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News Service 77 – State of Australia’s Skills, Electro Trade teachers needed, Gen Skill Program, Industry Cluster briefing, Feedback for Electro & Skills webinar, Lack of skills, safety news, electrical regulator actions, industry news, Season’s Greetings

uensw  > News headlines >  News Service 77 – State of Australia’s Skills, Electro Trade teachers needed, Gen Skill Program, Industry Cluster briefing, Feedback for Electro & Skills webinar, Lack of skills, safety news, electrical regulator actions, industry news, Season’s Greetings
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1. THE STATE OF AUSTRALIA’S SKILLS 2021 – NOW AND INTO THE FUTURE

The National Skills Commission (NSC) has released a humongous report into the state of Australia’s skills.  The near on 200-page report covers the Australian labour market over the past 40 years, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market, skills of workers in today’s labour market, labour market matching and skills needs, emerging skills and skills and jobs of the future. 

The Media Release states, “The shape of Australia’s workforce has changed over recent decades and will continue to change over the period ahead as our economy and workforce are impacted by the ongoing shift to services, advances in technology, growing automation and the increasing need for post-school education and training.

The report identifies data and digital skills as the fastest growing skills required by employers. Other examples of skills that are increasing in importance include enterprise resource planning (ERP), social media, infection control, patient care and graphic and visual design – skills that are in many ways changing the way we do our jobs.

Looking forward, the report finds that Australia’s future jobs and economic growth will centre around a workforce skilled across care, computing, cognitive abilities and communication, or the “four Cs”.

  • care – the group of skills responding to demographic change, such as the ageing of the population
  • computing – a group of skills needed to respond to the digital world and the increasing use of digital technologies across the entire economy
  • cognitive abilities – the group of advanced reasoning and higher order skills computers cannot easily replace, especially non-routine cognitive skills
  • communication – the group of skills needed to collaborate and engage within and across workplaces.

That said, there will of course be a range of other skills required to meet the needs of the future. What is very clear is the future need for a highly skilled workforce. More than 90% of the new jobs to emerge in the next five years will require post-school qualifications. What’s also likely is that how we do our jobs will continue to change.

The report offers a series of markers to help influence and inform the development of Australia’s education and skills system over the years ahead.”

Additionally, there are different visualisations of skills most likely to grow in the next five years:


2. LICENSED TRADIES WANTED FOR FUTURE TEACHING JOBS

If you’re a licensed tradie with good experience in design, solar or batteries and looking for to pass on your experiences and expertise to others then you should consider a career move into trade and pos-trade teaching.  Superior Training Centre (STC) is exploring opportunities to attract and upskill experienced tradies to expand the pool of qualified teachers and trainers in the industry.

There is a growing demand for electrical and refrigeration and air condition apprenticeships as the economy starts to rise out of the pandemic era.  Specialists with specific experiences and expertise in solar, batteries, design, wind and a host of others are more and more being sought be industry.

Why not think about how you can contribute to mentoring and teaching the next generation of electricians, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) technicians and the specialist fields that are emerging?

If you think you have what it takes, an interest, or want to know more, contact Antonis, Head Trainer at STC.  Email: headtrainer@stc.nsw.edu.au

Or, contact Mila Lukic direct on 0400 46 11 90 for a chat about the possibilities.

There’s never a better time to take up an opportunity to make a difference.

Visit the STC website for more information about STC:  www.stc.nsw.edu.au


3. THERMAL GENERATORS SET UP STAFF FOR THE FUTURE WITH THOMSON BRIDGE’S LEGACY SKILLS PROGRAM

The latest Thomson Bridge newsletter reports that, “Several coal and gas fired power stations have taken on Thomson Bridge Legacy Skills programs, issuing nationally accredited qualifications to their people who have spent their working careers in power stations.

In November alone Thomson Bridge has issued 49 qualifications to power station operators, highlighting their commitment in setting their staff up for the future.

This program is managed within Thomson Bridge by our subject matter experts who are experienced trainers and assessors with over 40 years of experience within power stations from Plant Operators, Shift Superintendents and Production Managers, and quality assurance oversight being provided by a former Principal Regulatory Officer and Acting Manager of Regulatory Operations for the Australian Skills Quality Authority.

