already registered as COVID Safe”.

If you haven’t yet registered as COVID Safe, you’ll need to register to access your NSW Government QR code.

COVID Safe resources

Once you have registered, you will receive:

  • a unique QR code for COVID Safe Check-in with the Service NSW app
  • the Service NSW Check-in webform, an online form for checking in customers who can’t use the QR code
  • posters for your premises and social media badges
  • a link to your personalised resources online.

To Register go to:  https://www.nsw.gov.au/register-your-business-as-covid-safe#covid-safe-resources

The Service NSW COVID-Safe check-in is easy for customers to use from within the Service NSW app.  There are more than 5.2 million active users of the Service NSW app.

The data captured by the Service NSW COVID Safe check-in is only used for the purposes of contact tracing by NSW Health. It is deleted after 28 days.”


6. AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY STANDARDS UE NEWS

6.1. ESI GENERATION TRAINING PACKAGE

The ESI Generation Industry Reference Committee has submitted the Case for Endorsement and draft Training Package materials for the Remote Area Essential Service, Operations Personnel and Wind Power Generation projects to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee for their consideration.

The proposed materials address priority skills need of the ESI Generation Industry and include updates to nine qualifications, four Skill Sets and 159 Units of Competency.

  1. Certificate II in Remote Area Essential Service has been updated.
  2. Operations Personnel – move to renewable energy power generation, increasing automation of power generation control systems and data analytics.
  3. Certificate IV in Large Scale Wind Generation and associated Units of Competency.

For more information on these projects, please contact the Industry Skills Manager:  Andrew Fitisemanu, Industry Skills Manager; M: 0419 658 587 | E: andrew.fitisemanu@aistnds.org.au

6.2. SMEs NEEDED FOR TD&R SECTOR TRAINING PACKAGE

The Refresher Skills, Transmission Structures and Power and Network Systems projects have commenced and the ESI Transmission, Distribution and Rail Industry Reference Committee is forming a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for each.

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) industry expertise and insight is welcomed to help review and develop Training Package materials for the following projects:

  1. Refresher Skills project will review 11 Units of Competency, 18 Skill Sets and develop eight new units
  2. Transmission Structures project will review one qualification, UET20419 Certificate II in Transmission Structure and Line Assembly and five Units of Competency
  3. Power and Network Systems – project will review six qualifications and 104 Units of Competency (Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma qualifications will be reviewed)

Please register your interest via the project pages, by close of business Thursday, 15 July 2021.

For further details on the background and project deliverables, please contact the Industry Skills Manager, Erin Knudsen, Industry Skills Manager; M: 0418 434 302 | E: erin.knudsen@aistnds.org.au.

6.3. GAS TRAINING PACKAGE – AISC REINSTATES DELETED LPG UNITS

The Australian Industry Standards Committee (AISC) considered a request from the Gas IRC to reinstate two units of competency related to working with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The units have had zero enrolments since 2016 so were recently archived on the national training register, because of the AISC streamlining exercise conducted at the request of Skills Ministers in late 2020.

The Committee agreed to the reinstatement of the units on the condition that the Gas IRC includes these units in a forthcoming Case for Change to ensure they are reviewed and updated to be fit-for-purpose and to support nationally-recognised training.

For more information on these projects, please contact the Director of IRC Operations, Klausch Schmidt; T (03) 9604 7223 | M 0417 568 967; klausch.schmidt@aistnds.org.au

6.4. GAS TRAINING PACKAGE –SUBMISSION

The Gas Industry Reference Committee has submitted the Case for Endorsement and draft Training Package materials for the following, to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee for their consideration and endorsement:

  1. Hydrogen Gas Technology,
  2. Storage and Reinjection of Gas, and
  3. Data Loggers. 

The proposed materials from the projects address priority skills needs for the Gas Industry. These include 14 new Units of Competency and three new Skill Sets, three updated qualifications and 18 revised units.

For more detailed information about the individual projects, please view the project pages or contact the Industry Skills Manager, Andrew Fitisemanu; M: 0419 658 587 | E: andrew.fitisemanu@aistnds.org.au

6.5. ELECTROTECHNOLOGY TRAINING PACKAGE –SUBMISSION

The Electrotechnology Industry Reference Committee (IRC) has submitted the Case for Endorsement and draft Training Package materials for the following, to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee for their consideration and endorsement:

  1. Emergency Lighting and Alarm Systems/Fire and Smoke Control – A new Unit of Competency and Skill Set have been developed, and one existing updated.
  2. Variable Refrigerant Flow AC Systems – a new Unit of Competency and Skill Set.
  3. Reinstatement of Advanced Diploma of Instrumentation and Control Engineering deleted in version 2.0.
  4. The Case for Endorsement also includes Renewable Technologies materials, which were developed as part of a broader Transmission, Distribution and Rail Sector Training Package project.

