News Service 83 – Job ads rise, top 10 skills slated to grow, Support ERET Skills Cluster, TAFE NSW meets industry, Generation Training Package, Nominate RAC apprentice award, Skill shortages, Electric shock, Safety & Industry news

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1. ONLINE JOB ADS INCREASE STRONGLY AGAIN IN FEBRUARY

The National Skills Commission (NSC) has released, 11 March 2022, its preliminary February Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) results.  The results show that online job advertisements increased by 3.6% (9,300 job advertisements) in February 2022, to 269,700.

The National Skills Commission (NSC) has released, 11 March 2022, its preliminary February Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) results.  The results show that online job advertisements increased by 3.6% (9,300 job advertisements) in February 2022, to 269,700.

Across the seven state/territory jurisdictions recruitment activity increased.  The strongest rise occurred in Tasmania (6.6%), with the ACT recording a series high of 7,600 job ads.

The NSC report shows the following, “full state and territory breakdown:

  • Tasmania, up by 6.6% (200 job ads)
  • South Australia, up by 4.7% (620 job ads)
  • Victoria, up by 4.4% (3,000 job ads)
  • Australian Capital Territory, up by 4.1% (300 job ads)
  • New South Wales, up by 3.8% (3,200 job ads)
  • Western Australia, up by 1.7% (510 job ads)
  • Queensland, up by 1.5% (750 job ads)
  • Northern Territory, down by 0.5% (10 job ads)

Over the past 12 months, there have been 2,912,500 online job advertisements nationally.”

The detailed release of the IVI, including occupational, regional and skill level data, will be available on Wednesday 23 March 2022.

READ MORE HERE


2. TECHNOLOGY AND DIGITAL SKILLS DOMINATE FASTEST GROWING SKILLS CLUSTERS

The National Skills Commission (NSC) also released on 9 March 2022, the latest information on the top 10 skills that a slated to grow the most in the next four years, to 2025. 

The National Skills Commissioner Adam Boyton, stated in the media release, “With the growing use of technology throughout our lives, it’s not surprising that the fastest growing skills clusters in the immediate future are ‘test computer or software performance’ and ‘resolve computer application or systems issues’.  The first is expected to grow by 28% and the second by 25%.

“In fact, four of the top 10 skills come from the skills family of ‘computers and electronics’, reflecting the skills needed to respond to the digital world. In sixth place, anticipating growth of 21% is ‘develop websites or software’, and in ninth place with 20% growth is ‘ICT support, design and management’.

Specialist ClusterGrowth (%)
Test computer or software performance28
Resolve computer application or systems issues25
Develop and administer testing routines or procedures23
Develop and maintain emergency plans22
Undertake food service activities21
Develop websites or software21
Improve operational performance20
Assist individuals with accessibility needs20
ICT support, design and management20
Teach health management or hygiene practices20

The NSC’s Australian Skills Classification systematically sets out the skills required for jobs in three categories: specialist tasks, technology tools and core competencies.

Specialist tasks are then clustered together. So, it’s likely if you can do one task in a cluster, you can do all of them. The clusters are then further grouped together into families of skills.”

READ MORE HERE


3. NSW UE ITAB SUPPORTS ADDITIONAL ENERGY, RENEWABLES AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES SKILLS CLUSTER

The Chair of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC), Emeritus Professor Tracey Horton provide in its March 2022 Newsletter, an update on the two-stage grant process to establish Industry Clusters.  The Grant opportunity is open until 31 March 2022 with full information on GrantConnect.

The Newsletter states, “An ‘Industry Clusters Marketplace’ has been established to encourage industry cooperation and engagement. The Marketplace offers industry leaders the opportunity to connect with their counterparts in aligned industries.”

The initial cluster model outlined in the Grant proposal starts with nine (9) listed industry clusters.  These clusters are aligned and based on related Australian New Zealand Standards Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) coding.  The Grant process states, “While a smaller number of clusters is preferred, the final number and grouping of industries in each cluster will be settled through this grant process. Any alternative Industry Cluster groupings will be considered as part of the evaluation process.”