Thomson Bridge’s Legacy Skills program has extensive support from industry, with power stations across Australia, operated by Origin Energy, Delta Electricity, ENGIE and Energy Australia actively participating for the formal recognition of competencies held by their workforce.”

READ MORE HERE


4. REGISTER INDUSTRY CLUSTERS BRIEFING WEBINAR

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) will provide an industry briefing on the Stage 1 Grant Opportunity for Industry Clusters published on GrantConnect.   DESE encourages interested persons or applicants to submit questions prior to the briefing by emailing IndustryEngagement@dese.gov.au.

The official notice circulated to promote the Grant opportunity states, “The Australian Government is undertaking a fundamental overhaul of Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) system and placing industry at the centre. Industry Clusters are being established through a two-stage grant opportunity, with stage one now open until 31 March 2022 through GrantConnect.

Industry Clusters will be groups of aligned industries with a strategic leadership role to identify, forecast and respond to the current and emerging skills needs and workforce challenges of their industries. Industry Clusters will strengthen employer leadership and engagement in the national VET system and drive collaboration to meet the evolving needs of industry and employers.

For more information

  • Read the latest Media Release from the Hon Stuart Robert MP, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business.
  • View the Industry Clusters (Stage 1) Grant Opportunity Guidelines.
  • Register to attend a virtual Industry Briefing on Tuesday 14 December at 2.00 pm (AEDT) time
  • Visit the Skills Reform website.

5. FEEDBACK SOUGHT FOR ELECTROTECHNOLOGY TRAINING PACKAGE UPDATES

The Australian Industry Standards (AIS) advises that the Electrotechnology Industry Reference Committee’s (E-IRC’s), Technical Advisory Committees have drafted Training Package materials for the following projects and would like your feedback.

  • Advanced Diploma of Engineering – Electrical – project has reviewed the qualification and developed five new Units of Competency to better reflect the intent of the qualification and address higher-level theoretical concepts more appropriate for the vocational destinations of graduates.
  • Electricity Meters – one existing Unit of Competency and an existing Skill Set have been reviewed and updated to reflect current industry requirements and work practices. The draft materials incorporate legislative and safety requirements in the installation of advanced digital meters, and the replacement of older-style basic or accumulation meters.
  • Hazardous Areas – this project has reviewed two qualifications and developed 11 new Units of Competency to reflect AS/NZS4781.1:2018 Competencies for working with Electrical Equipment for Hazardous Areas (EEHA). The Electrotechnology Training Package does not currently cover all clauses contained within the Standard and Industry has requested that the remaining units be adopted. The Standard sets out the generic cross-industry competencies needed for work associated with electrical equipment for hazardous areas.
  • Rail Signalling – one qualification and 15 Units of Competency have been updated to address the disparity between the qualification outcomes and employers’ skill and knowledge needs. The TAC has drafted three new units and one new skill set, and recommended the deletion of five existing units to reflect contemporary industry practice and systems.

To view the draft Qualification, Units of Competency, Skills Sets and the Mapping Attachment documents please click below.

VIEW DRAFT MATERIALS

SUBMIT FEEDBACK – feedback by close of business Friday, 28 January 2022

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


6. REPLAY THE AIS ENERGY & ELECTROTECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY SKILLS WEBINAR

On Thursday 9 December, Australian Industry Standards (AIS) hosted a joint Energy and Electrotechnology Industry Skills Webinar, facilitated by Director of IRC Operations, Klausch Schmidt. 

The webinar featured the Chair of the ESI Transmission, Distribution and Rail Industry Reference Committee(IRC), Peter Woods, Member of the ESI Generation IRC, Richard Harvey, Chair of the Electrotechnology IRC, Larry Moore, AIS Industry Skills Manager, Erin Knudsen, AIS Industry Skills Specialist, Shaun Thomas, and AIS Industry Skills Specialist, Paul Humphreys.

They discussed how the ESI Transmission, Distribution and Rail, ESI Generation and Electrotechnology IRCs are revising qualifications and developing new Units of Competency to address the needs of industry and its workforces.

If you were unable to participate in the webinar, you can watch and listen to the replay on Vimeo.

