News Service 61 – Electrotechnology IRC workshop to review authentic workplace evidence, Questioning NSW VET investment & returns, TAFETALKS, Experts needed for Careers NSW, Tradies blast stereotyping, NCVER Reports, Standards webinars, and Energy Industry News
- WORKSHOP WILL REVIEW AUTHENTIC WORKPLACE EVIDENCE REQUIREMENT IN ELECTRICIAN’S QUALIFICATION
- WHY DOES NSW DO LESS WITH MORE IN VET
- REMINDER TO HAVE YOUR SAY – ASP SCHEME REVIEW AND OFT SURVEY ABOUT SUPERVISION OF ELECTRICAL SUPPORT WORKERS AND APPRENTICES
- TAFETALKS: NEW WORLD – NEW APPROACHES – LESSONS FROM CANADA
- ASSISTANCE IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL INDUSTRY EXPERTS FOR CAREERS NSW
- TRADIES BLAST THE BAD BOGAN STEREOTYPES
- NCVER REPORT 1 – OVER 240,000 STUDENTS UNDERTAKING VET IN SCHOOLS
- NCVER REPORT 2 – PANDEMIC IMPACT ON INDUSTRY INNOVATION, SKILLS, AND NEED FOR TRAINING
- AS/NZS 61439 WEBINARS
- NEW DATA HIGHLIGHTS THE VALUE OF GAS IN HOMES
- 2021 ENERGY NETWORK INDUSTRY AWARDS
- DEMAND, COAL RECOVERS FROM COVID: IEA
- ELECTRICITY MARKET REDESIGN ADVICE SENT TO ENERGY MINISTERS
- NETWORK OPPORTUNITY MAPS UPDATED
1. WORKSHOP WILL REVIEW AUTHENTIC WORKPLACE EVIDENCE REQUIREMENT IN ELECTRICIAN’S QUALIFICATION
In a timely response the Electrotechnology Industry Reference Committee (IRC) and Australian Industry Standards (AIS) will convene a workshop of selected representatives Tuesday, 3 August 2021 to discuss substantial feedback it has received about the problematic workplace evidence requirement and also the assessor requirement in the Electrotechnology Training Package Electrician’s qualification.
The selected representatives will be invited to discuss the following two statements in the 11 units of competency in the Electrician’s qualification:
“Assessors must also hold a current Unrestricted Electricians Licence issued in an Australian state or territory to assess the units of competency relating to the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (or their successor) Essential Performance Capabilities for licencing and that require a licence to practice.”
“Assessment must occur in suitable workplace operational situations where it is appropriate to do so, where this is not appropriate, assessment must occur in suitable simulated workplace operational situations that replicate workplace conditions. In addition, evidence of Performance Evidence requirements of this unit must be gathered in authentic workplace operational conditions (not simulated) before final determination of competence in this unit can be made.”
A critical point of discussion will be the second sentence in the second paragraph above (in bold, italic, underlined) which has raised many questions by RTOs and industry practitioners as to its validity and clarity (and contradiction with the first sentence). Whilst many would support the intended principle of the statement (of workplace evidence for some specific work activities), many question the execution of the words used to express the intent.
The meeting will explore options and possible solutions to addressing the unintended consequences that have arisen in the newly endorsed Training Package and which the IRC and the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) was forewarned would become an issue when the qualification commenced roll-out, and RTOs commenced tooling up for implementation.
It is unfortunate that RTOs and industry have been placed in this predicament, but it is encouraging that the IRC along with AIS have listened to the feedback and initiated the workshop with the intent of finding solutions. Stay tuned for progress on the matter.
2. WHY DOES NSW DO LESS WITH MORE IN VET
The 28 July 2021 issue of Campus Morning Mail included an article by Claire Field, wondering why NSW does less with more in VET. Claire states, “Why is the NSW VET system not supplying the required numbers of graduates the state economy needs?” Further, “Why is the NSW VET system not supplying the required numbers of graduates the state economy needs?” The article reports that, “NSW invested almost $400m more in VET between 2017 and 2019 (the latest NCVER data). By contrast, the Victorian government reduced investment by $24m and the Queensland government funded a modest $22m increase.
