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News Service 65 – State of VET, AISC endorses changes & some cases for change Electro but denies RAC proposal, Feedback wanted TDR TP, SMEs for Gen TP, Engineering more practical learning, Safety & electrical incidents & standards News, Solar up vs coal

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  1. CLAIRE FIELD ON THE STATE OF VET IN AUSTRALIA
  2. AISC APPROVES CASE FOR ENDORSEMENT AND SOME CASES FOR CHANGE – ELECTROTECHNOLOGY
  3. FEEDBACK SOUGHT FOR TRANSMISSION STRUCTURES PROJECT – TDR TRAINING PACKAGE
  4. SMEs NEEDED – ESI GENERATION TRAINING PACKAGE
  5. ENGINEERING A NEW EDUCATION
  6. ELECTROCUTION SPARKS STATE-FIRST INDUSTRIAL MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE
  7. SAFE WORK AUSTRALIA MAJOR HAZARD FACILITY SURVEY – HAVE YOUR SAY
  8. ELECTRICAL SAFETY INCIDENTS – SHARING THE KNOWLEDGE
  9. STANDARDS AUSTRALIA APPROVES REVISION OF HB 187 GUIDE TO SELECTING A SAFE MULTIMETER
  10. STANDARDS AUSTRALIA LIGHTS THE WAY
  11. SOLAR EXCEEDS COAL FOR FIRST TIME, RENEWABLES SET RECORDS ON AUSTRALIA’S MAIN GRID

1. CLAIRE FIELD ON THE STATE OF VET IN AUSTRALIA

Claire Field writing in the Campus Morning Mail on the 25 August 2021 outlines an interesting take on the state of VET in Australia.  The article states, “Minister Robert flagged significant reforms to apprenticeships and VET qualification design in a speech to launch National Skills Week, it is timely to examine the latest NCVER Total VET Activity data to see where the VET sector is currently at.

Looking at programme enrolments (i.e. full qualifications, accredited courses and skillsets) in TAFEs and independent providers, the data shows that for the TAFE sector at the national level government-funded enrolments were largely stable (-2 per cent) between 2016 and 2020. However, there was a significant decline in TAFE domestic fee-for-service enrolments (-67 per cent), and international fee-for-service enrolments (-38 per cent).  …

Complicating the picture is a shift in subject-only enrolments from TAFEs to independent providers in fields such as: – construction and plumbing, – foundation skills, – furnishing, – property services, – sport, fitness and recreation, – tourism, travel and hospitality.”

READ MORE ON THE STATE OF VERY AT CAMPUS REVIEW

PUBLICATION HIGHLIGHTS

The NCVER publication, “Total VET students and courses 2020” provides an estimate of the extent and nature of nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET) delivered in 2020 by Australian registered training providers. This picture of training activity is known as ‘total VET activity’, to reflect that the information reports on students who undertook government funded training and those who undertook training on a fee-for-service basis.  Publication highlights follow:

In 2020:

  • 3.9 million students were enrolled in nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET), down 6.4% from 2019
  • 3519 registered training organisations (RTOs) delivered nationally recognised VET
  • An estimated 21.7% of the Australian resident population aged 15 to 64 years participated in nationally recognised VET in Australia.

In 2020, compared with 2019:

  • full-year training equivalents (FYTEs) decreased by 5.9% to 1.0 million
  • students enrolled in nationally recognised programs decreased by 2.4% to 2.1 million
  • students enrolled in subjects not delivered as part of a nationally recognised program decreased by 9.9% to 2.4 million.

By funding source:

  • government-funded students increased by 4.3% to 1.3 million and FYTEs decreased by 10.0% to 494 100
  • domestic fee-for-service students decreased by 10.4% to 2.8 million and FYTEs decreased by 2.7% to 387 500
  • international fee-for-service students decreased by 1.2% to 222 500 and FYTEs increased by 1.0% to 139 000

More detailed analysis, including at the State and Territory level, is available on Claire’s website.


