News Service 78 – Release of skills paper, apprenticeships numbers rise, Generation TP feedback, NSW Training Awards open, Career Revive 2022 EoI, TAE Review, Best Practice Guide V3, Smart & Skilled 155, ASP Review, Industry & Safety News

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1. SKILLS WE NEED FOR THE FUTURE WE WANT – PART 1

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has released its much-awaited latest Part 1 opinion piece on the “Skills we need for the future we want”.Written by Andrew Dettmer, National President of the AMWU and Ian Curry, National Coordinator – Skills, Training and Apprenticeships for the AMWU the paper discusses the importance of having a clear and unambiguous shared understanding of the primary purpose of the VET system in Australia, and the urgent need to restore certainty and confidence in the system.

The AMWU intends to subsequently release Part 2, in the series, which will deal in more detail with the AMWU’s views on how that certainty and confidence can be rebuilt to take the system forward.

With respect to Part 1, the paper seeks initially to affirm the problem that exists which is trying to be solved, learnings from the past, the AMWU’s proposition for addressing the VET challenges ahead and more importantly the need to build consensus as to an unambiguous statement of purpose for the system.  Part of the proposed statement is, that it should cover defining skills, defining industry leadership and defining the components of the national industry system.

It concludes with a statement, “The AMWU is calling for a true national skills reform process. One that has industry as a true partner in coordinated reforms with Governments, major TAFE systems and other providers. The current DESE reform process must either pivot towards, or make way for, this true national initiative. It must overcome the weaknesses of Federation and be not just a Commonwealth initiative for the part of VET it is responsible for while States and Territories continue with their uncoordinated initiatives – some good – some bad.”

For those that are familiar with the historical development of the Australian VET system throughout the 80s, 90sand early 2000s, which witnessed Australia develop a world class system, recognised and envied across the world, will readily identify with many of key elements expressed so eloquently in the paper.  Initially defining the purpose of the system, jointly through open dialogue and consensus building with relevant stakeholders, is perhaps the most important issue to focus on.  It must be led by industry, across Australia engaging and involving as many leaders and practitioners as possible to build consensus.  Leadership should not come from administrative operatives and bureaucrats, but from industry leaders with a core belief in the benefits and rewards of developing Australia’s workforce in terms of work organisation and skills development, with a core aim of improving Australia’s economic and productive performance and advantage.  Having confirmed the purpose of the system appropriate mechanisms can then be developed to identify and implement strategies, goals and objectives to achieve them.

The paper is a timely call to arms for change and refocus of effort for a quality improvement in the VET system.  The NSW UE ITAB welcomes its release, commends it to readers and looks forward to Part 2.

Download a copy of the paper HERE.


2. APPRENTICESHIPS AT HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE 2014

Sandra Rossi, Editor at Climate Control News (CCN) reports in the latest news of the huge growth in apprenticeship numbers, since 2014.  The article states, “Apprentice and trainee commencements grew nationally to 47,785 (or by 114 per cent) in the June quarter 2021 compared with the same quarter in 2020.

The rise in the June quarter continues the trend from the previous two quarters in which commencements increased by 40 per cent from the March quarter 2020 to 2021 and by 150 per cent from the December quarter 2019 to 2020.

Data released on the 31 January 2022 from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show the increase in the June quarter was reported across nearly all industry sectors.

The largest increase occurred in construction (up 5,275 or 96 per cent).

NCVER managing director, Simon Walker, said annual apprentice and trainee commencements are at their highest level since the year ending June 2014.”

READ MORE HERE

NCVER data – view the latest infographic snapshot of apprenticeships and traineeships 2021 data, across Australia: JUNE QUARTER HERE

2.1. SHOWCASING APPRENTICE TALENT IN HVACR

Also, worthy of a read is the article on official launch of NextGen 2022.  Sandra Rossi, reports that Climate Control News (CCN), in partnership with the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC), has officially launched NextGen 2022.

“The NextGen initiative was first launched three years ago, to showcase Australia’s best apprentices and promote HVACR as a great career choice.

