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News Service 60 – NSW apprenticeship & trainee numbers grow, submissions sought ASP Review, Free construction course SA, VET Register survey, Deeming Competence, Similar qualifications report, Safety News, Industry news

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  1. NSW APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINEESHIP NUMBERS GROW, AS AT 1 JUNE 2021
  2. ASP REVIEW – ISSUES PAPER FOR COMMENT
  3. STANDARDS AUSTRALIA PROVIDES TEMPORARY FREE ACCESS TO MANDATORY CONSTRUCTION COURSE
  4. HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF VET – TRAINING.GOV.AU
  5. DEEMING COMPETENCE
  6. NSC RELEASES QUALIFICATION SIMILARITY ANALYSIS REPORT
  7. SAFE WORK AUSTRALIA’S DATA IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
  8. SAFEWORK NSW – FREE VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS FOR CONSTRUCTION SITE SUPERVISORS AUGUST, SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER 2021
  9. ELECTRICAL FIRES AND ARC FAULT DETECTION DEVICES (AFDD)
  10. CHARGING UP A TWO-WAY STREET
  11. FORECASTING ENERGY TRENDS
  12. QLD TO CELEBRATE ELECTRICITY SAFETY WEEK
  13. 100% RENEWABLE GRID: A JOURNEY THROUGH UNCHARTED TERRITORY

1. NSW APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINEESHIP NUMBERS GROW, AS AT 1 JUNE 2021

NSW’s apprenticeship and trainee numbers demonstrated significant growth in numbers to 1 June 2021, with Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician representing the top profile in both number and ranking.  There are 10,588 electrical apprentices in training as of 1 June 2021.  The growth in apprentice and trainee numbers is remarkable given the COVID-19 issues that have lingered on since early last year and continue to reign havoc on the NSW community.  The following provides a summary of NSW apprenticeship and traineeship data to 1 June 2021:

Apprentices and traineesAs of 1 June 2021
Total Apprentices and Trainees in training as at 9 June 2020 as at 1 June 2021  85,595 102,541 (increase of 16,946 / 19.8%)
Total Apprentices in training as at 9 June 2020 as at 1 June 2021  58,556 63,466 (increase of 4,910 / 8.4%)
Total Trainees * in training as at 9 June 2020 as at 1 June 2021  27,039 39,075 (increase of 12,036 / 44.5%)
* Total Existing Worker Trainees in training as at 9 June 2020 as at 1 May 2021  1,343 6,633 (increase of 5,181 / 394%)
Top 5 Apprentice in training vocationsCertificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician – 10,588 Certificate III in Carpentry – 9,637 Certificate III in Plumbing – 5,008 Certificate III in Light vehicle mechanical Tech – 4,064 Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade – 2,726
Top 5 Trainee in training vocationsCertificate III in Early Childhood Educ & Care – 3,332 Certificate III in Retail – 3,239 Certificate IV Business Services – Leadership & Mgmt – 2,172Certificate III in Hospitality – 2,093Certificate IV Real Estate Practice – 1,972
Apprenticeship and Traineeship approvals: February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021  5,884 (increase of 21% compared to 2020 or decrease of 3% compared to 2019) 7,791 (increase of 63.5% compared to 2020 or 40% compared to 2019) 5,434 (increase of 47.4% compared to 2020 or 43% compared to 2019) 5,570 (increase of 130% compared to 2020 or 46% compared to 2019)
Apprenticeship approvals: February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021  2,825 (decrease of 9% compared to 2020 or decrease of 30% compared to 2019) 3,989 (increase of 55% compared to 2020 or 31% compared to 2019) 2,613 (increase of 50% compared to 2020 or 73% compared to 2019) 2,398 (increase of 115% compared to 2020 or 65% compared to 2019)
Traineeship approvals: February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021  3,059 (increase of 73% when comparted to 2020 or 52% compared to 2019) 3,802 (increase of 73.1% compared to 2020 or 51% compared to 2019) 2821 (increase of 45% when compared to 2020 or 24% compared to 2019) 3,172 (increase of 142% compared to 2021 or 40% compared to 2019)
Top 5 Apprenticeship vocations approved in April 2021Certificate III in Carpentry – 429Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician – 287Certificate III in Plumbing – 166Certificate III in Light vehicle mechanical Tech – 157Certificate III in Hairdressing – 122
Top 5 Traineeship vocations approved in April 2021Certificate III in Early Childhood Educ & Care – 326Certificate III in Retail – 323Certificate IV in Real Estate – 234Certificate III in Business – 119Certificate III in Hospitality – 103
Source Training Services NSW Tableau
NSW APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINEESHIP NUMBERS, AS AT 1 JUNE 2021