The nine (9) listed industry clusters are:

  1. Agribusiness and Food Production
  2. Arts and Personal Services
  3. Building, Construction and Property
  4. Early Educators, Health and Human Services
  5. Finance, Technology and Business
  6. Government, Education and Public
  7. Manufacturing, Print and Textiles
  8. Mining, Resources and Energy
  9. Wholesale, Retail, Transport and Logistics

The Utilities and Electrotechnology industry sectors are proposed to be fragmented across several clusters because the ANZSIC model does not identify occupations that transcend industry sectors.  Electrotechnology occupations are typically aligned and based on the Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) classification system.  However, the decision to base industry SKILL clusters on ANZSIC classifications does not take this cross-industry occupational arrangement into account.  The result is that the use of ANZSIC classifications may give rise to silo models of qualifications for the same occupational outcome, which undermines the very notion of portability and mobility of skills that underpin the national skills reform agenda.  Basing skills codification entirely on the ANZSIC classification system will have unintended consequences for occupations that transcend industry sectors and cause duplication of effort.  Moreover, many of the key occupations in the Utilities and Electrotechnology industry directly support the growth of renewable energies and zero emission targets so desired by the community and governments.

With this in mind, Utilities and Electrotechnology industry stakeholders are developing a submission to the ‘Grant’ process to seek the recognition and establishment for an Energy, Renewables and Emerging Technologies (ERET) Skills Cluster to facilitate the recognition, codification and servicing of cross-industry Utilities and Electrotechnology skills related to occupations based on ANZSCO that transcend industry sectors.

The NSW UE ITAB Board of Directors supports the proposal and has lent weight to the submission by providing a letter of support.  A copy of the letter of support can be downloaded HERE.

For more information on the latest developments in the Industry Skills Cluster ‘Grant’ establishment process visit the following DESE link : CURRENT GRANT OPPORTUNITY VIEW – GO5308

LINK TO THE DESE SKILLS REFORM CONSULTATIONS WEBPAGE


4. NATIONAL SKILLS OVERVIEW IS NOW LIVE ON THE NIIR WEBSITE

NCVER has released the latest AISC’s National Industry Insights Report, which presents a customised analysis of Australian labour market data on skills needs, training patterns, and economic and employment trends. 

The webpages states, the National Skills Overview “provides high-level analysis of industry skills needs, and the factors and trends affecting the demand for skills at a national and cross-industry level.

Insights and highlights: Summarises the skills prioritised by industry, factors and trends affecting skills demand, and key initiatives addressing skills needs

Factors and trends: Considers some of the trends and factors which influence and drive the demand for skills

Priority skills: Examines the following skill areas, which are prioritised by industry in their Industry Reference Committee Skills Forecasts:

Key initiatives: Provides information on activities and initiatives of the AISC and its network of Industry Reference Committees.

READ MORE HERE


5. TAFE NSW MEETS WITH INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDERS RE UEE TRANSITION TO V3.0

TAFE NSW Skills Excellence Network – Infrastructure, Energy & Construction (IEC2) team held an industry stakeholder meeting on 7 March 2022 to discuss the roll out of version 3.0 Electrotechnology Training Package. 

The meeting discussed the processes and mechanisms that had been put into action over the past several months to facilitate the transition of learners to the updated Training Package in line with the ASQA transition arrangement of October 2022.

The IEC2 Team were apprised that the Electrotechnology Industry Reference Committee (E-IRC) had made representation to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) and Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to extend the transition to December 2022, and the industry were awaiting respective deliberations as to whether approval to December would be granted.

The IEC2 team intend to hold a further industry collaboration meeting in the next few weeks to showcase the latest information and present the TAFE Digital Campus (TDC) platform and samples of the newly developed assessments and learning resources that learners and teachers will be invited to use as TAFE NSW transits to the new Training Package requirements. 

Industry representatives at the meeting raised several concerns and sought clarity with some of the information conveyed in the transition to the new platform.  As a result, the discussion has earmarked a second industry collaboration meeting to review the learning and assessment resources for which some were developed externally from TAFE NSW as was recently reported in the media.  However, as advised under the guidance of TAFE NSW staff.  Industry representatives indicated a keen desire to learn more about the new resource and is awaiting the scheduling of the next meeting.  Industry stakeholders will look to learn of the level of support teachers and learners will receive in the transition to delivery of the updated Training Package.


6. ESI GENERATION TRAINING PACKAGE UPDATE

Australian Industry Standards (AIS) advises that the ESI Generation Industry Reference Committee (IRC), its Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has considered all stakeholder feedback and revised draft Training Package materials for the Control Room Operations project, including five new Units of Competency and three new Skill Sets.

The TAC has recommended that the five new units be included as electives in UEP30122 Certificate III in ESI Generation which has been approved by the AISC and is currently awaiting Ministerial approval.

The ESI Generation IRC is seeking your feedback to validate these draft materials to ensure the proposed products meet industry needs.

Detailed mapping information, tracking changes to the existing Training Package, is also available to view.