VIEW AND LISTEN TO THE RECORDING HERE


7. A LACK OF LOCAL SKILLS WILL IMPACT NUCLEAR SUBMARINE MANUFACTURE

Manufacturing Monthly, 8 December 2021, features an article by Geoff Crittenden, CEO of Weld Australia on skills development issues impacting nuclear submarine manufacture in Australia. 

Geoff writes, on the termination of the Naval Group Attack Class submarine contract and how the lack of local skills will impact the federal government’s nuclear-powered replacement plans.

The articles states, “On 16 September, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia would no longer proceed with the Attack Class conventional submarine program to be built by Naval Group. Instead, Australia is set to build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines after striking a trilateral security agreement with the US and the UK. …

Without an existing nuclear industry, it will be difficult for any defence prime contractor building these nuclear-powered submarines to meet the local industry content requirements that are included in all Defence contracts.

While ambitious, the Federal Government’s local content requirements are of enormous benefit to Australian industry. However, without exception, they have been extremely difficult to execute effectively on recent Defence projects. There are a number of reasons for this difficulty.

Firstly, the Defence projects are extraordinarily complex, requiring a highly skilled workforce, investments in cutting-edge technology and rapid upskilling. Secondly, the companies delivering these projects are global entities, with priorities that extend beyond Australia’s borders.

Lastly, and perhaps most significantly, several of these major Defence projects were announced simultaneously. Local industry hasn’t been given the opportunity to keep up with the speed and scale of delivery expected. …

All this is compounded by a lack of skilled nuclear engineers and captains. It takes years and years of experience to captain a nuclear submarine; Australia effectively needs mariners in training now to ensure they’re ready to captain submarines when construction is complete. Australia already struggles to crew its Collins Class submarines, which need up to 50 people aboard. The US Fast Attack submarines require crews of around 130 people. How will Australia bridge this shortfall? 

READ MORE HERE


8. 2021 NATIONAL RETURN TO WORK SURVEY INITIAL FINDINGS

Safe Work Australia has published the 2021 National Return to Work Survey Headline Measures Report.  The report provides an overview of key return to work measures captured in the 2021 National Return to Work Survey – Australia’s only return to work survey of people who get workers’ compensation for a work-related illness or injury.

The 2021 results, used for national reporting and jurisdictional comparison, show a national returned to work rate of 91.6% and a current return to work rate of 81.3%.

The ‘returned to work rate’ is the proportion of workers who reported they had returned to work since their work-related injury or illness. The ‘current return to work rate’ is the proportion of workers who reported they had returned to work since their work-related injury or illness and were in paid employment at the time of the survey.

A more detailed 2021 National Return to Work Survey summary report will be published in early 2022.

National Return to Work Survey – Safe Work Australia uses the National Return to Work Survey to understand return to work experiences and explore factors that may influence return to work.

The National Return to Work Survey is a key data source guiding the delivery of the National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030.


9. OVERHEAD POWERLINE INCIDENTS

Friday’s (10 December 2021) edition of eSafe, published by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, reported of yet another series of powerline incidents.  The article states, “In October 2021, a man suffered electric shock and severe burns while installing gutter guarding on the roof of an industrial shed. For reasons yet to be established, the worker came into contact with a nearby 11kV single wire earth return (SWER) while he was on the roof.

In November 2021, a worker suffered serious burns and another minor injuries when a mobile concrete placing boom contacted an 11kV overhead powerline at a residential construction site. Initial enquiries indicate the mobile concrete placing boom was operating at the time of the incident.”

Investigations into both incidents are continuing.

READ MORE HERE

It is a timely reminder of the look up and live campaign.  Safety around powerlines.  Learn more about the hazards of working around powerlines.  Cookie, a long-term advocate for powerline safety, chats with a few industry representatives in a video non the farm.  It is a very powerful video about the issues and actions that need to be considered.  Learn about rotamarkers and more.  Watch the video on Facebook at the following link:  https://fb.watch/8ZSbuUBq-I/

We usually don’t think much about the powerlines around us. But remember, contacting powerlines or other electrical infrastructure can have serious or even deadly consequences. Always ‘take care, stay line aware’. Plan ahead when working near powerlines and adopt safe work practices.