Perhaps the issue then is less the quantum of funding, than where it being spent?
Although Victoria and Queensland are shifting their VET investment from independent providers to TAFE Institutes and dual-sector universities, they currently still provide much higher levels of funding to non-TAFE providers than NSW.
In 2019, 80 per cent of VET funding in NSW went to TAFE NSW. By contrast TAFEs and dual sector universities received 68 percent of Victorian VET funding and only 59 percent in Queensland.
Would more funding to non-TAFE providers allow NSW to address its VET skills gaps, or is something else driving the shortages?
Last year on the ‘What now? What next?’ podcast Claire Field spoke to Dr Don Zoellner about the limits and challenges of a ‘market-based’ VET funding model.
3. REMINDER TO HAVE YOUR SAY – ASP SCHEME REVIEW AND OFT SURVEY ABOUT SUPERVISION OF ELECTRICAL SUPPORT WORKERS AND APPRENTICES
A reminder to readers to provide feedback to the OFT Supervision Survey and the ASP Scheme Review by 6 August 2021.
Little feedback from stakeholders means little data and permits others to affect the outcome. So, we encourage you to complete the Survey and respond to the Review. A link to each of the surveys is follows and further below is a summary of each survey:
With respect to the first survey, Fair Trading state the following on the website (and attached power point presentation) about the survey:
“Electricians use their technical expertise to keep our homes, businesses and industry powered. In NSW, there are over 70,000 licensed electricians working to bring safe and reliable electricity to our lives.
We are reviewing how apprentice electricians and unlicensed electrical workers are being supervised at work.
We want to hear from anyone working in the electrical and building trades and their clients. Your responses will help us understand current supervision practices and how they can be improved.
We will use your comments to inform possible best-practice supervision options for apprentice electricians and unlicensed electrical workers in our state.”
NOTE: As per previous News Service the inappropriate term used in the promotion of “unlicensed electrical workers” has been brought to the attention of OFT.
In relation to the ASP Scheme, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment 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. 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?
THE SURVEY AND REVIEW CLOSE AT COB (5PM), 6 AUGUST 2021
4. TAFETALKS: NEW WORLD – NEW APPROACHES – LESSONS FROM CANADA
TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) TAFETALKS series is hosting a webinar on how Lambton College, Ontario, Canada is pivoting its programs to deal with the new world of work.
The webinar will cover “how they are changing professional technical education and training to gear up for Humanisation, Digitisation, Automation, ICT, Data and Inclusivity. Lambton calls it their Industry 5.0.
Dr Noordin Shehabuddeen, Pro Vice-Chancellor (VET), Charles Darwin University, also an expert on innovation policy will provide a response on the application to Australia.”
TDA advises that “anyone registering for this event will automatically receive a free copy of TDA’s weekly newsletter providing news, events and thought leadership content. If you do not wish to receive TDA’s newsletter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the link to the Webinar Registration page HERE
5. ASSISTANCE IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL INDUSTRY EXPERTS FOR CAREERS NSW
Training Services NSW has advised of a new initiative it is working on that was announced earlier in the year by the Premier of NSW. The initiative is in response to the Gonski/Shergold report on the effectiveness of the VET sector, and we are Piloting a new service called Careers NSW.
The new initiative, Careers NSW aims to provide access to professional high-quality careers advice to NSW residents.
To achieve its aims, it states, “A key supporting part of the program will be identifying Industry Experts who would be willing to volunteer their time and expertise to talk to participants about their own Career Journey. Volunteer Industry Experts will undertake a dual role to:
- help raise awareness of the new Careers NSW service and
- meet online with clients who have expressed an interest in your industry and who want to understand what they can do to make themselves ready for a career in your industry.
To get the most out of their volunteering experience an Industry Expert would typically have:
- at least 5 years’ experience in the ‘Industry’ they are representing, and
- the ability to articulate previous experiences and career related information.
The time commitment for an Industry Expert is dependent on their availability. That said, we estimate an average of 4 hours per month for the experts to talk about their Career experiences and potentially participate in Careers NSW videos.
