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News Service 62 – Electrical qualification consultations continue, VSA appoints founding CEO, TAFE NSW wins big, ASQA provider survey & webinar, women in welding, NECA – extend covid pay to 16 YOs, industry, safety and technology news & reports

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  1. ELECTROTECHNOLOGY IRC CONTINUES CONSULTATIONS REGARDING ISSUES WITH ELECTRICAL QUALIFICATION
  2. CRAIG ROBERTSON APPOINTED THE NEW CEO OF THE VICTORIAN SKILLS AUTHORITY
  3. NSW TAFE WON BIG
  4. ASQA ANNUAL PROVIDER SURVEY
  5. ASQA WEBINAR — SPOTLIGHT ON ASSESSMENT VALIDATION
  6. ATTACK CLASS SUBMARINE PROJECT TO PROVIDE TRAINING FOR WOMEN IN WELDING
  7. NECA: CALLS ON FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO EXTEND COVID PAYMENTS TO 16 YEAR OLD FULL AGE APPRENTICES
  8. ELECTRICAL LICENSING DISCIPLINARY ACTION
  9. ELECTRICAL SAFETY CONFERENCE – PLAN, ACT, SURVIVE
  10. NEW ARENA MANDATE
  11. BUILDING SITES FAIL ON FALLS WHILE SOLAR FIRM FINED $300K
  12. $24 MILLION BOOST TO EXPAND EV CHARGING NETWORK
  13. CONSULTATION NOW OPEN ON STREAMLINING EXCISE FOR FUEL AND ALCOHOL PRODUCTS
  14. SOLAR REPORT: SECOND QUARTER 2021
  15. REPORT – COMMUNITY ATTITUDES TO ROOFTOP SOLAR AND THE AEMC’S PROPOSED REFORMS

1. ELECTROTECHNOLOGY IRC CONTINUES CONSULTATIONS REGARDING ISSUES WITH ELECTRICAL QUALIFICATION

NSW UE ITAB’s News Service 61 last week reported that a meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, 3 August 2021 by the Electrotechnology Industry Reference Committee (IRC) and Australian Industry Standards (AIS) to discuss two specific issues that been brought to their attention, which is impacting on the design of RTOs’ assessment practices for the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician qualification.  A series of units of competency in the qualification require authentic workplace evidence to be gathered in accord with the ‘Performance Evidence’ requirements.  Simulation is not permitted.  Additionally, there were questions about the requirement in several units that an assessor must also hold a current occupational licence when the evidence suggests otherwise.  As scheduled, the meeting was held.  Each state and territory were represented by RTOs and industry/state representatives.  Several key members of the Electrotechnology IRC also participated.

The meeting discussed the respective issues and there was robust discussion of possible options and solutions to addressing concerns.  The meeting concluded with a decision to hold a further meeting to permit attendees to reflect on the outcomes of the meeting and consider the range of suggestions.  A paper would be developed by the Consultant with possible solutions, augmented by others who may wish to submit suggestions, all circulated prior to the next meeting to permit the representatives to review and discuss the options out of session and with relevant colleagues, and then address at the meeting.

The follow up meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday 18 August 2021, at which time further discussion will ensue.  A follow up report will be provided post the meeting.  It should be noted that there are a series of other issues that have been reported in relation to concerns with specific content across the Electrotechnology Training Package, however, these issues were not the subject of the meeting and a matter that will need further attention in due course by the IRC, who is aware of many of the concerns.

For more information, please feel free to contact Tony Palladino at tony@uensw.com.au or on mobile at 04 3739 6363.


2. CRAIG ROBERTSON APPOINTED THE NEW CEO OF THE VICTORIAN SKILLS AUTHORITY

Congratulations are in order in learning that the most recent TAFE Directors Australia CEO, Craig Robertson has taken up the role of Chief Executive Officer of the inaugural Victorian Skills Authority (VSA).  The VSA media release states, “Craig Robertson brings a wealth of knowledge in the training and skills field to the role, with a significant career in the state and federal public sector and a reputation as a leader in vocational training policy and reform.

He has most recently held roles as the Chief Executive Officer for TAFE Directors Australia, as well as a Deputy Secretary for Higher Education and Skills, Department of Education and Training.

Mr Robertson and the soon-to-be-announced Advisory Board will be accountable to me for bringing together industry, unions, TAFEs and other training providers, and communities to create an improved skills system” issued by the Hon. Gayle Tierney, Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for Higher Education.

The NSW UE ITAB congratulates Craig on his recent appointment.  He is to also be commended on the grand work he undertook as the TAFE Directors Australia CEO, through troubling times and immense challenges.  TDA, we are sure, will miss his leadership, intensity, commitment and drive to promote the TAFE brand, VET and quality education and training across Australia.

Congratulations Craig on the new and exciting career move.  You will be missed.  We wish you much success.

