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EE-Oz Training Standards

Unit 2, 48 Mort Street, Braddon ACT 2612


Tel: 02 6262 7055

Fax: 02 6257 4222

ee-oz@ee-oz.com.au
www.ee-oz.com.au

Electrocomms and EnergyUtilities


Industry Skills Council Ltd

This report is published by EE-Oz Training Standards


Design: praxiscreative.com.au
Enviroscan May 2012
ISBN: 978-1-921251-40-5

EE-Oz Training Standards


ACN: 070 582 017

ABN: 22 070 582 017

Postal address:
PO Box 1202
Dickson ACT 2602
Business address:
Unit 2, 48 Mort Street, Braddon ACT 2612
Tel: 02 6262 7055

Fax: 02 6257 4222

ee-oz@ee-oz.com.au
www.ee-oz.com.au

EE-Oz Training Standards is the Australian Government declared Industry Skills Council for the Australian
ElectroComms and EnergyUtilities industries. This publication has been produced with the assistance of
Australian Government funding.

Contents
CEOs Introduction 

Market intelligence The VET environment 

VET Sector reform 


Consistent and transparent application of training standards 

6
6

Systemic flexibility to accommodate enterprise needs 

Meeting individual learner needs 

Impending Skills Shortfall 

Electrotechnology Industry 
Latest Intelligence 
Emerging environmental factors and their skill impacts 

12
15
15
15

Current industry priorities 

26

Training market responsiveness 

27

Identified Workforce Development Needs 

28

Current Impact of Training Packages 

34

Future Direction for Endorsed components of Training Packages 

39

Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) 


Latest Industry Intelligence 
Emerging environmental factors and their skill impacts 

41
42
42

Current industry priorities 

47

Training market responsiveness 

49

Identified Workforce Development Needs 

49

Current Impact of Training Packages 

51

Future Direction for Endorsed components of Training Packages 

56

Gas Supply Industry (GSI) 


Latest Intelligence 
Emerging environmental factor and their skill impacts 

59
60
61

Industry 

64

Market 

65

Identified Workforce Development Needs 

66

Current Impact of Training Packages 

66

Future Direction for Endorsed components of Training Packages 

68

Appendix A 

71

CEOs
Introduction
The Environment
The energy sector industries underpin the operation of the broader economy and materially
affect the operations of all other industries. The
essential nature of the services provided by the
sector and the inherently dangerous nature of
the work, require robust regulatory and industrial arrangements to ensure individual, public
and enterprise safety and continuity of supply.
Historically, access to dependable, safe and
competitively priced energy has underpinned
Australias social and economic development;
delivering benefits across the community. This
trend can be expected to continue.

EE-Oz CEO Bob Taylor

Australia is optimally placed to take advantage


of growing global demand for energy and an
increasing focus on how it is generated and
utilised. With a highly skilled workforce able to
take advantage of technological advances and
ample access to energy resources including
traditional and transitioning hydrocarbon fuels,
renewable energy and alternative fuel sources;
Australia will be able to set the course of its
own energy future and support the chosen
courses of other nations in our region.
Industry will rely significantly rely on Training Package qualifications to deliver the skills
required to realise this future. Energy sector
Training Packages continue to have strong
support of industry, with uptake increasing
both in absolute terms and as a proportion of
all Training Package qualifications.
As illustrated in Figure 1 below; the proportion of students enrolled in the EE-Oz Training Standards suite of Training Packages, as
a percentage of all Training Package students,
has almost trebled from 3.39% in 2001 to over
10% in 2011. Over this same period the total
number of students enrolled in the suite has
increased seven fold, from 6,375 to 46,080.
This dramatic growth has several factors, including broad industry and regulatory support
for these qualifications, mining and construction booms driving demand for energy sector

skills, as well as improved community awareness of the value of trade vocations and increased governmental support for Vocational
Education and Training (VET).

This Publication
We have taken a different approach to the
Environmental Scan this year, firstly exploring
systemic issues affecting all sectors and then
examining sector specific and training product
related issues later in the publication. The decision to impart greater emphasis on systemic
issues has been made in light of the current
policy environment, with VET (and the apprenticeship system in particular) at the centre of
the national reform agenda.

Reform Agenda
Several high profile reports, including those by
Skills Australia, the Productivity Commission
and the Department of Education Employment
and Workplace Relations Expert Panel, have
recommended increasing the role of industry in
the training system. This will ensure that skills
are developed in the quantity and to the standard required by enterprise, and improve the
flexibility of the training system to accommodate individual learner needs.
These goals were endorsed by COAG at its 2
September 2011 meeting;

This format will also allow an examination of


environmental factors affecting the demand for
skills within industry sectors, to be more appropriately linked with training.