VIEW DRAFT MATERIALS AND SUBMIT FEEDBACK

Feedback is sought by close of business 28 March 2022.

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


7. NOMINATE A GREAT RAC APPRENTICE TECHNICIAN UNDER 25

Editor Sandra Rossi and the CCN editorial team report in a special feature of Climate Control News (CCN), that nominations are now open for apprentices and technicians under the age of 25 from all over Australia to participate in NextGen awards. 

The awards promo states, “The NextGen initiative was created three years ago to connect with our next generation of refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) technicians. It provides a platform to showcase the future of our industry.

With such an acute skills shortage in the RAC trade the industry needs our technicians to share their stories, to let the wider market know that RAC is a rewarding career choice.  …

Nominations are invited (by peers or employers) for the Top 20, under 25 programme.  If selected to be a part of the Top 20 these technicians are profiled in the June edition of CCN magazine.  These profiles showcase individual excellence and are a celebration of our industry’s best and brightest.

Qualifying criteria: NextGen Top 20 under 25

  • Outstanding performance in the workplace
  • Achievements demonstrating skills excellence
  • Ability to be an ambassador for the RAC sector
  • Aged under 25 and employed in Australia

NOMINATE AN POTENTIAL AWARD WINNER NOW

Nominations close Friday1 April 2022

Nominations are assessed by Climate Control News in partnership with our exclusive NextGen sponsor, the Australian Refrigeration Council.


8. AUSTRALIA’S SEVERE SHORTAGE OF SKILLED PEOPLE REQUIRES INDUSTRY-LED SOLUTIONS SUPPORTED BY GOVERNMENT

The 9 March 2022 edition of Manufacturer’s Monthly includes a feature article by Geoff Crittenden, CEO of Weld Australia, of an impending and dire skills shortage.  He asserts, “Unfortunately, I suspect that 2022 will be equally as uncertain—albeit for different reasons.

The dominating issue may not be COVID-19. Instead, industry could be staring down the barrel of a severe shortage of skilled people.”

He submits further on in the article, “Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Australian industry was already facing a looming workforce crisis, including a severe shortage of skilled, qualified welders. According to feedback from Weld Australia’s members, the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this shortage. The industry is facing a shortage of labour, from Welding Supervisors and Inspectors, right through to welders. Finding competent, skilled, experienced welders is becoming more and more difficult.

Welders are more in demand than ever with several large-scale, high-value projects on the horizon, from the Federal Government’s $90 billion Naval Shipbuilding Program, through to major infrastructure projects such as the $12 billion Sydney Metro project, and the $5 billion Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

And yet, the number of welding trade workers in Australia dropped by eight per cent in the course of just five years; from 75,800 in 2014 to 69,600 in 2019.  …

Australian industry is also developing and investing in cutting-edge technology to help ameliorate looming skills shortages. Automation, robotics, and collaborative robots (also known as cobots) are changing the way the welding and manufacturing industries work.  …

This same industry analysis confirmed that China continues to be the significant import country for fabricated steel commodities. This is despite the fact that China has bans and significant import taxes on a whole raft of Australian products, from coal through to wine and seafood.  …

The strength of the sovereign capability of Australia depends on Australians investing in Australia. It might be cheaper in the short-term to buy from places like China, but all this does is weaken our economy.”

The skill shortage issue is not confined to welding, but we can learn a lot from the underlying problems that have brought about an acute shortage of skilled workers in this occupation and allied trades.  It is about investment in skilling up people in Australia, investing innovative and leading-edge technologies and implementing pro-industry policies that encourage innovation and investment in Australian enterprises and entrepreneurs.  Governments have a responsibility to lead in this regard and create an environment for businesses to prosper and employees to gain access to skills development leading to better paying and rewarding jobs and careers; thus enhancing the social wellbeing and quality of life of the community at large.

READ MORE HERE


9. MINE SAFETY DANGEROUS INCIDENTS – ELECTRIC SHOCK

Mine Safety News, a publication of the NSW Resource Regulator reports in its weekly incident summary ending 4 March 2022 of an underground coal mine worker suffering an electric shock while operating a continuous miner. 

The Dangerous Incident Number IncNot0041718 summary report states, “A worker suffered an electric shock while operating a continuous miner. At the time of the incident, the worker was standing on the left-hand side of the miner with one hand resting on the bolting cassette and other hand touching installed rib mesh. The worker felt the shock when the miner driver started the cutter head. The power supply tripped at the control board outlet for the continuous miner.

The incident is under investigation and further information may be published later.”