2. AISC APPROVES CASE FOR ENDORSEMENT AND SOME CASES FOR CHANGE – ELECTROTECHNOLOGY

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) at is 40th Meeting on 19 August 2021 Meeting issued a Communique regarding the Case for Endorsement and the Cases for Change for the Electrotechnology Training Package.  It has endorsed the following submission and referred it to the Skill Ministers to approve:

Case for Endorsement – Electrotechnology Training Package

IRCDetails of submissionAISC Decision
Electrotechnology IRC UEE Electrotechnology Training Package Release 3.0The Case for Endorsement includes: 1 qualification to transition to 2012 Standards for Training Packages2 updated skill sets1 updated unit of competency5 new units of competency4 new skill setsApproved the training products for endorsement

In relation to the Case for Change – Electrotechnology Training Package it resolved as follows:

IRCDetails of submissionAISC Decision
Electrotechnology IRC UEE Electrotechnology The AISC considered nine separate Electrotechnology projects which, collectively, sought to review and update the majority of the UEE Electrotechnology training package. Given the significant quantum of work proposed, the AISC approved the majority of the proposed projects (six out of nine), taking into consideration: evidence that the projects (individually and when considered as a whole work program) can be completed by December 2022industry need and stakeholder support the relative complexity of the work, including interaction with licensing ad regulatory regimes.This Case for Change includes nine projects: Project A – Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology – Electrical 1 qualification review5 new units of competencyApproved to proceed to training package development.
Project B – Electrical Meters 1 updated unit of competency1 new skill setApproved to proceed to training package development.
Project C – Hazardous Areas 2 qualification reviews11 new units of competencyApproved to proceed to training package development.
Project D – Rail Signalling 1 updated qualification20 updated units of competencyApproved to proceed to training package development.
Project E – Electronics and Communications 5 qualification reviews77 updated units of competencyNot Approved to proceed to training package development.
Project F – Instrumentation and Control 7 qualification reviews50 updated units of competencyApproved to proceed to training package development.
Project G – Refrigeration and Airconditioning 1 qualification review38 updated units of competencyNot Approved to proceed to training package development.

ANOTHER DISAPPOINTING DECISION BY AISC FOR INDUSTRY

It was also, very disappointing to learn the AISC again has chosen to proceed to make its own decision on who to approve or not approve with few facts before this august body, in relation to the Electrotechnology Training Package.  Anyone with some knowledge of the key stakeholders in the Electrotechnology industry knowns full well that the Refrigeration and Airconditioning (RAC) sector is a strong, passionate and well organised sub-sector of the industry.  Any trepidation by AISC that this sub-sector could not amend its components of the Electrotechnology Training Package within the timeframe proposed, demonstrates an arm’s length lack of understanding of grass roots industry passion to get things done.  This sub-sector has been waiting for some time to have its needs addressed because of changing refrigerant standards and environmental targets set by government. 

No doubt the Refrigeration and Air conditioning (RAC) sub-sector will be extremely disappointed to learn of AISC’s decision, given how well organised it is in terms of content requirements that need changing, passion and its capacity muster forces to make the changes when needed.  The NSW UE ITAB recognises their capability and shares their disappointment and the lack of recognition accorded to it.  This simple process decision by AISC sends a powerful message to industry practitioners of AISC’s continued lack of on-the-ground links or industry understanding and engagement, particularly in relation to specific hazard related and climate change associated industry sub-sectors.  How long will this sub-sector need to wait now, as without doubt, there will be a long-transition period ensue over the next year or so from the existing SSOs arrangement to a new Industry Cluster model. 

The RAC sub-sector now must wait in limbo to be advised of the potential ‘Cluster’ it wil be housed in, transit to the new structure and then re-muster resources and SMEs to bring about the changes it could have accomplished in 2021.  It is not likely the changes will see the light of day until late 2023.  Little wonder why Minister Roberts*, “described as “ridiculous” a system that requires skills ministers to approve every qualification, and said the VET sector had failed to respond to training in key areas such as IT and energy.”

*Refer:  Minister poses uncomfortable questions for VET sector, TAFE Directors Australia Newsletter, 30 August 2021READ MORE HERE


3. FEEDBACK SOUGHT FOR TRANSMISSION STRUCTURES PROJECT – TDR TRAINING PACKAGE

Australian Industry Standards (AIS) has advised that the ESI Transmission, Distribution and Rail Industry Reference Committee (IRC), the Technical Advisory Committee has drafted Training Package materials for the Transmission Structures project and is seeking stakeholder feedback.

