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News Service 68 – RTO NSW Electrical + HVAC OTSR course, Smart & Skilled Update-Sep, Career Information Projects, Training Awards, NSA Delayed, Apprentice get support, NSC’s Vacancy Index report VET news, Safety and Industry news

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  1. STC LAUNCHES GAP TRAINING FOR ELECTRICAL AND HVAC
  2. SMART AND SKILLED UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 2021
  3. FEDS FUNDS LOCAL PROJECTS TO HELP TO IMPROVE THE CAREERS OF AUSTRALIANS
  4. NATIONAL SKILLS AGREEMENT DELAYED
  5. GOVERNMENT EXPANDS SUPPORT FOR APPRENTICES TO SECURE AUSTRALIA’S FUTURE WORKFORCE
  6. 2021 NSW TRAINING AWARDS WINNERS
  7. ONLINE JOB ADVERTISEMENTS – INTERNET VACANCY INDEX (IVI) UP 4.9% SEP
    1. Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey:
    2. National Skills Commission Consultations:
  8. AMENDMENTS TO THE ESOS ACT
  9. SAFEWORK NSW TO VISIT SOLAR FARMS ACROSS THE STATE
  10. AUSTRALIAN-FIRST TOOL TO IMPROVE LABOUR HIRE WORKER SAFETY
  11. LABOUR HIRE BREACHES SEE COMPANY, DIRECTOR FINED $245,000
  12. FAIR WORK COMMISSION VACCINE RULING DIVIDES FULL BENCH
  13. RACE FOR 2030 RELEASES FUTURE ENERGY WORKFORCE REPORT
  14. HYDROCARBONS DOMINATE IN CHINA
  15. DC ISOLATORS – CONSEQUENCES OF CANCELLATION OF A NUMBER OF CERTIFICATIONS
  16. THE POWER AND POPULARITY OF HOME-MADE ELECTRICITY
  17. ELECTRIFICATION PLAN: “AMBITIOUS BUT REALISTIC”?
  18. INFRASTRUCTURE AUSTRALIA SHINES LIGHT ON FUTURE ENERGY NEEDS

1. STC LAUNCHES GAP TRAINING FOR ELECTRICAL AND HVAC

NSW RTO now delivering OTSR Minimum Context Gap training for HVAC and Electrical trades in NSW.  Superior Training Centre (STC) has been appointed by Energy Skills Australia as a training provider for overseas qualified Electrical and HVAC technicians to undertake gap training.

STC is currently running two groups of Overseas Technical Skills Record (OTSR) students for 10809NAT – Course in Electrician – Minimum Australian Context Gap and the first group of 10878NAT – Course in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning – Minimum Australian Context Gap

The course is blended delivery with theory delivered online and block practicals scheduled when Covid-safe conditions and vaccination rates allow face-to-face delivery. Students can maintain their work commitments and access the online platform. 

STC is currently the only provider in Australia for the 1087NATNAT Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.

For more information visit: https://www.stc.nsw.edu.au/


2. SMART AND SKILLED UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 2021

Smart and Skilled Update (attached) – September 2021, covers the following:

  1. Introducing Careers NSW
  2. Introducing the Skills Student Survey
  3. Skilling for Recovery Priority Part Qualifications List – Version 5.0 modifications
  4. Extension to the Skilling for Recovery enrolment period
    1. Training and assessment requirements under Skilling for Recovery and Smart and Skilled
    2. Security Operations program
    3. Extensions to existing Skilling for Recovery part qualification PASs
    4. Construction induction training (White Card)
    5. New TNI applications for Skilling for Recovery training
  5. AgSkilled 2.0 Program: Updated Course and Unit Of Competency listing
    1. Courses and Units of Competency (UoCs) available for delivery and recommendations sought
    2. Recommendations sought for additional courses/UoCs
    3. Training providers endorsed to deliver AgSkilled 2.0 training – EOIs for training delivery sought
    4. Further information
  6. Smart and Skilled webinar recording

For more information visit: https://www.training.nsw.gov.au/smartandskilled/index.html

Or, for technical support in relation to this update, contact Training Market Customer Support at Training.Market@det.nsw.edu.au.