The pilot of Careers NSW launches in September with the full roll out expected from mid-2022.”
If you meet the criteria and have an interest in assisting the initiative, we would highly encourage you to apply.
For more information, please contact the Careers NSW team via email@example.com or phone the following officers directly:
- Michele Smith, Senior Project Officer on 0457 191 915
- Danielle Clarke, Project Officer on 0457 150 785
6. TRADIES BLAST THE BAD BOGAN STEREOTYPES
Sue Williams in an article penned in the Domain ‘News’ website page on the 26 July 2021 reports on tradespeople speaking out against the way they’re routinely stereotyped in TV commercials. She states, “Tradies are up in arms over a rash of TV ads they see as belittling them and their contribution to the Australian economy. At a time when home owners are spending a record $1 billion a month on renovations and relying on their services more than at any other time in history, and when the whole country’s undergoing record infrastructure spending, they’re furious that publicly they’re so roundly castigated and devalued.
One of the ads that’s particularly inciting anger is a commercial for Kennards Hire, which features a character named “Ken Oath” and depicts two tradesmen as immature and unkempt.
“This ridiculous commercial is even worse as it’s being put on by a company that services tradespeople,” said Mr Willemsen (managing director of construction company Prime Build). “Can you imagine Woolworths or Coles ever belittling their own customers in such a way? It’s incredible that our own suppliers are presenting us like this.” …
Electricians also feel the heat, especially when there are thousands of apprenticeship applications each year, but only the cream of the crop gets through.
“Fifty years ago, it might have been the case that if you weren’t good at school, you became a tradesman,” said John Habak, the managing director of Sydney electrician firm Mr Electrix.
“But it’s now far from that. Electricians are highly skilled and very tech-savvy. Yet to see these kinds of ads, they’re simple and stupid. It’s a bad stereotype that encourages people to talk to tradies in a certain way instead of showing each other respect.”
7. NCVER REPORT 1 – OVER 240,000 STUDENTS UNDERTAKING VET IN SCHOOLS
In the latest NCVER publication, VET in Schools 2020 states, “The number of school students undertaking VET as part of their Senior Secondary Certificate of Education has increased 2.3% in 2020 to 241,200.”
Highlights of the 2020 report were:
- 241,200 VET in Schools students
- 17,800 school-based apprentices and trainees, representing 7.4% of all VET in Schools students
- 223,300 students undertaking other VET in Schools programs, representing 92.6% of all VET in Schools students.
- Compared with 2019 VET in Schools students increased by 2.3%.
- From 2016 to 2020, VET in Schools students decreased by 0.9%.
- Tourism, travel, and hospitality continued to be the most popular training package, studied by 13.7% of all VET in Schools’ students.
Access the full report: VET IN SCHOOLS 2020
8. NCVER REPORT 2 – PANDEMIC IMPACT ON INDUSTRY INNOVATION, SKILLS, AND NEED FOR TRAINING
In another NCVER publication, released 28 July 2021, “The impact of COVID-19 on industry innovation, skills and the need for training”, reports on the latest research which examined different ways businesses responded to the pandemic and the extent to which innovation was an element of their response.
The report was based on interviews with three case study industries—manufacturing; healthcare (including aged care and pharmacy); and hospitality and tourism—it showed they adapted to changing conditions during the pandemic, rather than innovated.
It found, “A limited amount of training was required for the innovations or adaptations businesses made, with most staff able to transfer existing skills to any new tasks.”
Key messages in the Report were:
- “Most businesses adapted to changing conditions during the pandemic, rather than innovated.
- A limited amount of training was required for the innovations or adaptations made, with most staff able to transfer existing skills to any new tasks.
- Where training was undertaken, it was mostly unaccredited and done informally on the job or via free online training (from government, industry associations or vendor websites). Where accredited training was used, such as in the aged care sector, it tended to be conducted online.
- Some businesses reported that VET was irrelevant to their needs (even pre-pandemic), while
- others reported that VET should be more agile or responsive to the conditions and provide training of short duration.