It states, “The draft materials include a change to the qualification title from Certificate II in Transmission Structure and Line Assembly to Certificate II in Transmission Line Construction to accurately reflect the occupational outcome. It also includes updated packaging rules and the removal of weighting points.

Three Units of Competency related to constructing transmission structures have been updated to address current work and safety practices.

VIEW DRAFTS AND SUBMIT FEEDBACK

Please submit your feedback by close of business Wednesday, 22 September 2021”.

For more information on this project, please contact Erin Knudsen, Industry Skills Manager – M: 0418 434 302 | E: erin.knudsen@aistnds.org.au


4. SMEs NEEDED – ESI GENERATION TRAINING PACKAGE

Australian Industry Standards (AIS) advises that the ESI Generation Industry Reference Committee (IRC) is forming a Technical Advisory Committee to undertake a project to develop competency standards for Control Room Operations.

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are sought to help “develop four new Units of Competency and three new Skill Sets to address skills requirements for control room operations relating to power generation in both fossil fuels and renewable energies, encompassing automated control systems.

The transition to renewable energy has led to changes in the skills requirements of workers and a growing need for workforce mobility across the generation industry. The workforce needs to be upskilled and retrained in the operation and maintenance of existing and emerging renewable technologies and be able to adapt to new systems and processes.”

VIEW CONTROL ROOM OPERATIONS PROJECT PAGE

SMEs are invited to register their interest via the project page, by close of business Friday, 10 September 2021.

For further details on the background and project deliverables, please visit the project page or contact Andrew Fitisemanu, Industry Skills Manager – M: 0419 658 587 | E: andrew.fitisemanu@aistnds.org.au


5. ENGINEERING A NEW EDUCATION

An interesting article appeared in the 26 August 2021 daily edition of the Campus Morning Mail, by Stephen Matchett, regarding a back to the future story of education in the discipline of engineering.  No surprise to many VET practitioners the article covers a report received by University Deans, who commissioned a two-year study of what needs to change in engineering education.  Such courses had not been reviewed for some 12 years.  The report, by Peter Lee and 13 colleagues for the Australian Council of Engineering Deans calls for a new emphasis in courses:

Industry wants to see a re-balancing of the theory-practice components of professional engineering education, with a greater emphasis on practice, including the human dimensions of engineering,” the reviewers conclude.

READ MORE HERE

6. ELECTROCUTION SPARKS STATE-FIRST INDUSTRIAL MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE

The NSCA Foundation in its latest Safe-T-Bulletin includes an article 20 August 2021, from Queensland, of a first prosecution for industrial manslaughter under the Electrical Safety Act, since its introduction in 2017.  It states, “MSF Sugar Pty Ltd has been charged with industrial manslaughter under the Electrical Safety Act 2002, following an incident near Little Mulgrave in far north Queensland in July 2019, where a worker was fatally electrocuted after a crane contacted or came in close proximity to overhead powerlines in the course of work on a crane rail system.

Queensland’s independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor, Aaron Guilfoyle, has also charged the company with a Category 2 offence under the Electrical Safety Act, for breaching an electrical safety duty and exposing multiple workers to a risk of serious injury or death. The charge relates to the same incident and carries a maximum penalty of $1.5 million.”

READ MORE HERE


7. SAFE WORK AUSTRALIA MAJOR HAZARD FACILITY SURVEY – HAVE YOUR SAY

Safe Work Australia advises that it is currently updating guidance materials for Major Hazard Facilities and are seeking views and feedback from MHF sites across the nation to help improve the guides.

While the SWA Guides are based on the model WHS laws, Victorian MHF contacts with national responsibilities and interstate subscribers particularly may wish to provide feedback via the survey.

The survey closes on 3 September 2021.

COMPLETE THE SURVEY

To view WorkSafe Victoria’s MHF Guidance Material click here.