For more information on these projects, please contact the Industry Skills Specialist, Paul Humphreys; M: 0429 670 588 | E: paul.humphreys@aistnds.org.au


7. ASQA HAS A WAY TO GO

Stephen Matchett, Editor at Campus Morning Mail reports on the recently released Auditor General’s report on the Effectiveness of Planning and Implementation of Reform by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), 29 June 2021, stating, “The VET regulator is but a year into a reform process – the Australian National Audit Office is not entirely impressed.”

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) Report concluded:

  • ASQA is not yet fully effective in planning and implementing the reform to the regulation of the VET sector.
  • ASQA’s strategic planning and governance arrangements for the reform have been developing, but do not yet effectively support the implementation of the reform.
  • ASQA’s current activities to transition to the proposed regulatory approach are partially effective. Effective transition, requires ASQA to improve its:
    • program management framework, by strengthening its focus on quality and program risk management; and
    • monitoring and reporting on its performance, including the progressive monitoring of the impact of the transition.
  • ASQA has effectively engaged with the VET sector about its transition to the proposed regulatory approach.

Matchett, summarises the four key recommendations as follows: “Among numerous particulars, the ANAO urges ASQA to;

  • align its corporate plan with the recommendations of last year’s rapid review of the agency
  • improve its quality control
  • improve its approach to regulatory risk management
  • develop measures to assess performance against reform targets”

ASQA agreed to all four recommendations.

He states also, “ASQA management also recently addressed questions on a range of staffing issues in Senate Estimates, reported by Claire Field in CMM, June 9 HERE. (“ASQA officials faced a range of difficult questions about staffing (watch online, starts at 16.07.47). The questions were particularly concerning given they come at the same time that ASQA is implementing a very different self-assurance regulatory model.”)

To access the ANAO Report visit the following link:  EFFECTIVENESS OF PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF REFORM BY ASQA or download the Report (No. 48 2020-21) HERE.


8. WOOLWORTHS – NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP RECRUITMENT DRIVE

Sandra Rossi, Editor at Climate Control News (CCN) reports that, “Woolworths has launched a recruitment drive for apprentice refrigeration technicians.

Apprenticeship program manager for the retail giant, Caroline Fitzgerald, said apprentices are being sought to join teams across most states in Australia.  “Our refrigeration teams play a crucial role in the operation of our stores and these apprentices will help install the latest refrigeration systems and provide important maintenance,” Fitzgerald said …

“We hope to see candidates from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences in this round and encourage you to let anyone know who may be interested.”

For job details visit: https://lnkd.in/gzWWSwk.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE


9. AIR CONDITIONING BAN

Sandra Rossi, Editor at Climate Control News (CCN) reports that, “The Federal Government is proposing a ban on small air conditioning units using high Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants. …

The proposed ban is on the import and manufacture of small air conditioners with up to a 2.6 kg refrigerant charge using refrigerant with a GWP over 750.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE


10. RAC SKILL SETS ADDED TO SKILLING FOR RECOVERY – PRIORITY PART QUALIFICATIONS LIST

Training Services NSW has updated the Skilling for Recovery – Priority Part Qualifications List to include the following Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) Skill Sets:

  • UEESS00152 RAC – Install and Commission Flammable Refrigerant Air Cond. and Refrigeration Systems Skill Set
  • UEESS00154 RAC – Service and Repair Ammonia Refrigeration Systems Skill Set
  • UEESS00156 RAC – Service and Repair Carbon Dioxide Refrigeration Systems Skill Set
  • UEESS00157 RAC – Service and Repair Flammable Refrigerant Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Skill Set

Part qualifications on the List are either nationally accredited skills set or locally designed skills groups that have been approved for delivery under Skilling for Recovery by the National Skills Commission.

To access the latest copy of the Skilling for Recovery – Priority Part Qualifications List visit the Training Services NSW website at:  SMART AND SKILLED – NSW SKILLS LIST.  Download a copy of the Skilling for Recovery – Priority Part Qualifications List (PDF Version v4.1 – 25/06/2021): HERE.


11. NEW $5M ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM TO BOOST HYDROGEN CAPABILITIES

Sean Carroll Editor at Electrical Connection reports on, “a new $5 million program has been announced and will be led by the CSIRO. It aims to strengthen the development of Australia’s hydrogen industry by supporting research, development and demonstration (RD&D) collaborations with international research organisations.