Ministers agreed that apprenticeship reform should focus on a competency based


system that promoted advancement by
competence with training more responsive
to industry needs now and in the future and
which might offer alternative pathways for
training outcomes. Ministers also noted
that apprenticeship reform should include
focus and improvement in the effectiveness
of support services and improvements in
completion rates.1

ElectroComms and EnergyUtilities Industries - Environmental Scan 2012

Figure 1: Apprentices and trainees in-training 2001-2011, EE-Oz Training Standards.


50000
14.00%
40000

12.00%
10.00%

30000
8.00%
6.00%

20000

4.00%
10000
2.00%
0.00%

Percentage of students enrolled in EE-Oz Training Packages as a proportion of all Training Package
students
Number of apprentices and trainees in-training under EE-Oz Training Standards' Training Packages

Source:
NCVER,
in ISC,
training
by ISC, VOCSTATS
Source:
NCVER,
Students Students
in training by
VOCSTATS
1 http://www.scotese.natese.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/61173/Communique_MCTEE_2_September.pdf

This publication

We have taken a different approach to the Environmental Scan this year, firstly exploring
systemic issues affecting all sectors and then examining sector specific and training product related
issues later in the publication. The decision to impart greater emphasis on systemic issues has been
made in light of the current policy environment, with VET (and the apprenticeship system in
particular) at the centre of the national reform agenda.

EE-Oz Training Standards broadly supports


the recommendations made in these reports
and is eager to ensure industry has an active
and determinative role in shaping a new VET
system. It is particularly vital that the combined
impacts of changes arising from ongoing reviews of the training system are filtered by industry, to ensure that the systems operational
integrity is maintained, that alterations are considered holistically and the system becomes
increasingly responsive to industry needs.
A vital aspect of this review must be a rethink
of how the sector can accomplish both is economic (related to the productivity of enterprise)
and social (providing pathways from disadvantage) goals. Too often in the past, the emphasis of equity initiatives has been to ensure access to programs without developing student
capacity to complete those programs. NCVER
data demonstrates that second chance students are much less likely to complete their
chosen qualification (especially at Certificate III
level or above).
Allowing students to access (enrol in) a course
which they are unlikely to complete is increasingly being recognised as setting students up
to fail and constituting an undue cost to stakeholders (i.e. bad for the sectors economic
mandate). This approach is also poor at addressing social goals on anything other than a
superficial level, as it does little to address the
root cause of disadvantage; with few students
achieving workplace outcomes.

barriers to success. This approach is supported by empirical evidence; stakeholder RTOs


report that students who have achieved the
language, literacy and numeracy levels identified by the energy industry as best equipping
participants to complete a unit of competence,
have three quarters fewer non-completions.
Affording students the opportunity to succeed,
whilst matching the allocation of training places to identified enterprise needs, presents an
outcome which will satisfy both economic and
social mandates assigned the VET system.
In the current environment of a tight and tightening labour market, it is inexcusable for public funding to go toward training which does
not meet industry demand. There is simply
too much competition for skills and too many
disengaged individuals seeking to achieve the
social and economic benefits associated with
employment.
A demand driven approach to training has been
seen to be effective in the Enterprise Based
Productivity Places (EBPPP), Critical Skills Investment Fund (CSIF) and National Workforce
Development Fund (NWDF) programs, which
have allowed enterprises to identify their current and future workforce needs and partner
with government to co-invest in their development. These projects repositioning training as
an investment in an enterprises future prosperity and encourage a robust model for post
trade skill development.

An alternative approach, which supports


successful outcomes, must be sought. This
should involve assessing individual student
learning capacity (particularly in relation to language, literacy and numeracy) and developing
targeted strategies to address qualification/
job role specific requirements. This initial assessment could then be leveraged in the provision of mentoring and pastoral care support
throughout the training program.
An initial assessment should not be understood
as erecting a barrier to entry but as removing