3. FEDS FUNDS LOCAL PROJECTS TO HELP TO IMPROVE THE CAREERS OF AUSTRALIANS

The Hon Stuart Robert MP, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business advises in its latest Media Release, 8 October 2021 that the, “The Morrison Government will provide almost $16 million to new projects that will improve career pathways and help strengthen the nation’s skills-led economic recovery.

As part of round two of the National Careers Institute’s Partnership Grants program, the Morrison Government has committed $5.8 million to 16 projects chosen to help organisations deliver innovative career guidance services for people at all stages of their careers.”  …

“Successful projects include face-to-face careers guidance sessions, hands-on industry and work experience, careers resource development and career mentoring.

Minister Robert also announced round three applications will open on 20 October, with a total of $10 million of grants on offer.”

Of the round two recipients 16 projects of the National Careers Institute’s Partnership Grants program, 5 of 16 were awarded in NSW:

Project ProviderDescription
Wodonga Institute of TAFEWorking with the Albury Wodonga Careers Advisers Association to deliver an engaging careers program for junior students in isolated secondary schools in north-east Victoria and the southern New South Wales Riverina.
Eurobodalla Shire CouncilEurobodalla Shire Council will work with local schools and businesses to co-design and deliver progressive career guidance activities on the New South Wales South Coast.
Community Migrant Resource CentreImproving career guidance information that connects parents and children from diverse backgrounds in Sydney’s West to industries in demand including STEM and VET pathways.
Community Disability Alliance HunterThe Community Disability Alliance Hunter Inc will work with the University of Newcastle to provide innovative, locally based career guidance for people with disability, by people with disability.

READ MORE HERE


4. NATIONAL SKILLS AGREEMENT DELAYED

TAFE Directors Australia Newsletter reports, that “Work on progressing the new National Skills Agreement has been delayed and is now expected to be completed in the first half of next year.

Department officials advised stakeholders of the revised timeline last week.

Governments at state, territory and Commonwealth levels have been working to progress a new National Skills Agreement since the signing last year of a Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform.

“This work is continuing on a revised timeline with the new Agreement expected to be finalised in the first half of 2022,” the official advice says.

The original timeline was for the Agreement to be finalised by August 2021, with a transition period commencing from January 2022, covering a five-year period to 2026-27.

The key elements of a new national agreement are to include a new VET funding model, development of accredited micro-credentials, stronger VET pathways for secondary school students, contestability in VET markets, and increased investment in VET.

READ MORE HERE


5. GOVERNMENT EXPANDS SUPPORT FOR APPRENTICES TO SECURE AUSTRALIA’S FUTURE WORKFORCE

The Hon Stuart Robert MP, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business announced in its 28September 2021 Medial Release, that the Government had expanded support to apprentices and their employers.  The Media Release stated, “The $3.9 billion Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program will extend support into the second and third year of an eligible Australian Apprenticeship through the $716 million Completing Apprenticeship Commencements program.

Under the new changes from October 2021, eligible employers will receive a 10 per cent wage subsidy in the second year of an eligible apprenticeship, and five per cent in the third year. The Morrison Government’s investment is expected to continue to support the 270,000 anticipated commencements under the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program from October 2020 to March 2022.”

READ MORE HERE

For further information on how to apply for the program, including information on eligibility, visit www.dese.gov.au/boosting-apprenticeship-commencements or contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.


6. 2021 NSW TRAINING AWARDS WINNERS

The 2021 NSW Training Awards event was held Saturday evening (9 October 2021) and there was an array of merited winners.  A special award winner in the Electrotechnology sector was Althea Kruizinga, who won the 2021 NSW Special Award for a Woman in a Non-Traditional Trade/Vocation. 

Althea has now completed the Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician apprenticeship, having been employed by HVTC Pty Ltd, hosted by BlueScope Steel Limited, and undertook her off-the-job training at TAFE NSW.  She represented the Illawarra & Southeast NSW Region.

