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News Service 67 – SMEs needed for Renewables, NSW employers stood staff down, Training places, VET delivery quality, qualifications reform survey, online learning, assessment, smart & skilled, Safety, Industry news

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  1. SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS (SMEs) NEEDED – ELECTROTECHNOLOGY TRAINING PACKAGE
  2. ONE IN FOUR EMPLOYERS IN NSW HAD STAFF STOOD DOWN IN AUGUST
  3. GOVERNMENT FUNDED GWO TRAINING PLACES IN NSW
  4. UNPACKING THE QUALITY OF VET DELIVERY
  5. REMINDER – HAVE YOUR SAY ON QUALIFICATIONS REFORM
  6. STRATEGIC REVIEW OF ONLINE LEARNING
    1. DEVELOPING YOUR ASSESSMENT PROCESSES
  7. SMART AND SKILLED UPDATE – AUGUST 2021
  8. $1M DEFENCE FINE MARKS LARGEST RECORDED FOR COMMONWEALTH
  9. WORKERS EJECTED FROM UNDERGROUND WORK PLATFORM
  10. AI VERIFIES SOLAR SALES LEADS IN AN AUSTRALIAN FIRST
  11. NEW TOOLS TO FORTIFY THE FUTURE POWER SYSTEM
  12. BATTERIES UP POWER POLES BRINGS ENERGY STORAGE TO THE STREETS
  13. SOLAR MONITORING BENEFITING HOUSEHOLDS AND NETWORKS
  14. GREENWASHING: DON’T GET TAKEN TO THE CLEANERS

1. SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS (SMEs) NEEDED – ELECTROTECHNOLOGY TRAINING PACKAGE

Australian Industry Standards (AIS) advises that the Electrotechnology Industry Reference Committee (IRC) has commenced the Renewables project and is forming a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) do undertake the work.

In this regard Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are needed to help review and develop Training Package materials to enable Electrotechnology workers to develop skills for the installation and maintenance of renewable energy technologies.

The project will review and update eight qualifications and 50 Units of Competency in the Electrotechnology Training Package to reflect current technologies, industry practices, regulations, and accreditation.

Please register your interest via the project page, by close of business Thursday, 30 September 2021.

VISIT THE RENEWABLES PROJECT PAGE

For more information on the background and project deliverables, please visit the project page or contact the Industry Skills Specialist, Paul Humphreys, M: 0429 670 588 | E: paul.humphreys@aistnds.org.au


2. ONE IN FOUR EMPLOYERS IN NSW HAD STAFF STOOD DOWN IN AUGUST

The National Skills Commission’s (NSC’s) latest ‘Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey’ shows that labour market conditions are continuing to ease.  The media release states, “Overall, in August 2021, 39% of employers surveyed as part of the Survey were recruiting or had recruited in the past month, a 4 percentage point decrease on July 2021.

Employers in New South Wales had the lowest recruitment rate of the states (25%), reflecting the impact of COVID‑19 restrictions, while Western Australia (52%) and Queensland (51%) reported the highest recruitment rates.

New data from the survey on employers’ staffing situations sheds further light on the current impacts on employers in New South Wales and Victoria. Around one in four (24%) employers in New South Wales had staff stood down (i.e. they had staff who remain employed but are currently not working any hours) in August 2021, while 30% of employers in the state had staff on reduced hours.”

READ MORE HERE or access the FULL REPORT HERE


3. GOVERNMENT FUNDED GWO TRAINING PLACES IN NSW

Thomson Bridge announced in its latest Newsletter, that the New South Wales government has funded training places in Global Wind Organisation (GWO) skillset.  The Newsletter states, “Thomson Bridge is proud to announce that the Global Wind Organisation (GWO) skillset for workers within the wind generation sector can now be delivered under subsidised arrangements by the New South Wales Governments Skilling for Recovery program, for a limited time only.

Through this initiative the cost of the National Units of Competency are fully funded, with the only out of pocket expenses being for certification with GWO”. 

This program encompasses a list of nationally recognised units of competency, subsidised through the NSW Skilling for Recovery program.  These subsidies are only available for participants who finalise their enrolment prior to 30 September 2021.

READ MORE HERE


4. UNPACKING THE QUALITY OF VET DELIVERY

NCVER has released an Occasional Paper produced by Hugh Guthrie and Melinda Waters, 8 September 2021 on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment practices in the vocational education and training (VET) sector in Australia – what we understand these to be and how they might be measured. 

A description of the Paper states, “Based on a review of the literature, this paper explores current definitions of quality in VET, the factors that impact on the quality of delivery and the various measures used to make judgements about it.  … This paper draws on the Australian and international literature to explore how the quality of delivery is understood and applied in different contexts and to investigate how it is currently measured.”