2. ASP REVIEW – ISSUES PAPER FOR COMMENT

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) has advised that it is reviewing the Accredited Service Provider (ASP) Scheme to examine the continued need for and arrangements to deliver contestable energy connection services as regulated through the Scheme.  It is seeking submission from interested stakeholders.

Submissions are due by 11:59pm, Friday 6 August 2021

The announcement states, “We would appreciate your input into the review as the Scheme directly affects your operations. The Issues Paper includes questions to guide the future approach. Please make a submission including your answers to the questions by email. The Issues Paper includes guidance on how to make a submission. You can find the issues paper at https://energy.nsw.gov.au/asp-scheme-review”.

The ASP Review in more detail

“The ASP Scheme was last reviewed in 2010. Since that time, there has been a substantial increase in the estimated value of contestable works, commencement of Power of Choice metering arrangements, increase in connection of renewable energy generation to the grid and safety management and customer service expectations have changed.

The Terms of Reference for this current Review centre on these questions:

  • Does the current Scheme address its intended purpose of supporting contestable services?
  • To what extent does the Scheme deliver against the objectives of competence, consumer access and safety?
  • What arrangements are needed to ensure the scheme administration meets contemporary customer service expectations?
  • What arrangements are needed to ensure the scheme is responsive to industry change, technological advancements and training updates into the future?”
  • If you have any questions about the review, please contact Greg Davies at The Insight Partnership on 0412 845 094 or greg@insightpartnership.com.au.”

You can make a submission on the Accredited Service Provider Scheme Review by emailing submissions to: asp.consultation@planning.nsw.gov.au


3. STANDARDS AUSTRALIA PROVIDES TEMPORARY FREE ACCESS TO MANDATORY CONSTRUCTION COURSE

In these challenging times in NSW Standards Australia has stepped up in partnership with the NSW Office of the Building Commissioner and TAFE NSW, has decided to temporarily give free access to the e-learning module The value of Australian Standards.

The public statement issues 22 July 2021 states, “The recent COVID restrictions have forced New South Wales into lockdown again, and for the first time, have put the brakes on the construction industry, impacting almost 250,000 trades professionals.

While tools are down, Standards Australia … “ will temporarily give free access to the e-learning module.

“The module provides an overview of Australia’s building and plumbing regulatory framework, Standards Australia’s responsibilities to the NSW government and the National Construction Code, how and why standards are used in construction and the implications of not adhering to relevant standards.  Participants will also get insight into standards development and the different types of existing standards.

Once enrolled, participants will have six months to access the two-hour online course and obtain a certificate upon completing the assessment quiz.”

The course explains how standards fit into the complex network of regulation, codes and technical infrastructure in Australia.  Visit: CONSTRUCT NSW COURSE


4. HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF VET – TRAINING.GOV.AU

TAFE Directors Australia, Craig Robertson reports in its latest newsletter of 26 July 2021 that, “Following a recent budget announcement, the Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment has received funding over the next four years to redesign the National Training Register (training.gov.au or TGA). 

TGA is central to the operation and regulation of VET.  It is the authoritative source of information on Nationally Recognised Training components and provides details of all registered VET training providers and their respective scopes. In line with recent changes to legislative requirements, ASQA now also publishes increased information relating to regulatory decisions made within their jurisdiction on TGA.”

To this end, “the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) has engaged HSD to conduct a technical assessment and user research to inform future enhancements to the National Training Register (NTR). 

Ithaca Group is working with HSD to gather insights from key stakeholders in the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

The consultants are seeking your views and experiences in relation to training.gov.au (TGA) to help understand user needs and expectations for the NTR.