For more information visit: SAFETY ADVICE  and  POWERLINE MARKERS

You can also download the Look up and Live map app – Look up and Live map


10. NZ ELECTRICAL WORKERS REGISTRATION BOARD PROSECUTIONS

Issue 111 of the NZ Electrical Workers Registration Board, Electron newsletter includes several electrical malpractices that have led to a disciplinary hearing and prosecutions. 

The newsletter reports on “a disciplinary case in August where …, an Electrical Inspector, was disciplined for carrying out prescribed electrical work (PEW) in a negligent and incompetent manner and for providing a false or misleading return.  … failed to test PEW prior to issuing a Certificate of Compliance (CoC).”

In relation to two prosecutions, one related to a person, “who was trading as the sole director and shareholder of Keltech Security Ltd, installed and connected to the power supply cables in the ceiling and socket outlets for downlights at the property” and another, a person “performing electrical work … at his personal residential property”.  The owner, “completed electrical work including installing cables and socket outlets, and connecting a heated towel rail, an oven, and electric cooktops to a power supply. He sold the property and the new owners raised concerns with the electrical work at the address.”

READ MORE HERE


11. ERAC GUIDANCE ON MAX VOLTAGE IN DOMESTIC INSTALLS

Master Electricians Australia (MEA) reports in its Industry News of 9 December 2021 that, “After discussions with electrical safety regulation, the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council has released a document regarding the revised AS/NZS 5033:2021.

The maximum DC voltage that can be used currently with regard to domestic properties is limited to a maximum of 600v DC.

Until changes are amended to the 600v limit in AS/NZS 4777.1, the ability under AS/NZS 5033:2021 to use up to 1000 v DC cannot be used.”

ERAC states, “This document has been produced in consultation with, and is endorsed by, electrical safety regulators in all Australian States and Territories, and in New Zealand, via their representatives on the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC).  …  The purpose of this document is to provide a consistent approach across Australia and New Zealand when applying the requirements within the particular Standard.”

DOWNLOAD THE GUIDANCE DOCUMENT HERE


12. AREMA WITHDRAWS SUPPORT FOR NCC 2022

Editor Sandra Rossi reports in the 3 December 2021 edition of Climate Control News (CCN) that, “The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturers Association (AREMA) has identified a serious flaw in the proposed 2022 National Construction Code (NCC).”

The articles goes on to state, “AREMA president, Mark Padwick, said the proposal takes a whole-of-home approach to energy efficiency which includes heating and cooling equipment.

“The approach proposed by the Australian Building Code Board does not ensure reductions in energy use, at least in relation to heating and cooling,” he said.

The methodology proposed only considers the efficiency of heat pump systems for heating and cooling, but not the size of the system.  …

Padwick said an undersized system cannot deliver the efficiency, electricity costs or comfort levels projected by the NCC.”

READ MORE HERE


13. NECA WELCOMES AEMC’S REFORMS ON BATTERIES

In the latest edition of Electrical Connection, 9 December 2021, Editor Sean Carroll reports on the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) final decision to incentivise an influx of batteries into the market, and National Electrical and Communications Association’s (NECA’s) response to the announcement. 

The article states, “The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) has welcomed the Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) final decision to incentivise an influx of batteries into the market, announcing a new range of measures to ensure the energy sector remains innovative and competitive.

The reforms will see a major increase in battery reliance and will play a key role in decarbonising the nation in line with its climate commitments, as a direct result of the changes a major increase in the demand for skilled electrical work is predicted across the nation.”

READ MORE HERE


14. RENEWABLES GO FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH

EnergyInsider, a joint publication of Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and Australian Energy Council (AEC), reports in the 9 December 2021 edition that renewables having been going from strength to strength since 2005. 