The two-year Hydrogen RD&D International Collaboration Program is a key milestone in CSIRO’s recently launched Hydrogen Industry Mission. …

Hydrogen has several use cases in the electrotechnology industry …”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE


12. BY 2025 THE IT INDUSTRY COULD USE 20% OF ALL ELECTRICITY PRODUCED

APT Publications Transmission & Distribution – 2021:Issue 3 (June-July edition) includes an interesting article on future electricity consumption by the IT sector.  Jeff Kettle reports on how a growing proportion of IT energy consumption comes from data centres (where many high-end servers are housed and use considerable energy).  They are central to data transmission and the internet of things.  He states, “Research estimates that by 2025, the IT Industry could use 20% of all electricity produced and emit up to 505% of the world’s carbon emissions.  That’s more than most countries’ total emissions bar China, India and the US.

… “But as we rely on the internet to process, use and store ever more data, the power it uses is increasing.  For the sake of our planet, we need to make the web more sustainable.”

Couple this projection and the need to explore sustainable practices in electricity generation, there is nonetheless a growing need to upgrade electricity generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure to support other energy using conveniences such as Electric Vehicle (EV) charging as electric vehicle numbers rapidly increase, which too adds more pressure on the environment and meeting net zero energy targets.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE (GO TO PAGE 64)


13. WORKER SUFFERS ELECTRIC SHOCK FORMING CONCRETE SLAB

Queensland’s eSafe Incident Alert reports of a worker who suffered an electric shock whilst forming concrete slab next to an existing structure.  The report states, “Initial enquiries indicate he was using a sledgehammer to drive a star picket into the ground to support the wooden framework. As he hammered the star picket into the ground it contacted an energised electric cable which gave him an electric shock.

Investigations are continuing.”

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


14. NSW LEADING THE CHARGE WITH ELECTRIC VEHICLE REVOLUTION

To that end, APT Publications Transmission & Distribution – 2021:Issue 3 (June-July edition) featured a concurrent article on how NSW is leading the charge with Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution.  The article reports on the NSW Government’s strategy to make NSW the best place in Australia to buy and drive and Electric Vehicle (EV).  It states, “Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said $490 million is being committed in the 2021-22 NSW Budget to cut taxes, incentives and reduce barriers for electric vehicle purchases over the next four years. …

Our strategy also commences long-term major tax reform.  We begin the process of permanently phasing out stamp duty on electric vehicles and a deferred transition to a fair and sustainable per-kilometre road user charge for electric vehicles.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE – ON HOW THE NSW GOVERNMENT WILL PROMOTE EVs & PROVIDE INCENTIVES TO INCREASE NUMBERS (PAGE 66)


15. SOLAR SUPPLY CHAIN COSTS: A PASSING CLOUD?

The joint Newsletter of Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and Australian Energy Council (AEC), EnergyInsider report on the rising cost of solar PVs.  The EnergyInsider states, “For the first time in at least a decade the cost of solar PV to end users has been rising. This has been driven by an increase in raw material costs, polysilicon in particular, which has changed the trend of continuously falling prices for solar that we have come to expect. So are there any implications for solar in Australia? We take a look here.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

For more, contact the Australian Energy Council


16. ENERGY QUEENSLAND – POLARITY TESTING

Energy Networks Australia (ENA) latest Energy Networks Updated Newsletter reports on Energy Queensland’s submission to the ENA 2020 Network Innovation Awards for reducing polarity testing process incidents to zero since its 2019.  The Newsletter states, “Each year, thousands of polarity tests are carried out by Energy Queensland. Getting tests wrong potentially means equipment damage or serious injury to crews or the community. Energy Queensland completely revamped the testing process including the test steps, re-wrote the manual, introduced innovative safe ways of testing and training for all levels of field experience.

This transferable and scalable new process has reduced polarity testing process incidents to zero since its 2019 implementation. This program formed the basis for Energy Queensland’s submission to the ENA 2020 Network Innovation Awards.”

READ MORE ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT INITIATIVE


17. REVIEW OF SOLAR FEED-IN TARIFF BENCHMARKS

iPart has released its Final Report on solar feed-in tariff benchmarks.  It has set a solar feed-in tariff benchmark of 4.6 to 5.5 c/kWh for 2021‑22.  This is a guide for customers about how much they can expect to receive from their retail for their excess solar electricity that is fed into the grid.

IPart’s circular states, “They are based on the likely wholesale value of electricity exported to the grid from solar panels.

The benchmark for 2021-22 is lower than the 2020-21 benchmark because wholesale prices are falling. Increased solar penetration has decreased demand for electricity from the National Electricity Market in the middle of the day when solar exports are highest, resulting in lower wholesale prices. Lower wholesale prices should also mean retail prices fall.

The main benefit of solar panels is that customers can buy less electricity from their retailer by using the electricity that they generate with their panels. For a typical customer with 5 kW solar panels, these savings can be around $450 per year. In comparison, these customers would earn about $300 per year for excess electricity exported to the grid on a feed-in tariff within our final benchmark range.

Please see our review page for more information on our benchmarks.”

A copy of the Final Report can be obtained via the following link:  FINAL REPORT

The latest FACT SHEET is attached.