Each year apprentices and technicians under the age of 25 from all over Australia are invited to participate. But first they must be nominated by peers or their employer to be selected for our Top 20 under 25 program.”

Nominations open 1 February 2022 and close 1 April, 2022.

READ MORE HERE

2.2. GOVERNMENT EXTENDS BAC WAGE SUBSIDY PROGRAM

Sean Carroll, Editor at Electrical Connection reports in the latest newsletter, that the Commonwealth Government has extended its Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy program which lets people claim up to a 50% wage rebate, up to $28,000 per new employee plus upskilling.

The article states, “The Australian Government is providing support to all eligible employers who engage a new Australian apprentice as part of its efforts to assist with the financial recovery from COVID-19.

Employees can be any age, any experience and already have previous qualifications (even University ones) so this is not just for young people starting out.”

READ MORE HERE


3. ESI GENERATION TRAINING PACKAGE – FEEDBACK SOUGHT

Australian Industry Standards (AIS) reports that the ESI Generation Industry Reference Committee’s (IRC’s), Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has drafted Training Package materials for the Control Room Operations project, including five new Units of Competency and three new Skill Sets and would like your feedback.

The draft materials address skills requirements for control room operations relating to power generation in both fossil fuels and renewable energies, encompassing automated control systems.

VIEW DRAFTS MATERIALS AND SUBMIT FEEDBACK

Feedback is sought by close of business Wednesday, 16 February 2022

For more information on this project, please contact the Industry Skills Specialist, Shaun Thomas at M: 0409 505 196 | E: shaun.thomas@aistnds.org.au


4. NSW TRAINING AWARDS OPEN FOR NOMINATIONS

Applications for the 2022 NSW Training Awards have opened.  This is the time to nominate the remarkable VET learners and organisations that are shaping the future of the state’s skills sector.

Entries close COB 18 March.

The awards presentation is set down for 9 September at the Sydney Town Hall.

See the 2022 awards video and here for key dates, eligibility, selection criteria and information.


5. CAREER REVIVE EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST OPEN FOR 2022 INTAKE

The Career Revive team have announced application for the Career Revive program are open till Monday 28 February 2022.  The program is about supporting employers to attract and retain women returning to work after a career break.

Interested medium to large businesses can apply to participate in the Career Revive initiative via an expression of interest process.  Medium to large businesses benefit from expert business improvement advice and support provided by KPMG.

Businesses selected to participate in the program receive expert advice through KPMG consultants who will:

  • review the business’ physical workplace, processes, policies and culture to identify potential barriers that might be preventing the attraction of talented women returning to work;
  • offer guidance on how to improve the businesses practices and policies and develop a tailored action plan to establish a ‘supported returner program’ and address other barriers within the business.

Businesses need to be willing to participate in a range of activities including weekly challenges, co-designing an action plan, mentoring sessions, action learning groups and workshops. Participating businesses will need to nominate an executive sponsor to support implementation of actions. For more information on what will be expected of businesses participating in the program check out the Information for businesses resource below.

READ MORE AND DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE HERE

Applications are open now until Monday 28 February 2022 – APPLY NOW


6. ‘STACKABLE’ SKILL SETS AND THE TAE TRAINING PACKAGE

In his new post, Alan Maguire, CEO at On Target Work Skills, with significant experience and expertise in the TAE Training Package, outlines his thoughts on Education Industry Reference Committee (IRC) exploring ‘stackable’ skill sets as part of the review of the Training Package.  ‘Are stackable’ skill sets needed?  In this regard his answers the following questions:

  • What knowledge and skills would benefit a new trainer starting work at an RTO?
  • Why would a person do ‘stackable’ skill sets instead of the full qualification?
  • Do we need ‘stackable’ skill sets developed for the TAE Training Package?

The article states, “There are several issues with what has been proposed. It does not provide a quick pathway to skill-up new trainers to allow them to deliver training and assessment services. And the proposed Assessment Skill Set is missing one of the four specified units of competency that are required to conduct assessments. …

It seems that the members of the Education IRC have lacked the knowledge and experience about the TAE Training package, how it can be implemented, and how it is actually implemented. Stupid suggestions, such as ‘stackable’ skill sets, should be stopped. Did anyone on the Education IRC try to stop this initiative? And, what other stupid suggestions are going to be pursued during the holistic review of the TAE Training Package?”