The article states, “The latest Clean Energy Regulator Carbon Market Report has underscored that renewable generation is going from strength to strength in the National Electricity Market.  A record 32 per cent of the electricity generated came from renewable sources in the third quarter and the CER’s assessment points to further expansion. …

The latest Clean Energy Regulator Carbon Market Report provides further reinforcement of the rapid rate of deployment of renewable generation in the National Electricity Market (NEM). …

The increase in the contribution from renewable sources (capacity has grown by an average of 6GW each year between 2018 and 2020) has led to the emissions intensity of electricity supply in the NEM and SWIS falling from 0.79t CO2 in 2017 to 0.66t CO2 to end Q3 2021. …

During the third quarter 603MW of new large-scale renewable energy capacity was approved taking the year’s total to date to 1.2GW, which while it is down on 2.7GW approved in the same period in 2020, this is partly because of the timing of accreditation for several power stations which were expected to come online early this year, but actually began generation in late 2020.” 

READ MORE HERE


15. WINDFARMS IN NSW SOFTWOOD PLANTATIONS ALLOWED

The latest NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap newsletter of 10 December 2021 reports on an amendment to the Forestry Act 2012, which was made and will facilitate the opportunity to establish renewable energy infrastructure in NSW State forest pine plantations.  The article states, “These changes were passed in NSW Parliament on 19 November 2021 as part of the Energy Legislation Amendment Bill.”

The Media Release states, “NSW Parliament passed amendments to the Forestry Act 2012 as part of the Energy Legislation Amendment Bill to facilitate the opportunity to establish renewable energy infrastructure in State forest pine plantations.

CEO Forestry Corporation Anshul Chaudhary said the opportunity to add to the sustainability of the already renewable timber resource was exciting.

“Our State-owned pine plantations produce enough renewable timber to build around 35,000 homes a year, and we can now explore opportunities for these plantations to also produce renewable energy to power those homes,” Mr Chaudhary said.”

READ MORE HERE

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE NSW ELECTRICITY INFRASTRUCTURE ROADMAP INITIATIVES UNDERWAY VIA THE VIRTUAL ROOM

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has created a Roadmap Virtual Engagement Room, which is live!  Find out more about the Roadmap, what it’s aiming to achieve and what it means for NSW consumers, regional communities, the energy industry and investors.

The virtual room is set up like an in-person information centre.  It provides an interactive online space to learn more, and access engagement materials and key consultation processes. Take a look around HERE.

The Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap (Roadmap) is the New South Wales (NSW) Government’s plan to transform our electricity system into one that is cheap, clean and reliable.  Learn more about the Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) and key EnergyCo NSW projects; key appointments; first Infrastructure Investment Objectives (IIO) Report released; and regulations made to support the Roadmap.


16. SA LAUNCHES SPACE PARK TO DEVELOP FLYING CARS AND SMALL SATELLITES

The 10 December 2021 edition of Space Connect includes an interesting article announced on Wednesday 8 December 2021, on the of launch of a space park in South Australia focused on bridging the gap between research and production of flying cars and small satellites.  The articles states, “It comes as South Australia is positioning itself to lead the nation’s space industry, expecting the industry to grow 5.8 per cent over the next decade.

It is in partnership with the South Australian government, alongside four companies including Fleet Space Technologies, Q-CTRL, ATSpsace and Alauda Aeronautics.

“My government has unashamedly adapted a pro-growth, pro-economy agenda and transforming South Australia into the undisputed Space State is a key part of future proofing the jobs-economy for our children in the decades to come,” Premier Steven Marshall said.

The “purpose-built facility” will boost manufacturing capabilities with a focus on small satellites and their payloads, rockets and electrical vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOL).”

READ MORE HERE


17. MERRY X-MAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

On behalf of the NSW UE ITAB Board, we extend to our News Service readers and their families our best wishes for the festive season.  May it be happy and safe, and more importantly full of joy, good tides, merriment and prosperity in the new year.

On behalf of the NSW UE ITAB Board, we extend to our News Service readers and their families our best wishes for the festive season.  May it be happy and safe, and more importantly full of joy, good tides, merriment and prosperity in the new year.

We thank you for the opportunity for allowing us to share with you the latest VET, Safety and Industry news via the News Service, which started soon after the COVID-19 breakout.  We hope you enjoyed the Service, and we look forward to continuing it in 2022.  Hopefully, with the pandemic behind us, renewed opportunities will ensue, to once again allow us to return to meeting and discussing matters of shared and mutual interest face to face in 2022.

During the festive season, we too will take a break.  We will return with the service in February 2022.  In the meantime, we wish everyone a wonderful Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.