READ MORE ABOUT THE VSA HERE


3. NSW TAFE WON BIG

Campus Morning Mail included an interesting article by Claire Field in its 4 August 2021 daily newsletter, about how TAFE NSW won big as a result of the state government’s decision to allocate a large portion of their JobTrainer funding, particularly in relation to short courses.  The article states, “Last week the 2020 government VET funding data was released and it shows a number of surprising things in relation to how states and territories allocated their JobTrainer funding.

Whatever is driving the mismatch (CMM 28 July) in New South Wales between the VET graduates being produced and the occupations in shortage – the state government’s decision to allocate a large portion of their JobTrainer funding to short courses (at a rate no other jurisdiction got close to) is interesting.

The focus on short course funding, predominantly locally developed skill sets, was the reason for the significant increase in government-funded enrolments in NSW last year (up 60,620 on 2019 levels).

Almost all of the extra government-funded enrolments in NSW (59,690) were in locally developed skill sets. TAFE NSW saw an increase of 71,305 government-funded enrolments in these skill sets in 2020, reflecting the NSW government’s decision to focus resources on TAFE NSW during the pandemic.

Aside from NSW, the only other jurisdictions to experience growth in government-funded VET students in 2020 were Queensland and Western Australia and they both recorded modest increases.”

READ MORE HERE


4. ASQA ANNUAL PROVIDER SURVEY

ASQA reports in its 4 August 2021 News service that it has have engaged independent consultancy, ACIL Allen, to conduct its annual training provider and course owner survey.  It states, ASQA seeks “your views on our performance during the 2020-21 financial year”.

An email invitation for the survey was sent from ACIL Allen on 27 July 2021.  It states, “All responses will be anonymous.  If you have any questions about the survey, please contact ASQA on 1300 701 801 or by email at enquiries@asqa.gov.au.”


5. ASQA WEBINAR — SPOTLIGHT ON ASSESSMENT VALIDATION

ASQA advises that if you missed the most recent Spotlight On webinar series, focussing on assessment validation, the recording is now available HERE.  The webinar was noted as being the webinars yet, with close to 2,000 participants joining in to hear an expert panel discuss assessment validation and answer questions about the benefits of validation.  It reports, that the webinar covered also, how to assemble your team, the difference between key concepts, TAE validation and much more.  Visit each of the links and learn more.


6. ATTACK CLASS SUBMARINE PROJECT TO PROVIDE TRAINING FOR WOMEN IN WELDING

This month’s Manufacturers’ Monthly Newsletter, 4 August 2021, reports of new program that aims to boost female participation in the Attack Class submarine project.  It states, “Naval Group Australia has developed a new program that aims to boost female participation in the Attack Class submarine project, through offering the entry-level training needed to begin a career as a submarine welder.”

READ MORE HERE

For further information about Naval Group’s ongoing commitment to Australian jobs and local businesses, go to: https://naval-group.com.au/


7. NECA: CALLS ON FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO EXTEND COVID PAYMENTS TO 16 YEAR OLD FULL AGE APPRENTICES

In the latest Enews, the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) is calling on the Federal Government to include all full-time apprentices and trainees across Greater Sydney, who are still aged 16, in the COVID disaster support payment program.

It states, “Under the current rules of the support scheme, eligibility doesn’t commence until the worker turns 17. Most of these 16 year old apprentices have lost 80 per cent of their income as a result of COVID construction pauses.”

READ MORE HERE


8. ELECTRICAL LICENSING DISCIPLINARY ACTION

The Electrical Safety Office, Queensland reports in its latest newsletter, eSafe that in April and May 2021, the Electrical Licensing Committee took disciplinary action against ten licence holders including licence disqualification and suspension, fines and independent safety system audits.

READ MORE HERE

DON’T DIY ELECTRICAL CAMPAIGN

Also, that it was undertaking a “DON’T DIY ELECTRICAL CAMPAIGN” inviting readers to check out ITS new Don’t DIY electrical advertising campaign for Queenslanders.

Asking readers to, “Share the adverts with your customers, friends and networks so that everyone knows the only way to get electrical work done is to call a licensed electrical contractor.”

READ MORE HERE


9. ELECTRICAL SAFETY CONFERENCE – PLAN, ACT, SURVIVE

The Australian Institute of Health & Safety is inviting industry members and non-members (for a small fee) to join them for the Electrical Safety Conference.  It takes place all online on Tuesday 12 October – Thursday 14 October 2021.

Its promotion states, “Electricity is one of the most important power sources that we all use every day.  But if it’s not properly managed it can cause serious injury and death.  Electricity has been identified as a leading cause of traumatic injury and fatality in the building and construction industry for some time.  Safe Work Australia’s “Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, Australia 2017 reported an average of 30 fatalities alone occurs in the construction industry each year.