It might be worth considering the thoughts and opinions of a highly experienced practitioner in the industry in the review of the TAE Training Package.

READ MORE HERE


7. LAUNCH OF WORLD’S BEST PRACTICE GUIDE VOL. 3

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) advises that it has launched the third edition of its World’s Best Practice Guide in Professional Technical Education and Training.

The website states, “As in our two previous editions, this third volume features award winning institutions, individuals and projects engaged in professional and technical education and training (PTET) from the 2020 Awards of Excellence.”

An interesting note is that there were two gold winners from Australia in the following two categories 1) ‘Access to Learning and Employment’ – Chisholm Institute (VIC), and 2) Partnership with Industry – South Metropolitan Tafe (WA).

DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THE GUIDE HERE

For more on the Launch of World’s Best Practice Guide Vol. 3 and the WFCP visit the website:  WFCP WEBSITE LINK


8. SMART AND SKILLED UPDATE – NO. 155 – 158, JANUARY 2022

Smart and Skilled Update (download here) – January 2022, covers the following:

  1. Skilling for Recovery: Full qualifications funding for the extended period to 31 December 2022
  • Fee free qualifications under Skilling for Recovery extension
  • Allocation of places for Aged Care and Digital Skills
  • Request process for additional funding in Skilling for Recovery full qualifications for the extended period and Smart and Skilled financial cap changes
  • Smart and Skilled Provider Webinar – Thursday 9 December
  1. Skilling for Recovery: Part Qualifications funding for the extended JobTrainer period
  2. Updated Return to Vocational Education and Training (VET) Guidelines
  3. Updates to Skilling for Recovery Policy and fact sheets
  4. Expanded student eligibility for Training and Assessment (TAE) qualifications

SKILLING FOR RECOVERY EXTENSION – FULL QUALIFICATIONS

  1. Updated full qualifications list
  2. Additional Skilling for Recovery funding for Aged Care and Digital Skills
  • Financial Cap offers to increase commencements in Aged Care and Digital Skills qualifications

FINANCIAL CAP REVIEW

  1. Financial Cap Review: Skilling for Recovery Extension and Smart and Skilled
  • Approved qualifications associated with new Financial Caps for Skilling for Recovery

SKILLING FOR RECOVERY EXTENSION – PART QUALIFICATIONS

  1. Skilling for Recovery Training Needs Identification (TNI) Applications now accepted by the Department
  2. Skilling for Recovery – Construction program updates
  • Expanded student eligibility for existing workers in construction
  • Smart and Skilled school student waiver for delivery of CPCCWHS1001 Prepare to Work Safely in the Construction Industry
  • Training places cap for Skilling for Recovery (SfR) Construction training that has mandated SafeWork NSW requirements
  1. Part Qualifications funding approach for the remainder of the extended funding period
  • SfR part qualifications which contain only one unit of competency (UoC) will be funded by exception only
  • Changes to the prices of select part qualifications funded by exception
  • General training places cap of 30 students
  • Skilling for Recovery Priority Part Qualifications – Aged Care and Digital Skills “Intent to Deliver
  1. Changes to the Skilling for Recovery Priority Part Qualifications List(s)
  • Separate lists for Skilling for Recovery Redeployment and Youth and Skilling for Recovery Construction programs
  • Extra information added to the lists
  • Removal of part qualifications on each list
  • Changes to part qualification names
  • Addition of “new” part qualifications to the list – funding by exception

WEBINARS AND PROMOTION

  1. Provider webinars on Skilling for Recovery Extension and Financial Cap review
  • Webinar Q&As
  1. Job Trainer Promotion

SMART AND SKILLED UPDATES

  1. Correction to student fee changes for Certificate IV in Screen and Media
  2. NSW Skills List updated – Version 12.3 effective as of 1 January 2022
  • Updates to the NSW Skills List
  • VTO changes affecting the Skills List
  1. NSW Department of Education – Christmas/New Year closedown

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.