In a second incident, IncNot004734 (Construction materials), “a worker suffered an electric shock while leaning on a conveyor structure and using a stick welder with voltage reduction device (VRD) protection. The worker’s clothing was damp because of humid conditions.”

The Regulator’s advice in relation to this incident, is “People involved with welding activities should remain insulated from the welding job. Welding gloves are not electrical insulators. Damp gloves and clothing can increase the likelihood of suffering an electric shock.

Refer to:

READ MORE HERE – ISR22-09


10. VICTORIA RECORDED 66 WORKPLACE FATALITIES IN 2021

The NSCA Foundation’s 10 March 2022 Safe-T-Bulletin eNewsletter reports on the call by WorkSafe Victoria, urging Victorian employers and workers to consider the effect of workplace trauma, after Victoria recorded 66 workplace fatalities in 2021. 

The article states, “The fatality toll includes 43 people who died from workplace incidents and 14 people who succumbed to a disease contracted in the course of employment. Another five people lost their lives as a result of work-related transport accidents, with three further deaths due to work-related medical incidents. One worker also lost their life due to an alleged criminal act. In addition, more than 23,000 workers were injured seriously enough to have a claim for compensation accepted last year.”  …

“Vehicles and machinery were involved in 21 fatalities and were again the most dangerous hazard in Victorian workplaces. WorkSafe recorded 63 males who lost their lives, compared to three females. More than two-thirds of the fatalities were aged 45 or older at the time of their death. The youngest, an eight-year-old boy, was among three members of the public to lose their life in a workplace incident. The deaths of four workers were related to COVID-19.”

READ MORE HERE


11. ACCC RECALL ALERT TRADESMAN PORTABLE POWER BOARD

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued a product alert regarding a portable power board. 

The product is an Ultracharge 4-Way Tradesman Portable Power Board comprised of a black body with yellow stand and socket covers with grey handle.  It has a yellow and black extension lead with clear plug.  Its approval code is KF-ASP-04T SAA-161967-EA.

What are the defects?  The socket outlets’ polarity is reversed. Items plugged into the board may be electrically charged at all times.

What are the hazards?  Risk of electric shock, electrocution and fire, which may cause serious injury, death and property damage.

What should consumers do?  Consumers should immediately stop using the product and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Product alert can be downloaded HERE or can be downloaded from ACCC site HERE or link to webpage is:  PRODUCT ALERT ULTRACHARGE 4-WAY TRADESMAN PORTABLE POWER BOARD

For further information direct all calls and any queries concerning this recall to Power DC Pty Ltd.  Tel: 03 9580 7877 Fax: 03 9580 5066 email: orders@powerdc.com.au


12. ENERGY VISION – NETWORKS DELIVERING NET ZERO

The joint Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and Australian Energy Council (AEC) newsletter, EnergyInsider reports in its 10 March 2022 edition that, “Australia is on the journey to a net zero economy, with the energy sector so far doing most of the heavy lifting.  Energy networks – our poles, wires and gas pipes – are the critical enablers of the renewable transition; but until now, there has been nothing that articulates how.  Energy Networks Australia has worked with networks, consumer groups and energy market bodies to develop a collective vision that does this – describing how networks can work together and with customers to enable and deliver our decarbonised future.  …

Governments, investors and consumers across Australia and globally are driving a target of net zero by 2050. The energy sector will need to move earlier than most, accelerating pathways for other sectors to decarbonise.  …

To do this, electricity and gas networks will be far smarter and more integrated than today. Customers and their different energy uses will be at the centre of networks’ activities.”

For more, contact Tamatha Smith, Energy Networks Australia

READ MORE HERE


13. “DON’T WALK AWAY FROM THE SOLAR INDUSTRY” – OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD FOR ROOFTOP PV, SAYS ANALYST

Sophie Vorrath, Deputy Editor, reports in the 10 March edition of Renew Economy that “a leading industry expert has appealed to Australian rooftop solar installers, spooked by forecasts of a contracting market and buffeted by global supply-chain headwinds and rising costs, to stay in the business, as new opportunities emerge ahead.

Warwick Johnston, who is managing director of solar market analytics and statistics company SunWiz, said that increasingly gloomy near-term outlooks for the residential and commercial rooftop solar markets in Australia should be “taken with a grain of salt.”