Althea says, “Althea dreamed of becoming an electrician, but feared a mature-aged female wouldn’t be accepted in a male-dominated trade. Her life changed when she met two female electricians at Sydney’s Equinix SY3 data centre. Now an electrical tradesperson at BlueScope Steel’s Port Kembla plant, Althea passionately advocates for women in non-traditional trades.”

Althea is now a full-time electrical tradesperson at BlueScope with plans to commence a Diploma of Electrical Engineering.  She is a passionate advocate for women in non-traditional trades.

The NSW UE ITAB congratulates Althea on winning the award and we wish her all the success and joy of working as a fully qualified electrician in her new venture at BlueScope Steel.

READ ABOUT THE NSW TRAINING AWARDS MORE HERE


7. ONLINE JOB ADVERTISEMENTS – INTERNET VACANCY INDEX (IVI) UP 4.9% SEP

The National Skills Commission’s (NSC’s), September 2021, preliminary Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) release shows online job advertisements increased 4.9% (10,700 job advertisements), to stand at 229,000.  “This increase in recruitment activity follows three consecutive months of decline in the wake of the COVID-19 delta outbreak and related restrictions.”

… “New South Wales recorded the largest increase in job ads, up by 10,400 (16.7%).”

READ MORE HERE

7.1. Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey:

The National Skills Commission have also released two reports with findings from the Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey: “Impacts of COVID-19 on Businesses” and “Employers Perspectives on Recruitment Difficulty”.

READ MORE HERE

7.2. National Skills Commission Consultations:

The NSC continues to consult industry to improve the quality, accessibility, and relevance of occupation al skill and VET.  It is currently seeking feedback on the Australian Skills Classification, which sets out the key core competencies, specialist tasks and technology tools required for 600 occupations in Australia.  Also, VET Efficient Pricing, which is surveying RTOs about their costs of delivering training.

READ MORE HERE – AUSTRALIAN SKILLS CLASSIFICATION BETA or email: skillsclassification@skillscommission.gov.au

READ MORE HERE – VET EFFICIENT PRICING or email: EfficientPricing@SkillsCommission.gov.au


8. AMENDMENTS TO THE ESOS ACT

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) advised in its latest newsletter of changes to the ESOS Act (Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000), which came into effect on 27 September, 2021.  The changes included some minor implications for training providers around penalty amounts for infringement notices, the ability for persons to assist an Authorised Officer in exercising monitoring and investigation powers, and a broadening of the definition of evidential material.

This brings the ESOS Act and the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (NVR Act) into closer alignment.

READ MORE HERE


9. SAFEWORK NSW TO VISIT SOLAR FARMS ACROSS THE STATE

Editor Sean Carroll at Electrical Connections reports that SafeWork NSW will undertake a campaign to visit solar farms across the state.  The Newsletter states, “With 16 large-scale solar farms in operation and more under construction, the NSW workplace safety regulator will be visiting solar farm construction sites across regional NSW as part of a targeted safety campaign to ensure compliance.

SafeWork NSW executive director of compliance and dispute resolution, Tony Williams, says the relatively new industry and the scale of the projects created additional challenges from often remote and isolated sites, as well as electrical wiring work undertaken.”

READ MORE HERE


10. AUSTRALIAN-FIRST TOOL TO IMPROVE LABOUR HIRE WORKER SAFETY

This week’s NSCA Foundation’s Safe-T-Bulletin eNewsletter, 7 October 2021 reports on an Australian-first toolkit that has been released by SafeWork NSW, as part of Safe Work Month in October.  The article states, “The toolkit includes a worker guide and a self-assessment checklist for businesses, intended to improve the safety of labour hire workers. The toolkit is intended to help reduce the rates of serious injuries and incidents by providing businesses with a baseline of work health and safety expectations relating to the use of labour hire workers.”  …

“The labour hire toolkit is available here, via the SafeWork NSW website.  As part of its October program, NSW has also released a ‘Workplace Pulse Check’ tool to support Mental Health Month, which is available here.

Resources for National Safe Work Month — with its theme of ‘think safe. work safe. be safe.’ — are available here, via the Safe Work Australia website.