9. ACCREDITED SERVICE PROVIDER SCHEME REVIEW

Readers might recall that the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment commenced a review of the Accredited Service Provider (ASP) Scheme to examine the continued need for and arrangements to deliver contestable energy connection services as regulated through the Scheme. 

The Department released an Issues Paper for comment in June 2021, and received 42 written submissions in response, some of them very detailed.  Direct input was also received from consultation with a sample of ASP providers, NECA and with the three electricity distributors.

The Department has now reviewed the responses and developed options for possible changes to the scheme.  They have prepared a Position Paper that summarises the responses and presents the options for stakeholder comment.

The Department is now inviting comments on the paper, through the use of an official form available on its website, or by submitting a separate submission by email.

Submissions are open from 10 December 2021 and due by 11:59pm, Friday 25 February 2022.

READ MORE HERE


10. WIRING RULES AMENDMENT 3 OPEN FOR COMMENT

CEO, Malcolm Richards of Master Electricians Australia (MEA) reports in his latest CEO Updated, that Standards Australia launched on the 27 January 2022 a draft standard of AS/NZS3000:2018 Amendment 3.  The Update states, “The draft is now open for commenting on Standards Australia public comments system. Public comment will run from January 24, through to March 28.

You can view the draft with the latest comments and provide your feedback HERE.

MEA will release a full guidance document for Master Electricians on the proposed changes in the coming days. The planning changes include:

  1. Plugs and Sockets: An Australian standard for Plugs and Sockets AS/NZS 60884.1.has been withdrawn from Standards Australia published standards. AS/NZS 3112 has been recently completely revised to accommodate aspects of AS/NZS 60884.1 to allow for only one manufacturing standard that applies under its scope of application to Australian and New Zealand conditions.  Therefore AS/NZS 3000 where it requires the use of an electrical product that shall be manufactured to a known standard, all references to AS/NZS 60884.1 are to be deleted.
  2. Switchboards: Due to the ability to use two manufacturing standards for the construction of a switchboard, it is to be considered to only allow switchboards designed and manufactured to AS/NZS 61439 for the purpose of installation.  Therefore, all references to AS/NZS 3439 series are to be deleted from the standard.

Public Comment – Have your say

The two proposals are now to be considered for industry to comment on the proposed draft. We encourage members to read the draft A3 proposal and if necessary, use Standards Australia website to comment on the acceptability and implementation of the proposed changes.”

Draft standard of AS/NZS3000:2018 Amendment 3


11. EXTERNAL ARC FLASH SPE – INCIDENT LEARNING VIDEO

Kathryn Gendall, narrates a very important Arc Flash incident educational video, shared by Newmont Corporation that has some very good learnings for both new designs and existing facilities.

The animated video of the serious incident has been released and published for information and educational purposes only.  It is a learning video and a stark reminder of the need to be constantly alert, and as well, continuously undertaking reviews and checks of existing safety systems, procedures and practices.

Please take the time to watch and share with others, where appropriate, the video – External_Arc Flash SPE Video.mp4 (vimeo.com).  Thanks to Newmont Corporation for sharing a visual animated history of the incident.


12. SAFEWORK NSW TO VISIT CONSTRUCTION SITES TO HIGHLIGHT SILICA DUST RISKS

The NSCA Foundation’s Safe-T-Bulletin eNewsletter reports in its latest edition that inspectors from SafeWork NSW will visit construction sites across the state to highlight the risks of silica dust exposure and mental ill health. 

The article states, “SafeWork NSW inspectors have commenced the new year with a series of construction site visits to address the risks associated with silica dust exposure and mental ill health.

SafeWork NSW Executive Director of Compliance and Dispute Resolution Tony Williams said SafeWork inspectors will travel across NSW in the next two months and speak with principal contractors and site supervisors about their responsibilities to reduce the risk of silica dust exposure. They will also talk about how to reduce on-site mental health risks, known as psychosocial hazards. Silica dust can be found on nearly all construction sites in sand-based materials such as concrete, bricks or stone, as well as in earth during excavation.”