That’s because – as he explained in a webinar hosted by the Smart Energy Council on Thursday – some analysts are still predicting at least some year-on-year growth in the market in 2022, despite a slow start and ongoing tough conditions.”  …

“Among those opportunities, Johnston says, are going back to existing residential solar customers to gauge their interest in adding more panels – to power more load, including future electric vehicles – and pushing the increasing advantages of home battery storage.”  …

““When you’re selling PV these days, you’re not just selling your 6.6[kW] for today’s needs. You’re also inviting your customers to think, ‘Okay, and we’re going to put an extra 2kW on for your first electric vehicle.”

READ MORE HERE


14. CROWD-FUNDED EV CHARGER OPENS IN REMOTE TOWN AFTER BEING TOWED THERE BY MODEL X

Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist reports in The Driven, of a Western Australian rural town of Ravensthorpe who last week inaugurated its first electric vehicle charger, following a successful crowdfunding campaign launched by the Australian Electric Vehicle Association. 

The article states, “The new DC EV charger was sourced from Perth-based charging infrastructure installer Gemtek and was supplied by Brisbane-based EV charging company Tritium.

However, it was the Chuffed crowdfunding campaign that raised enough donations from individuals and corporations to purchase and install two chargers – one which was this week installed in Ravensthorpe, and another which was previously installed in the Western Australian town of Lake Grace.  …

According to the AEVA, during commissioning of the new Ravensthorpe charger a pole-top fuse blew out, and the charger is currently set to about half power until supply a supply upgrade is confirmed with Western Power – which the AEVA is hoping will be some time by the middle of the year.

The Lake Grace 50kW EV charger was installed and commissioned back in September 2020, the first as part of the Western Australian branch of AEVA’s crowdfunding campaign to raise money to install DC fast chargers between Esperance and Perth.”

READ MORE HERE


15. AGIG – HYDROGEN PARK SOUTH AUSTRALIA (HYP SA)

Energy Networks Australia’s (ENA’s) 8 March 2002 Energy Networks Update reports in a hydrogen project in South Australia. 

The article states, “HyP SA is delivering a five per cent renewable hydrogen blend to more than 700 homes, and 100 per cent renewable hydrogen to industry throughout Australia via heavy haulage. AGIG consider it a corporate responsibility to pursue projects such as HyP SA to deliver lowest cost decarbonisation while retaining safe and reliable energy supply. HyP SA paves the way for future hydrogen and renewable gas projects in Australia, with key technical, regulatory, commercial, and stakeholder and community engagement programs undertaken to remove market barriers. This project was AGIG’s submission to the ENA 2021 Network Innovation Awards.   …

HyP SA has upskilled professionals, technicians, tradespeople, engineers, and first responders throughout the energy industry as well as the public sector. Renewable hydrogen production and delivery is now business-as-usual for AGIG, as it seeks to deliver more projects and achieve AGIG’s vision of 100 per cent renewable gas networks. HyP SA has established a new standard for engaging on the renewable gas transformation.”

READ MORE HERE


16. PIPELINE OPERATORS GROUP SEMINAR – 31 MARCH

The Australian Pipeline Gas Association (APGA) advises that it will be once again holding its APGA’s annual Pipeline Operators Group Seminar with a program bursting with the hot topics of the day.

The event will be held in Melbourne on the 31 March 2022 at the DoubleTree Hilton.  Presenters will cover areas as diverse as global trends in field joints, emissions modelling and monitoring , weed management and controlling corrosion all in the theme of Setting the Way Forward for the Pipeline Industry. The seminar is a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and share experiences as well as to learn from the experts.

This seminar will benefit all industry personnel involved in the management, operation and maintenance of high-pressure oil and gas pipelines, service and supply businesses and technical auditors and regulators. It will be of interest and relevance to managers, supervisors, engineers, technicians and field operators.

READ MORE HERE AND BOOK A PLACE


17. CHANGES TO THE SRES 1 APRIL 2022

The Clean Energy Regulator has notified that new sample forms for registered agents, installers and designers and retailers are now available to assist in complying with the upcoming changes to the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) coming into effect on 1 April 2022.

The advisory states, “These sample forms contain all relevant information that registered agents need to include in their own forms to be eligible to create small-scale technology certificates (STCs).

Please note that these forms are examples only and are not official forms. These forms should not be filled out or submitted to the agency, and instead should be used:

  • as a guide to develop a registered agent’s STC assignment form and associated retailer, designer and installer written statements, or
  • to develop individual statements made by retailers and designers and installers.

Registered agents can customise their own forms to incorporate additional explanatory text (including privacy declarations), company logos and other features such as GST status.

In the coming weeks, further guidance will be made available on the forms and resources section on the agency website.”

READ MORE HERE