Key messages

The literature tells us that:

  • The VET sector is highly complex and diverse. Thus, what contributes to effective or good-quality delivery in different local contexts needs to be broadly conceived and requires the use of ‘fit for purpose’ delivery approaches.
  • Defining quality and the quality of delivery is not simple and involves gathering and using a wide range of data and information − both quantitative and qualitative − throughout the student life cycle to develop a ‘true picture’ of quality.
  • Quality measures for RTOs reflect the impact delivery has on their clients (students and employers). A balance needs to be struck, however, between meeting immediate needs and developing students’ longer-term skills, as well as the personal capabilities that will sustain them through their careers.
  • The range of RTOs’ contextual factors, organisational foci and missions also means that a ‘one size fits all’ set of measures of delivery quality may not serve all purposes.
  • Critical factors affecting the quality of delivery include the policy and regulatory milieu in which RTOs operate, the quality of training packages and their ability to translate them readily into training programs, the types of students they service, the availability of teachers and trainers, the quality of leadership and culture in RTOs, and the effectiveness of initial and continuing professional development in maintaining and building the quality of RTO workforces.

These issues and challenges have been identified in the literature for some time and require strategic and comprehensive interventions to shift the tenor of the quality delivery debate in VET.

READ MORE HERE


5. REMINDER – HAVE YOUR SAY ON QUALIFICATIONS REFORM

An important reminder for readers that the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (the department) is seeking stakeholder feedback through a formal consultation survey process.  This survey is targeted towards VET stakeholders involved in the design, development and delivery of national training products, although anyone who is interested may respond.

The survey seeks feedback on how new qualification design concepts might work in practice.  It follows DESE’s previous Qualifications Design Survey, which revealed strong support for the design concepts being tested through Qualification Design Trials.

Everyone is encouraged to complete the survey.  DESE is particularly interested in feedback from those in the VET sector involved in the design, development and delivery of national training products.

DESE will hold webinars on the 15 and 16 September to share information about the new qualification design concepts and will contact stakeholders when registrations open.

Webinar details:

  1. 15 September at 11am – 12pm (REGISTER HERE)
  2. 16 September at 2pm – 3pm (REGISTER HERE)

Complete the survey before 10am (AEDT) Monday 20 September 2021 – LINK TO SURVEY


6. STRATEGIC REVIEW OF ONLINE LEARNING

ASQA’s September News Update includes an article of ASQA’s we release of its first insights paper as part of our Strategic Review of Online Learning.  ASQA states, “The approach of the strategic review is consistent with our renewed regulatory approach, which includes strengthening the guidance, support and education we offer to providers to help them understand their regulatory obligations and to self-assure.”

ASQA states, it “will continue to share findings throughout the rest of this year, with a commitment to building understanding and support for the continuous improvement and quality in online learning. The Strategic Review’s updated Terms of Reference give more detail on the approach to sharing findings with the sector.”

READ MORE HERE

6.1.  DEVELOPING YOUR ASSESSMENT PROCESSES

The News Update also includes a reminder of ASQA’s Spotlight On series which has now available Series 3 – Developing your assessment processes.

“Series 3 of Spotlight On focusses on ensuring you have a high performing assessment system in place.  A system that allows your students both the opportunity and the time to develop their skills and knowledge—and a process to practice and demonstrate their skills in a holistic and meaningful way.

Did you know that an assessment system includes not only the actual materials used directly in conducting assessment, but also policies, procedures and other supporting documents and tools that inform the way assessment is conducted within your provider?

To assist you in developing these processes, Series 3 features interviews with ASQA and other training providers sharing their skills, knowledge and insights on what works best for them.”

READ MORE HERE


7. SMART AND SKILLED UPDATE – AUGUST 2021

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

  1. Summer Skills 2021/22 – Intent to Participate
    1. About Summer Skills 2021/22
    2. Priority industry areas
    3. Enrolment and training delivery dates
    4. Communications and engagement
  2. Training completion date for Skilling for Recovery – Skill Up from Home part qualifications
  3. Ongoing survey on the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on Smart and Skilled Providers
  4. Reminder: COVID-19 Smart and Skilled Provider Webinar – recording of webinar held 6 August 2021

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.


8. $1M DEFENCE FINE MARKS LARGEST RECORDED FOR COMMONWEALTH

The NSCA Foundation’s Safe-T-Bulletin eNewsletter (6 Sep 2021) reports this week that “the Department of Defence has been fined $1 million after a soldier was fatally shot during training. The penalty is the largest recorded for the Commonwealth jurisdiction”. …

“The charge relates to a live-fire exercise involving the Army’s 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, where 25-year-old Private Jason Challis suffered a fatal gunshot wound. The incident occurred at the Mount Bundey Training Area, south-east of Darwin, on 10 May 2017. Defence pleaded guilty to the charge in May 2021, acknowledging that it failed to provide a safe system of work for the exercise. This included not providing adequate risk assessments, trainings and briefings, and failing to mark dangerous spaces at the training site where participants could be exposed to live fire”.