Market intelligence
The VET environment
4

Market intelligence The VET


environment
The VET policy environment affects all industries and (directly or indirectly) all enterprises.
It establishes the framework for skills development, plays a determinative role in establishing
the efficiency and effectiveness of investment
in skills which, over the longer term, determines
the skills base of the workforce; with long term
implications on competitiveness, productivity
and living standards.
In its 2011/12 Budget, the federal Government
signalled its intention to use targeted vocational
training programs to boost workplace productivity, prevent skills shortages from emerging
and address the root causes of disadvantage
(by providing them with training pathways to
achieve productive employment). This strategy
will spread the benefits of a strong economy as
broadly as possible, building a foundation for
future prosperity.
Refocusing on skills and productivity is timely.
Over the past decade a dramatic improvement
in our historic terms of trade has allowed living
standards to rise despite stagnant productivity
growth but this fortuitous trend cannot continue indefinitely.
For wages and living standards to rise over the
longer term, they will need to be accompanied
by a rise in productivity (or wage increases will
simply be eroded by inflation). Placing industry at the heart of the training system, with a
determinative role in the allocation of training
places and quality assurance, in addition to the
development of training standards, is a necessary step in ensuring that skills development
contributes to productive employment.
In developing responses to the numerous reviews of the VET sector conducted in the past
few years, three factors have consistently been
identified by industry representatives as priorities for sector reform:

1. Robust systems to ensuring that industry


identified training standards are applied
consistently and transparently around the
country
2. Funding and training standard development processes provide flexibility to meet
the identified needs of individual enterprises
3. The learning needs and aspiration of individual students toward the completion of a
vocational qualification are acknowledged
and accommodated
The second and third factors are integrally
related to completion rates; no stakeholders
productivity goals are achieved if the student
fails to complete. However, the robust system
described in the first point must be maintained
in order to ensure outcomes are not devalued
in the pursuit of higher completion rates.
Discussion of completion rates has become
topical in the VET sector since the 2008 Bradley Review of Australian Higher Education recommended that performance based principles
be applied to government funding of education (with completion rates identified as a key
performance measure). Although this recommendation was made in relation to the Higher
Education system, potential implications for
the VET sector have been widely considered.
The energy sector industries are acutely aware
that student non-completions represent a significant cost to all stakeholders in the training
system and that within a constrained labour
market afflicted by ongoing skill shortages
affecting key occupations, completion rates
around 50% across the VET sector are no longer acceptable. Although individual completion
rates in the energy sector trades are amongst
the highest in the VET sector, industry remains
committed to raising these in order to improve
outcomes for individuals and enterprises.

Supporting individuals to achieve improved


outcomes will require the efficient allocation of
training and support resources. Systems and
targets must acknowledge the diverse needs
of learners and develop individual training programs to provide every student the opportunity
to succeed. This approach must be balanced
with the consistent and transparent application
of training standards to ensure that such flexibility does not lead to the erosion of training
rigor threatening industry outcomes.

VET Sector reform


Consistent and transparent
application of training standards
ASQA
The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)
commenced operations on 1 July 2011 as the
new national Vocational Education and Training
(VET) regulator; two years after an in-principle
agreement amongst the Council of Australian
Government (COAG) members to ensure the
quality and consistency of VET training in Australia.

In conducting an audit, ASQA will ask industry to nominate a technical adviser to attend
the audit and provide advice in relation to the
technical requirements of the Training Package. This collaboration will ensure that industry
has a determinative role in assessing provider
fitness for purpose, as well as informing the
standards for technical compliance.
Importantly, ASQA has been empowered, under legislation passed earlier this year, to audit
RTOs at any time and apply sanctions for noncompliance with AQTF policy.

The creation of ASQA represents a new approach to the regulation of VET and is an encouraging development in a sector historically
characterised by jurisdictional differences. The
new body will have unprecedented power to
harmonise training and licensing standards nationally.

Mr Chris Robinson, acting Chief Commissioner of ASQA, has indicated that a robust and
nationally consistent quality framework, with
associated accreditation mechanisms, will
provide an increased focus on the way training
providers are registered, courses are accredited and the quality of the system is monitored.

As with any policy framework, two factors will


underpin ASQAs success;

ASQAs operation will ensure uniform national


standards that will promote transparency in the
operation of registered training organisations
(RTOs) and allow students, employers and
trainers to have increased confidence in training outcomes from providers around the nation. This will address recent concerns about
the consistency and integrity of VET regulation (particularly in relation to media scrutiny
of programs being delivered to international
students) and provide clearer lines of accountability and responsibility.

1. A robust system for compliance auditing


2. Engagement with industry
In order to promote an efficient allocation of
funding, ASQA will utilise a risk-based approach to regulation which will concentrate auditing resources on areas of greatest risk rather
than RTOs with a history of compliance. The
operation of this system is outlined in section
S190 of the National Vocational Education &
Training Regulator Act.