READ MORE HERE


11.  LABOUR HIRE BREACHES SEE COMPANY, DIRECTOR FINED $245,000

NSCA Foundation’s Safe-T-Bulletin eNewsletter also reports on a Queensland company, its director and another man having been fined $245,000 for breaching the Labour Hire Licensing Act, after a raid on a Harrisville property.

The article states, “Magistrate Leanne Scoines noted that the defendants openly flouted the law, which was intended to protect vulnerable workers. They also acted fraudulently and in concert, and Better Crop used labourers who were not eligible to work in Australia. The significant fines are a reminder that businesses and individuals who exploit labour hire workers risk facing the full brunt of the law.”

READ MORE HERE


12. FAIR WORK COMMISSION VACCINE RULING DIVIDES FULL BENCH

A further report in the NSCA Foundation’s Safe-T-Bulletin eNewsletter relates to an aged-care employer’s dismissal of a worker who refused a flu vaccine, which was upheld by an FWC Full Bench in a decision one member “strenuously disagreed” with.

“…  The appeal decision upholds an earlier decision of Commissioner McKenna to reject an unfair dismissal claim by an employee (Jennifer Kimber) who was dismissed for refusing to be vaccinated.

One member of the Full Bench, Deputy President Dean, spoke out against the Majority Decision, noting that Kimber was dismissed because of her inability to be vaccinated against influenza in 2020.”

…  “In re-determining the application, I would have found that Ms Kimber was unfairly dismissed and would have reinstated her to her former position,” said Deputy President Dean.

The Decision is available here, via the FWC website.

READ MORE HERE


13. RACE FOR 2030 RELEASES FUTURE ENERGY WORKFORCE REPORT

The Reliable, Affordable, Clean Energy Cooperative Research Centre (RACE for 2030) has undertaken a research project that describes a pathway to understanding the present and future energy workforce in Australia.  Starting, “Developing the workforce is crucial to enabling the clean energy transition and realising the RACE for 2030 vision of a customer-centred clean energy system, and to the successful translation of RACE for 2030 research outcomes to industry impact.”  The Report titled, “E3 Opportunity Assessment: Developing the future energy workforce, Final Report 2021” covers three key themes:

  1. Market size, workforce and employment;
  2. New skills development; and
  3. Innovation pathways.

The Report addresses several fundamental questions about Australia’s energy sector, including how to measure the workforce, how training and skills can be fit for the future, and how to strengthen Australia’s innovation pathways.

Findings and recommendations of the report state, “The project has established a strong pathway to understanding:

  • The value of clean energy in Australia;
  • The expected and potential workforce growth needed for a clean energy transition;
  • The specific occupations and skills that are going to be required;
  • How to deliver the training needed to support the development of those skills; and
  • How innovation pathways can be strengthened to support Australia’s energy transition.

READ MORE HERE or download a copy of the Report HERE


14. HYDROCARBONS DOMINATE IN CHINA

Sandra Rossi, Editor at Climate Control News (CCN) reports in CCN’s latest newsletter, 6 October 2021 that R290 is booming due to its energy efficiency properties.  R290 (Propane) is a Hydrocarbon and although highly flammable it is an efficient refrigerant that has a low Global Warming Potential (GWP).

The article states, “Hermetic reciprocating compressors running on hydrocarbon refrigerants account for around 80 per cent of domestic sales in China.

A new report by UK consultancy BSRIA found the total sales volume of Chinese hermetic reciprocating compressors reached about 200 million units in 2020, rising by 14.5 per cent. The domestic market was 130 million units with a growth of 15.6 per cent while the export market increased by about 12.4 per cent to 71 million units.

It is reported that the proportion of R290 has increased significantly.

This is because compressors with R290 are of high performance, but the cost is low. To make the production standardized, compressor manufacturers have accelerated the speed of shifting to R290.”