This conference aims to promote awareness of the risks and hazards to promote Electrical Safety.  The key objective of the conference is to increase awareness and influence the behaviour in relation to the risks associated with electricity.”

REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE HERE

Date: Tuesday 12 October – Thursday 14 October

Time: 14:00 – 17:00 AEST

Note: All revenue goes to developing the OHS Body of Knowledge


10. NEW ARENA MANDATE

Editor Sandra Rossi at Climate Control News (CCN) reported in its 2 August Newsletter that “the federal government has expanded the functions of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to support the next generation of low emissions technologies.”

It stated, “The new regulations introduced last week broaden ARENA’s mandate to enable the agency to play an important role in stimulating investment that will help achieve the Technology Investment Roadmap stretch goals as well as energy efficiency measures.

The roadmap identified five priority technologies for government investment including clean hydrogen, long duration energy storage, low carbon materials including aluminium and steel, carbon capture and storage as well as new measurement technologies for healthier soils.”

READ MORE HERE


11. BUILDING SITES FAIL ON FALLS WHILE SOLAR FIRM FINED $300K

SafeWork NSW has notified employers that they are being “put on notice after recent SafeWork visits to construction sites in northern Sydney and the Sutherland shire revealed more than 20 percent of sites had working at heights risks while two thirds required intervention on unsafe practices.”

It posted in its website that, “The blitz on building sites came as solar energy installer PV Solar Pro Pty Ltd was fined $300,000 in the District Court for failing to comply with its duties after a 19-year-old apprentice fell 6.5 metres through a skylight and suffered fatal head injuries.

SafeWork Executive Director, Tony Williams, said that as part of last month’s blitz 23 SafeWork inspectors had visited 98 construction sites from Neutral Bay to Ryde and issued 115 notices and five fines relating to unsafe workplaces at 69 sites.

READ MORE HERE


12. $24 MILLION BOOST TO EXPAND EV CHARGING NETWORK

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced that five recipients will share in $24.55 million to construct more than 400 new EV charging points around Australia. 

Stating on its 30 July announcement, that “The funding has been allocated through the first round of the Future Fuels Fund, which is focused on growing access to chargers for EV users in capital and regional cities.

ARENA has expanded its funding pool by $8.05 million to accommodate 19 projects led by five proponents, with each to install hardware capable of fast charging at least two cars simultaneously at a capacity of at least 50kW.”

Hundreds of new EV charging stations will be built around the country with receipts of the funds being Evie Networks ($8.85 million for 158 stations across eight regions); Ampol ($7.05 million for 121 stations across four regions); Engie ($6.85 million for 103 stations across four regions); Chargefox ($1.4 million for 16 stations across two regions: and Electric Highways Tasmania ($400,000 for five stations in one region).

Download location maps (PDF 4MB)

“To help manage growth in demand for electricity as more EVs hit the roads, ARENA has supported smart charging trials with ActewAGL, AGL and Origin that aim to minimise changing during periods when demand for electricity is high and even use vehicles to store energy to provide grid stabilising services.”

READ MORE HERE


13. CONSULTATION NOW OPEN ON STREAMLINING EXCISE FOR FUEL AND ALCOHOL PRODUCTS

The latest Newsletter posted by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet advises of an interesting consultation process that is underway regarding how excise (and excise-equivalent customs duty) administration for fuel, beer and spirit might be streamlined. 

It states, “The Australian Government is inviting input from businesses and individuals on how to streamline excise (and excise-equivalent customs duty) administration for fuel, beer and spirits.

The Deregulation Taskforce has identified a number of potential opportunities to improve the excise and excise-equivalent customs duty system, through both administrative and legislative reforms.

These are outlined in a consultation paper that is now available on the Deregulation Agenda website. Submission instructions are included, and submissions close on 31 August 2021.”

READ THE MEDIA RELEASE HERE


14. SOLAR REPORT: SECOND QUARTER 2021

The 5 August 2021 joint Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and Australian Energy Council (AEC) Newsletter provides an insight into the latest data on solar.  It states, the “Latest data from the Clean Energy Regulator shows Australia’s solar installations continue to climb. Our latest Solar Report updates on rooftop systems across the nation, the uptake of batteries with solar, and identifies the nation’s top postcodes that are leading residential solar uptake.

READ MORE HERE

For more, contact Carol Tran, Australian Energy Council


15. REPORT – COMMUNITY ATTITUDES TO ROOFTOP SOLAR AND THE AEMC’S PROPOSED REFORMS

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has released a new research report into consumer attitudes towards proposed changes to solar export pricing, that will soon be decided on by Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC).  The report found strong support for three potential amendments to the AEMC reforms proposed by ACOSS and TEC.  These were: 1) Providing an additional “guaranteed export” option; 2) Requiring networks to guarantee a minimum level of funding for consumer groups; and 3) Providing solar customers with a choice about whether or not they want to contribute to network funding of solar initiatives.

READ THE REPORT HERE