Readers are encourages to provide their feedback on the National Register of VET – USER RESEARCH RTO SURVEY

The survey closes 20 August 2021.

One has to question why it is only being promoted to RTOs when the training.gov.au site has wider stakeholder appeal and usage, especially for organisations and employees, who may use units of competency on the authoritative website as a national benchmark in an array of allied instruments, activities and internal HR/training processes?


5. DEEMING COMPETENCE

Bruce Hall at Master Electricians Australia (MEA) provides an interesting article in the technical section of the July edition of the Electrical Contracting Engineering Circuit, on the deeming of competence, and the role and responsibilities employers in terms of duty of care and ensuring the competence of their employees.  He states, “Electrical contracting businesses must ensure their staff have the necessary skills to safely undertake any work performed. This includes apprentices and trainees who must have skills up to the level at which they would be expected to be working at and the not engaged in tasks beyond their capabilities.  This is called “deeming competence”.

Some employees will state they have employed persons, such as electricians, who have a licence, so why do they need to ensure further competence?  Also, often states is that the apprentices training is up to the training organisation they go to and not the employer, so why does the employer need to check up on the apprentice’s skills?

The answer …

This is why it is vital to ensure that a person who may have the relevant trade licences is also checked to be competent in your businesses’ day to day work. …

All workers should be examined initially and then further on a regular basis to show they have a continued understanding of the work they do.”

To practitioners and employers in the industry, this is a very interesting and useful article in relation to issues associated with verification of employee competency and more so currency of competency.  It is much worthy of a read.

READ MORE ON DEEMING COMPETENCE HERE – page 22-23


6. NSC RELEASES QUALIFICATION SIMILARITY ANALYSIS REPORT

The National Skills Commission (NSC) has released its most recent report on the analysis it has undertaken on the similarity of qualifications across all Training Packages.  Released on the 23 July 2021, it states, “This paper outlines the methodology used in the exploratory analysis of the similarity of VET courses across and within training packages in Australia. This analysis employed natural language processing to calculate similarity scores for each national VET qualification to all other qualifications across all training packages.

Read the methodology paper and explore the searchable dashboard to search for a qualification and see other similar qualifications, ranked in similarity from very high, to high, moderate and low.”

Access the Report HERE

The NSC is seeking feedback on the report

Readers are invited to provide feedback or suggestions for use cases, email skillsintelligence@skillscommission.gov.au.

The interesting aspect of this report is that the NSC is using machine learning to help it handle large quantities of data in a way which could not be done with other techniques.   … “Machine learning techniques can also be applied to better understand the education and skills system to compare the similarity of qualifications. This paper analyses the similarities between VET courses across, and within, training packages in Australia. This has been done using natural language processing, which is a branch of machine learning, to calculate similarity scores.”  For more information on machine learning methodology uses visit:  https://www.nationalskillscommission.gov.au/qualification-similarity-analysis/introduction


7. SAFE WORK AUSTRALIA’S DATA IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

Safe Work Australia collects, analyses and publishes data and information on work health and safety and workers’ compensation.  Explore the current suite of data products.

Reporting and statistics include:

In addition to the annual data reports, the Agency undertakes analysis on specific issues or areas and produces analytical reports and data snapshots.”


8. SAFEWORK NSW – FREE VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS FOR CONSTRUCTION SITE SUPERVISORS AUGUST, SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER 2021

SafeWork NSW has announced and is inviting supervisors in the industry to participate in its Construction Site Supervisor workshops, which continue to be booked out!  SafeWork NSW states, “Our latest series of workshops was attended by more than 40 site supervisors at each workshop.  This is an outstanding achievement, and we are committed to helping industry; we’re very proud. These workshops are a part of our on-going commitment to building the work, health and safety capabilities of the construction industry. Our next run of workshops will start mid-August, with tickets being released on the 14 July 2020.”

As the workshops fill up fast, be sure to register yourself and forward onto your colleagues to register their attendance to these sessions by clicking on the dates below.