Structured risk assessments will be carried out


at each initial, extension to scope application
or in response to a registered complaint. These
assessments will incorporate feedback from
industry bodies (such as Industry Skills Councils) regarding poor provider practice, risks to
quality and systemic weaknesses in the quality
of outcomes. Ultimately, this assessment may
lead to a qualification being withdrawn and the
RTO having to request graduates surrender
their qualification with implications for further
action.

National Agreement on Skills and


Workforce Development
The current National Agreement on Skills and
Workforce Development (NASWD) has three
key objectives:

All working aged Australians have the opportunity to develop the skills and qualifications needed, including through a responsive training system, to enable them to be
effective participants in and contributors to
the modern labour market.

Individuals are assisted to overcome barriers to education, training and employment,


and are motivated to acquire and utilise
new skills.

Australian industry and businesses develop, harness and utilise the skills and abilities of the workforce.
COAG has agreed to review the NASWD during 2011-12. A new agreement is expected to
commence on 1 July 2012.
This review is anticipated to refocus on the objectives and outcomes, outputs and measures
of the current agreement with emphasis on
foundation skills and participation in training as
social and economic goals.
Role of regulators
In addition to the new role of the National VET
regulation, the energy industry is moving toward national occupational licensing (under
the National Occupational Licensing Authority (NOLA)), supported by State and Territory
regulators.
The process of moving toward national licensing has reengaged industry regulators with
the training system and the requirements of
national Training Packages. Regulators are
seeking to ensure that training standards will
align with national licensing requirements and
provide them with certainty about the quality
and consistency of training outcomes, as they
cede their powers to the national body.
National licensing along with other COAG initiatives including ASQA, harmonisation of Work

Health and Safety (WHS) standards and apprenticeship reform, has had a positive effect
on the work of the ISC in promoting greater
interaction between training providers, industry
bodies and regulators. Increased interaction is
preventing duplications of effort, promoting an
environment of informed policy development
and clarifying the roles of organisations within
a truly national training system.
Unique Student Identifier (USI)
A USI for the VET sector has been on the
COAG agenda since late 2009 with a final
business cases due to be considered by in
early 2012.
EE-Oz recognises the significant benefits that
would flow from tracking national longitudinal
student data. At an aggregated level this will
inform public debate and allow a performance
based approach to policy development. At an
individual level this will provide a reliable and
simple framework for students to exchange information with RTOs (to improve educational
experiences) and employers (to improve employment experiences).
By creating an authenticated record of educational experience, a USI would allow the brokerage of training programs for students with
reference to their achievements, background
and aptitude. It would also facilitate the identification of appropriate support services (such as
additional LL&N) prior to commencement. This
has cost implications for RTOs, allowing them
to focus support on areas of greatest need.
This having been said, EE-Oz feels an important opportunity is being missed in limiting a
USI to the VET sector rather than extending
this across the national education system. Excluding the Secondary and Higher Educations
sectors will increase compliance cost for multisector RTOs, decrease the value to students
(who may need to approach multiple training
providers to create a training record), limit the
value of information for policy makers and promote the isolation of education sectors (which
runs contrary to COAG policy initiatives).

Systemic flexibility to accommodate


enterprise needs
National Workforce Development Agency
From 1 July 2012, the National Workforce and
Productivity Agency will be established to administer the National Workforce Development
Fund, expanding the role of Skills Australia to
improve the linkages between skills funding
and industry needs; in order to increase the focus on workplace productivity in Australia.
The Agency will engage with industry (through
industry skills councils, employer associations
and unions), to inform workforce planning initiatives. This approach will empower individual
enterprises to negotiate flexible and relevant
services from RTOs which:

Contextualise qualification(s) to meet identified enterprise needs (particularly in relation


to elective units)