READ MORE HERE


15. DC ISOLATORS – CONSEQUENCES OF CANCELLATION OF A NUMBER OF CERTIFICATIONS

The Queensland Electrical Safety Office has issued an alert in its latest eSafe Electrical newsletter regarding the requirement to use valid certificates of conformity.  The Alert states, “Direct current (DC) isolators used in photovoltaic solar systems in household installations are classified as high risk (level 3) electrical equipment in the Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS). They are required to be registered on the EESS national database before they are supplied in Queensland. This registration requires using a valid certificate of conformity.

The Electrical Safety Office (ESO) was advised by SAA Approvals Pty Ltd (a private certification body) they had cancelled 18 certifications for DC isolators. This means any EESS registrations associated with these DC isolators certifications were also cancelled on 29 September 2021.

Responsible suppliers are not allowed to supply the affected DC isolators until they are re-certified and re-registered.

The ESO is investigating the circumstances of the cancellation.”

READ MORE HERE


16. THE POWER AND POPULARITY OF HOME-MADE ELECTRICITY

Australia can proudly lay claim to being a global leader in rooftop PV uptake and there is no slowing of momentum. Here we shine the light on smart technologies and developments that are driving the fast-paced evolution of distributed energy resources which are reshaping the energy market.  So says the Smart Energy Council in its latest release and Spring Issue of the Smart Energy Magazine.  …

“That makes for a clever nation, for Australians are world leaders with more households per capita, nearly three million homes or one in four homes, investing in home energy generation by the end of calendar year 2020. Despite the limitations imposed by the COVID-induced lockdowns of last year, 378,451 new systems were installed adding 3GW of small-scale solar capacity, along with almost 24,000 small[1]scale batteries with an aggregate capacity of 238MWh.”

READ MORE HERE


17. ELECTRIFICATION PLAN: “AMBITIOUS BUT REALISTIC”?

The joint Newsletter, EnergyInsider 7 October 2021, produced by Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and Australian Energy Council (AEC) reports on a recently released discussion paper ‘Castles & Cars – Savings in the suburbs through electrifying everything’.  Carl Kitchen states, “There’s been plenty of media attention around claims the average Australian household could save $5000 annually on their energy and vehicle costs by 2030 and up to $6000 by 2035 through greater electrification. But what is the basis for this claim? And what would have to happen for this to occur? Here we take a closer look at Rewiring Australia’s recent discussion paper.” …

“To overcome these issues, it argues for government support via incentives such as buy-backs and subsidies will be needed particularly in early 2020s.

“We need to be designing the policy environment that enables this future outcome immediately. It is vital that this electrification revolution is equitable. Governments must ensure that all households, regardless of their socioeconomic status, can reap the economic benefits that electrification can deliver households by mid-decade.”

The supporting technical paper also argues a 100 per cent adoption rate is needed and will only achieved by mandate. And while the paper accepts this might “sound like a screed for government intervention” it claims it’s not, but rather “what is technically necessary”.

READ MORE HERE

For more, contact Carl Kitchen, Australian Energy Council


18. INFRASTRUCTURE AUSTRALIA SHINES LIGHT ON FUTURE ENERGY NEEDS

A further news item published in the joint Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and Australian Energy Council (AEC) newsletter, the EnergyInsider 7 October 2021, sheds light on the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan.  Jemma Townson states, “Like most bodies of work published anywhere in the world at the moment, the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan is written through the lens of an ever-unfolding pandemic, the ongoing and far reaching environmental and economic effects of climate change and the global shift towards decarbonisation.  We take a look at its recommendations to support the energy sector’s renewable transformation.”  …

“The report also acknowledges how the incredible uptake of solar in homes has led to grid instability and potential unreliability in some areas. The implementation of time-of-use tariffs is promoted as a means to create more stability on the grid and encourage consumers to utilise their excess solar at times of peak generation and low demand.”  …

“Domestically, the report recommends getting the most out of our existing gas infrastructure and that we consider the potential transition to renewable sources such as hydrogen and biogas. Renewable gas production and use for domestic heating is already being explored by gas networks throughout the country.

By creating a nationally consistent policy that prioritises new gas sources and hydrogen, Australian homes and businesses can be provided with reliable and affordable energy.”

READ MORE

For more, contact Jemma Townson, Energy Networks Australia