READ MORE HERE


13. HYDROGEN CERTIFICATION IN AUSTRALIA

The Smart Energy Council‘s Division Manager for Hydrogen Australia, Max Hewitt, has just published an article on Hydrogen Certification in Australia.

The article states, “A lack of commitment from the Australian Government to develop regulation and standards for renewable hydrogen, despite burgeoning domestic and international demand, has resulted in an industry-led scheme stepping up. Hydrogen Australia launched its Zero Carbon Certification Scheme in December 2020. It is a Guarantee of Origin style scheme which promotes the uptake and distribution of renewable hydrogen products and their derivatives in Australia and overseas.”

READ MORE HERE


14. NSW SWAMPED BY 34GW OF WIND, SOLAR AND STORAGE FOR NEW RENEWABLE ZONE

Giles Parkinson reports in Renew Economy that New South Wales has again received an overwhelming response from aspiring developers of wind, solar and storage projects, with more than 34GW of proposals for the South-West Renewable Energy Zone, more than 10 times its likely capacity.

“The state government, through its newly formed Energy Corporation of NSW, ran a registration of interest process in October and November for the south-west region, one of at least five REZs planned to help replace the ageing coal fleet over the coming decade.

“There were 49 registrations totalling over 34 gigawatts from potential generation and storage projects – thirteen times the intended capacity for the South-West REZ, which will be no less than 2.5 gigawatts,” James Hay, the CEO of Energy Corp, said in a statement on Friday.”

READ MORE HERE

For more information about NSW REZs please visit the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap Taskforce (NSW Department of Planning and Environment) website.


15. TRANSMISSION THE BACKBONE OF OUR ENERGY GRID

EnergyInsider, a joint publication of Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and the Australian Energy Council (AEC) reports includes an interesting article as to how electricity transmission is the essential backbone to the electricity system.

The article states, “Kindergarten children will be able to tell you with much authority (and possibly hand actions) that the hip bone is connected to the backbone and the backbone’s connected to the neck bone…and it’s crucial to how our entire body works. It’s much the same with energy, especially as we integrate increasing amounts of renewable generation. New transmission is the essential backbone that will keep customer costs down and support the reliability and security of the electricity system. AEMOs new draft plan shows the importance of transmission to transition to net zero.”

READ MORE HERE

For more, contact Verity Watson, Energy Networks Australia


16. ROOFTOP SOLAR INSTALLS PLUNGE IN JANUARY, AS 2022 GETS OFF TO A SLOW START

Sophie Vorrath, Deputy Editor at Renew Economy reports in the 4 February 2022 edition, that rooftop solar installs plunge in January, as 2022 gets off to a slow start.

The article states, “Australia’s rooftop solar market has had an ominously quiet start to the new year, with the month of January charting a nearly 40 per cent drop in installations compared to December 2021, and a 25% decline compared to the same time a year ago.

According to the latest monthly data from industry analysts SunWiz, the sub-100kW solar PV market for January 2022 is showing a decrease of 38.31% in month-on-month volume, with a total of just 182MW of solar installed by homes and businesses around the country.

SunWiz managing director Warwick Johnston, whose team has also flagged a possible year-on-year contraction for the rooftop solar market in 2022, said that while January was traditionally a quiet time for installations, this year’s lull much was more pronounced.”

READ MORE HERE


17. REVIEW OF ELECTRICITY NETWORK OPERATORS’ LICENCES

IPART reports in the February edition of its newsletter that it is conducting a review of the licence conditions for electricity network operators in NSW namely Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy. 

The Minister for Energy and Environment has directed IPART to conduct a review of the licences in force under the Electricity Supply Act 1995 (NSW).

IPART has published a combined Issues Paper and Draft Report (Draft Report) on the review. The Draft Report:

  • explains the purpose of the review and the approach we will take
  • discusses the key issues we will consider
  • sets out our preliminary positions.

It’s a technical review which is limited in scope. Submissions on the draft report close 11 February.  Following consultation, IPART will provide a final report to the Minister, who is responsible for varying the conditions of a licence if appropriate.

READ MORE HERE