Tickets available 14 July 2021

11 August 2021                      10am to 12pm          Module 1 – WHS Responsibilities and Influence

18 August 2021                      10am to 12pm          Module 2 – Consultation & Communication

25 August 2021                      10am to 12 pm         Module 3 – Risk Management

1 September 2021                10am to 12pm          Module 4 – Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS)

8 September 2021                10am to 12pm          Module 5 – High Risk Work Licences

Tickets available 25 August 2021

22 September 2021              10am to 12pm          Module 1 – WHS Responsibilities and Influence

29 September 2021              10am to 12pm          Module 2 – Consultation & Communication

6 October 2021                     10am to 12pm          Module 3 – Risk Management

13 October 2021                   10am to 12pm          Module 4 – Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS)

20 October 2021                   10am to 12pm          Module 5 – High Risk Work Licences

Click on any of the dates above to register your attendance at any or all of the workshops.  We appreciate your support and look forward to continuing to work with the Construction and Building industry to build capability.”


9. ELECTRICAL FIRES AND ARC FAULT DETECTION DEVICES (AFDD)

Chris Halliday at PowerLogic includes an interesting article in its PowerLogic’s latest Newsletter, regarding Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs), which may be used in Australian homes as provided in the Wiring Rules at Rule 2.9.  Chris explores, what is the risk of an electrical initiated fire in residential premises and how many residential fires are caused by electricity?  He states, “The following statistics are from an Australian Government report into fatal residential fires:

  • It seems there may be approx. 20,000 residential fires/year across Australia (this is difficult to confirm due to the ambiguous wording of the report).
  • More than one person dies in a residential fire very week (approx. 64 deaths/year).
  • Most injuries and deaths result from smoke and toxic fume inhalation.
  • Most preventable fires are caused by human factors.
  • Smoking was a primary cause.
  • Fatality rate of 0.29/100,000 persons (approx. equivalent to someone dying in a natural disaster).
  • Deaths from injuries occur as far out as 12 months later but most die in the same month that the fire occurred.
  • 1/3 of fire causes are not known.
  • 10.9% deaths from known fire causes are attributed to electrical faults.
  • Most people died from electrical faults between 12 am and 4am.
  • Misuse of electrical equipment also ranked highly.
  • July/August were the worst months for residential fires.

Using the same percentage for deaths caused by electrical fires and applying this to 2/3 of the total number of fires, it is estimated that there are approximately 1,400 electrical fault initiated fires in Australia per year (if the total number of fires/year is correct).  That is around four electrical initiated fires per day across Australia.

Recent stats for residential fires from the USA for the 2017-2019 period when compared to Australian based on numbers of households or populations, Australia’s comparable rate is around 600 electrical fires/year. It seems we have far more electrical initiated fires than the USA (again, if the total number of fires/year is correct).

Whilst 600 or even 1,400 homes catching fire/year from electrical faults, of around 9.2 million homes (Bureau of Statistics) is a tiny percentage, but what if one of those fires caused the death of one of your loved ones?

A colleague from Victoria did some analysis a few years ago and found that the introduction of RCD’s reduced electrical initiated fires significantly. RCD’s have the obvious benefits of reducing electrocutions as well.

Many residential properties still have rewireable fuse and circuit breaker protection. Single phase RCBO/AFDD combos take up 3 poles width, this will make a residential switchboard quite large.”

For more information contact Chris Halliday at PoweLogic on 0427 675 181 or email: chris@powerlogic.com.au or visit the website for more the latest information or courses on electric shock investigations: https://www.powerlogic.com.au/


10. CHARGING UP A TWO-WAY STREET

Sean Carroll at Electrical Connection, in its 9th July 2021 news article reports on the prospects of Electrical Vehicles (EVs) coming to the rescue of other EVs when a battery goes flat, or even back up a household system.  Sean states, “Researchers say electric vehicles could come to each other’s rescue when a battery goes flat, or even back up a household system. Sean Carroll finds out more. The number of electric vehicles on Australian streets will increase 45% by 2030, according to a recent paper in the journal Applied Energy.

One of the authors, Macquarie University post-doctoral research fellow Seyedfoad Taghizadeh, says the limited availability of charging stations is a barrier to market growth in EVs.