8. ELECTRICAL SAFETY INCIDENTS – SHARING THE KNOWLEDGE

The NSW UE ITAB has again been fortunate this month to be provided with the latest electrical incident reports from BluScope Steel.  As stated previously the NSW UE ITAB has received permission from BlueScope Steel to share the information.

The aim is to help RTOs and industry practitioners have available, real case electrical incidents that occur in workplaces that they can showcase in their programs or safety moments to highlight findings and how responses are actioned to occurring events.

The NSW UE ITAB again, sincerely thanks BlueScope Steel For their permission, and advises RTOs and industry practitioners to ensure they recognise attribution to BlueScope for sharing this information and treat the information for educational purposes only. 

As we receive the incident reports, we will continue to share them accordingly.

For this News Service we have two Blue Scope Steel reports covering June 2021 and July 2021.  For more information and BlueScope contact details please refer to the undersigned for more information.  Again, a sincere thanks to BlueScope.


9. STANDARDS AUSTRALIA APPROVES REVISION OF HB 187 GUIDE TO SELECTING A SAFE MULTIMETER

Standards Australia has written to the NSW UE ITAB advising that its proposal, recommending the review and updating of the Handbook (HB 187) Guide to selecting a safe multimeter was approved.  The proposal was considered to have met all key quality criteria related to its review.

The Handbook is a very important resources for apprentices as well as industry practitioners, tradies and allied technical personnel.  The approval to review is timely and welcomed.  The objective of the Handbook is to provide for all users a basic understanding of the important safety criteria which are specified in EC 61010-1:2010 Safety requirements for electrical equipment for measurement, control, and laboratory use – Part 1: General requirements.  HB 187 states, “the Australian marketplace provides a wide variety of test and measuring equipment that has been designed and manufactured to many differing safety specifications with a broad range in price and quality.  This can be very confusing for users.”  The HB covers information needed prior to purchase a suitable multimeter, product safety and independent testing, selecting a safe multimeter, and other supporting information on safety, hazards, etc.

Standards Australia advises it will convene a kick-off meeting of the responsible committee to finalise the timeframe, scope, and roles and responsibility of members.  It is a requirement that approved projects must be completed within a set timeframe, starting from the kick-off meeting.  This timeframe is established by Standards Australia on the basis of project complexity, as agreed through the kick-off process.  Importantly, the progress of the project will be monitored to ensure targets are met on time and resources are fairly and effectively utilised.

If you have any questions, please contact Abbey Dorian, Engagement Officer, at 02 9237 6196 or Abbey.Dorian@standards.org.au


10. STANDARDS AUSTRALIA LIGHTS THE WAY

Standards Australia in its latest News, 27 August 2021 reports on the newly revised standard AS 2560.2:2021, which has been released.  The Standard provides guidance on appropriately lit facilities for sports clubs and communities.  The article states, “The new standard aims to improve public health and safety with guidance on increased light quality at sporting facilities and see less environmental impact due to reduced energy consumption.”

Of note to is that the revised lighting standard, AS 2560.2, Sports lighting, Part 2: Specific applications, provides guidance on appropriately lit facilities for various levels of play, from professional level match play to recreational training level. Further, it helps maximise the use of grounds and indoor facilities.

The revised standard now combines the previous eight single sport standards into one more comprehensive document covering those sports plus more.

For more information visit the news article here:  STANDARDS AUSTRALIA LIGHTS THE WAY

Or contact, Samantha Smith, Communications Office at Standards Australia via email: samantha.smith@standards.org.au or phone: 02 9237 6021


11. SOLAR EXCEEDS COAL FOR FIRST TIME, RENEWABLES SET RECORDS ON AUSTRALIA’S MAIN GRID

Sean Carroll, Editor at Electrical Connection wrote in the 24 August 2021 edition that the combined output of rooftop solar and large-scale solar farms now (August 2021) exceeds that of brown and black coal generation for the first time in Australia’s main grid.

The article states, “Quoting the OpenNEM data feed, solar exceeded the output of goal just after lunch on a Sunday, delivering a combined 9,427MW, or 41.2% of demand, compared to coal’s combined 9,315MW, a combined 41.1%.

READ MORE HERE