READ MORE HERE


9. WORKERS EJECTED FROM UNDERGROUND WORK PLATFORM

NSW Resource Regulator reports in its Mines Safety News, Weekly Incident Summary, this week that two workers were tipped out of a work platform (WP) attached to an integrated tool carrier (ITC).  The article was reported in the Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety’s Mines Safety Bulletin No. 184 (30 August 2021).  It states, “In July 2020, a service crew at an underground mine was hanging an electrical trailing cable for a jumbo drill in an ore drive, when two workers were tipped out of a work platform (WP) attached to an integrated tool carrier (ITC).

As the two workers were hanging the cable from the WP, a hydraulic failure associated with the tilt cylinder (crowd function) on the boom of the ITC caused the WP to tilt fully forward under gravity.  Due to the sudden and unexpected movement, one of the workers was ejected from the WP onto the ground below while the other remained in the WP as his right boot was caught in the door.

The hydraulic failure resulted from the anti-dump valve on the tilt cylinder becoming separated from the cylinder port when its mounting bolts sheared”.

READ MORE HERE


10. AI VERIFIES SOLAR SALES LEADS IN AN AUSTRALIAN FIRST

Sean Carroll in the 7 September 2021 issue of Electrical Connection reports on how artificial intelligence (AI) technology has been successfully used by solar specialist 3Quotes in an innovative pilot to verify leads generated from solar installers.  The article states, “The results from the pilot show that more than 40% of customer enquiries successfully led to the installation of a solar system.  The research covered homeowners from across Australia and used Nearmap high-resolution imagery and AI data to locate new solar panels on individual homes.

Not only does the technology verify that the panels have been installed, but it also provides other valuable data in successfully verifying leads”.

READ MORE HERE


11. NEW TOOLS TO FORTIFY THE FUTURE POWER SYSTEM

The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) reports in its latest news service, AEMC Update that it has outlined proposals to provide ways of valuing and delivering resources to back up national electricity market security at the least cost to consumers.  The Update states, “The AEMC is calling for stakeholder feedback on a directions paper on the options for a mechanism that would better incentivise the provision of crucial system security services from the market and lay the groundwork for supporting innovative new technologies to provide them in the future.

As ageing thermal synchronous generators wind back or retire, the system services they provided for free as by-products of generating energy are not available in the same way. These include services like inertia, voltage control and system strength.

READ MORE HERE


12. BATTERIES UP POWER POLES BRINGS ENERGY STORAGE TO THE STREETS

he September 2021 ARENAWIRE news service from Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) reports that United Energy, a Victorian energy distributor, is trying a world-first approach that puts battery storage right on the customer’s doorstep – above suburban streets.  The article states, “The $11 million ‘Electric Avenue’ project will see 40 batteries built and mounted to electricity poles across United Energy’s low-voltage distribution network to operate as a virtual power plant (VPP) to boost storage capacity and deliver benefits to the grid.

The 30kW / 60kWh batteries will be capable of powering up to 75 homes for at least two hours and will be built locally by Thycon in Coburg North in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.”

READ MORE HERE


13. SOLAR MONITORING BENEFITING HOUSEHOLDS AND NETWORKS

Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA’S) September 2021 ARENAWIRE news service also includes a report on solar monitoring service that can deliver hundreds of dollars in annual savings for households and reduce strain on the grid.  It states, “A locally developed rooftop solar monitoring system is boosting the benefits of residential installations and providing tools to help authorities to manage the electricity network.

Developed by Sydney data specialists Solar Analytics, the service allows households to monitor their solar generation and energy usage in real time.

ARENA provided funding to Solar Analytics in 2016 to quantify the benefits that can be achieved by monitoring residential solar systems, finding the technology increased solar generation by 14 per cent, adding an average of $132 benefit over the course of a year.”

READ MORE HERE


14. GREENWASHING: DON’T GET TAKEN TO THE CLEANERS

EnergyInsider, 9 September 2021, a joint publication of Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and the Australian Energy Council (AEC), reports in this article that, “as the world transitions to a cleaner energy future, many high-profile companies have made public pledges to reduce their emissions and align themselves with a net-zero future. But of course, making a pledge is not the same as meeting a pledge, and this can give rise to claims of greenwashing.  So what does the law say about greenwashing? And what does it mean for the energy transition?

Greenwashing is not a new concept. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has published a guide that deals with how consumer law applies to green marketing. The scenarios it considers predominantly relate to claims about specific products (“our bags are environmentally friendly: they are biodegradable!” or “this washing machine uses 75 per cent less water!”).

READ MORE HERE

For more, contact Rhys Thomas, Australian Energy Council