- Barriers to innovation during the pandemic included a lack of financial resources, limited innovation options and the conservative nature of their sector, as well as survival of the business being a higher priority. A lack of skills or inability to access training was not identified as a barrier to innovation.”
9. AS/NZS 61439 WEBINARS
Two very useful webinars regarding AS/NZS61439 Low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies’ general
rules. The AS/NZS 61439 superseded the AS/NZS 3439 series in 2016 with a 5-year transition period that expired in May 2021.
- 2017 NESMA Seminar, NSW – AS/NZS 61439 WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?, Rohan Peck – Chair EL-006-08
- NECA Getting to know the AS/NZS 61439 Series of Standards Webinar (2021_04_29)
10. NEW DATA HIGHLIGHTS THE VALUE OF GAS IN HOMES
In the latest media release of 30 July 2021, Energy Networks Australia (ENA) advises, “New figures released today highlight the value of natural gas in our homes and the importance of plans to decarbonise gas networks to continue to give customers choice.”
ENA has produced a “Reliable and Clean Gas for Australian Homes brochure”, which shows just how important gas is for households, with 65 per cent of homes either connected to gas networks or using a bottled gas alternative.”
“ENA General Manager Corporate Affairs Tamatha Smith said gas was reliable and affordable – providing 45 per cent of household energy across the country. …
ENA released an initial gas in homes brochure in October 2017. The latest version contains updated data, with a broad range of facts and figures providing a valuable information resource.”
For more information contact Jemma Townson, 0438 534 111, firstname.lastname@example.org
11. 2021 ENERGY NETWORK INDUSTRY AWARDS
Applications close 16 August
Energy Networks Australia advises that applications close in a fortnight for the Energy Network Industry Awards. Members are reminded not to miss out on their opportunity to shine.
There are two awards:
- The Consumer Engagement Award recognises an Australian energy network that is demonstrating outstanding leadership in consumer engagement.
- The Industry Innovation Award recognises leadership in the design, development and application of a ground-breaking Australian energy network initiative, technology, service or solution.
A note on the key dates:
- Applications open – 1 July 2021
- Applications close – 16 August 2021
- Shortlisted applicants announced – mid September 2021
- Videoconference interview for shortlisted applicants – mid to late September 2021
- Winners announced at EN2021 gala dinner – 10 November 2021
Energy Networks Australia members are invited to apply.
12. DEMAND, COAL RECOVERS FROM COVID: IEA
EnergyInsider produced by Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and the Australian Energy Council (AEC) reports of a surprise is, an anticipated increase in coal-fired generation. It states, “The International Energy Agency’s latest electricity market report shows the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a subsequent rebound in electricity demand in some regions. But what may come as a surprise is an anticipated increase in coal-fired generation, which is expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels in Asia Pacific over the next two years.”
For more, contact Carl Kitchen, Australian Energy Council
13. ELECTRICITY MARKET REDESIGN ADVICE SENT TO ENERGY MINISTERS
The latest Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) newsletter, 29 July 2021 reports on final advice on redesign of the national electricity market to ministers. The news article states, “The Energy Security Board has handed final advice on its redesign of the national electricity market to the Energy National Cabinet Reform Committee. The proposals are designed to support an orderly transition to a modern, new Australian energy system with a rapidly rising level of renewable generation.” …
ESB Independent Chair, Dr Kerry Schott AO said “This isn’t just a tweak around the edges; it’s about a whole redesign of the national electricity market. We expect governments will need time to develop their responses.”
14. NETWORK OPPORTUNITY MAPS UPDATED
Energy Networks Australia (ENA) reports in its latest Energy Networks Australia Update that in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney, has released the 2021 update of the Network Opportunity Maps. It states’ “These are interactive investment and constraint maps that identify the most valuable locations to invest in renewable energy, demand management and battery storage across the National Electricity Market. The new release has been rebuilt on the latest National Map platform being rolled out by CSIRO’s Data61.”
Further, “As per last year’s release, full versions of Zone Substation service region GIS files, and consistent NEM-wide annual planning and half hourly load spreadsheet data are fully downloadable from the bottom the NOM web page”.
“The online maps and associated downloadable content are released annually, with transmission and distribution data now released together.”