… Recognising this as a barrier to EV adoption, Seyedfoad and his Macquarie University colleagues have developed an intelligent charger, a two-way device with the potential to ease the anxieties of owners and potential buyers. … READ MORE HERE


11. FORECASTING ENERGY TRENDS

Sandra Rossi, Editor at Climate Control News (CCN) reports on a recent Monash University, the Future Home Life report, which presents 45 trends and 10 principles to inform energy planning and forecasting for future home life.  The article of 14 July 2021, states, “A team of researchers from the ETLab, part of the Faculty of Information Technology and the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at Monash University, have uncovered changing digital lifestyles and emerging home trends of everyday Australians, and how these activities are likely to affect energy planning for future residential living.

The team investigated seven areas of home life, where the majority of energy demand takes place at present or is anticipated to increase in the future. These include charging and mobility, cooking and eating, heating and cooling and working and studying from home.

As emerging technologies, platforms and services become part of people’s digital lifestyles, their activities across all these areas are changing, along with their relationship to energy.

“The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the lifestyle trends we uncovered, but many householders we spoke to expect them to continue,” Strengers said.

For instance, people are becoming more interested in health and care technologies, such as air purifiers, to remove allergens and pathogens related to bushfire smoke, pets or pollen, or alleviate concerns about the spread of coronavirus.”

READ MORE HERE


12. QLD TO CELEBRATE ELECTRICITY SAFETY WEEK

Queensland will hold its annual Electricity Safety Week during 6–9 September 2021!  WorkSafe Queensland’s Electrical Safety Office is inviting industry leaders, electrical workers, contractors and apprentices to get involved, advising it is a great opportunity to learn about safety in the electrical industry.

A series of events are available for stakeholders to participate in.  These include the following:

  1. Electrical apprentice safety webinar – 9am, Tuesday 7 September 2021

A free live webinar for electrical apprentices.

Join four electrical apprentices of the year winners in a panel session about what they learnt and how they survived their apprenticeship – no questions are off-limits!

John Brady from Mates in Construction will also join us to discuss mental health for young workers in the construction and electrical industries.

View all the speakers and full program

  1. Electricity Safety Summit – 6:45am, Wednesday 8 September 2021

An in-person breakfast for electrical industry leaders that will also be livestreamed.

Hear from industry experts about building workforce competency including Queensland Training Ombudsman Geoff Favell and Stacey Ozolins from QBCC.

View all the speakers and full program

  1. Electrical contractor webinar – 9am, Thursday 9 September 2021

A free live webinar for electrical contractors, electricians and anyone working in the electrical industry.

Hear from Paul Spinks, a paramedic and trauma counsellor about managing your mental health and get the latest advice and updates from electrical safety experts.

View all the speakers and full program

  1. Electrical safety in rental properties webinar – 10am, Friday 10 September 2021

A free live webinar for landlords and property managers.

Hear from electrical safety experts, a work health and safety prosecutor, an electrical distributor and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services to understand the legal obligations you have to keep your property electrically safe.

View all the speakers and full program

  1. Host your own event

Host your own event during Electricity Safety Week or get your workplace together to watch one of our free webinars for your chance to win one of six trade equipment gift vouchers valued at $100.

HOST YOUR OWN EVENT


13. 100% RENEWABLE GRID: A JOURNEY THROUGH UNCHARTED TERRITORY

Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and the Australian Energy Council (AEC) report in their latest newsletter, EnergyInsider (22 July 2021) that the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) had received headlines last week with its goal of delivering capability for the grid to manage 100 per cent renewables at any moment by 2025.  It stated, “The announcement was generally well-received but, unfortunately, misreported as targeting the running of the NEM entirely on renewables.  Industry participants may ask why AEMO would be indicating 100 per cent renewables capability by 2025, which is not to say that progress towards a lower emissions market isn’t welcome.  …

So, in principle, AEMO’s goal to prepare the grid for increasing volumes of renewable generation is wise, and we can all agree that the market operator should prepare the grid for the decarbonised future we are all working towards.  But to achieve 100 per cent capability by 2025 is, as noted by AEMO, ‘uncharted territory’.”

READ MORE.

For more, contact Hamish Fitzsimmons, Australian Energy Council