Provide flexibility in relation to geographical


location and mode of delivery

Represent value for money


Industry feels that opportunities exist for the
Agency to play an enhanced role in the training
system, consolidating the operation of various
bodies related to workforce development and
administering the operation of workforce development programs. This would provide the
Agency with a role beyond the operation of the
NWDF and entrench the role of industry fundamentally into programs within its auspices.
Role of ISCs in Workforce Development
The efficacy of Workforce Development initiatives in linking the demand and supply of skills
hinges on the central role of Industry Skills
Councils (ISCs) in engaging and working with
industry and government. This engagement
must naturally occur at two levels.
The first will involve assisting enterprises to
identify their specific business needs and appropriate strategies to address these, whether through training or alternative processes.
Where training is identified as the preferred

solution, ISCs will have a further role in helping


enterprises to navigate the complexities of the
VET sector and diverse funding sources. This
assistance is particularly important for smaller
enterprises without the capacity for complex
workforce planning assessments in house.
This role also encompasses the existing Training Package development responsibility of
ISCs, ensuring that appropriate national training solutions are available to meet enterprise
level demand for skills.
The second level involves communicating industry demand for skills to government and
developing appropriate strategies to address
these. In order to be effective, this will need to
identify both the immediate needs of enterprises, to address existing skills shortages, and
the evolving demand for skills across the workforce, to meet Australias wider labour market
needs in the medium term.
The effective implementation of Workforce Development initiatives has the potential to boost
economy wide productivity with associated
benefits for global competitiveness, higher
wages (without inflation) and increasing the
aggregate level of employment.

Meeting individual learner needs


Demographics
Figure 2 below shows that the proportion of
commencing apprentices below 19 years of
age has consistently fallen over the past ten
years, from above two-thirds (67.64%) to a
little over half (57.08%). The proportion aged
20 to 24 years has remained fairly constant,
while the greatest growth has been in the 25 to
44 year category.
The proportion of 25 to 44 year old apprentices
has almost doubled from 11.89% in 2001 to
21.54% in 2010. In conjunction with the rapid
uptake of the EE-Oz suite of Training Packages
by industry, this means that an additional 2153
apprentices aged 25 to 44 commenced training in 2010 compared to 2001. This demographic shift, which is expected to continue,

is moving the emphasis of the training system


toward the needs and capacities of older apprentices. The proportion of commencing apprentices aged over 45 has also doubled over
the period, albeit from a much lower base.

additional support prior to commencement to


maximise their chances of success.
Ensuring that the training system has the flexibility to tailor learning plans to individual learner
needs (and how these evolve over the course
of the qualification) will help promote the efficient allocation of training resources.

In comparison to the relatively homogenous


school leaver cohort, older apprentices present unique opportunities and challenges. Many
In comparison, the demographics of students
have previously worked in related industries
enrolled across all Training Packages has reandElectroComms
bring valuableand
skillsEnergyUtilities
to the sector, Industries
allowing - Environmental
Scan 2012
mained fairly constant over the period, marginthem to gain competence more quickly and efally lower (not exceeding a couple of percentage
ficiently. For others, extended disengagement
points) in each category except the over 45s.
100%the training system means they need
from
ElectroComms and EnergyUtilities Industries - Environmental Scan 2012
90%
Figure
80% 2: Student demographics for EE-Oz Training Package qualifications, 2001 - 2010
70%
100%
60%
90%

45 years and over

50%
80%
40%
70%

25 to 44 years

30%
60%
20%
50%

45
over
19 years and under

10%
40%
0%
30%

20 to 24 years

20%2001

20 to 24 years

25 to 44 years

19 years and under


2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

10%NCVER, VOCSTATS
Source:
0%

In comparison,
demographics
of students
enrolled
Packages has remained
2009all Training
2010
2001 2002 the
2003
2004 2005
2006 2007
2008across
fairly constant over the period, marginally lower (not exceeding a couple of percentage points) in
each
category
except
the over 45s.
Source:
NCVER,
VOCSTATS
Source:
NCVER,
VOCSTATS
In comparison,
the
demographics
ofTraining
students
enrolled
across
all Training
has remained
Figure
3:3:Student
demographics
for all
Package
qualifications,
2001 Packages
- 2010
Figure
Student
demographics
for
all
Training
Package
qualifications,
2001 - 2010
fairly constant over the period, marginally lower (not exceeding a couple of percentage points) in
100%
each category except the over 45s.
90%

Figure
80%3: Student demographics for all Training Package qualifications, 2001 - 2010
100%
70%
90%
60%

45 years and over

80%
50%

25 to 44 years

70%
40%

20 to 24 years

60%
30%

45 years and under


over
19

50%
20%

25 to 44 years

40%
10%

20 to 24 years

30%
0%
20%2001

19 years and under


2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

Source:
10% NCVER, VOCSTATS
Source: NCVER, VOCSTATS

0%

Student capacity to progress


2001

2002

2003

2004

The fundamental productivity goal of all stakeholders in the training system is to develop human
Source:
VOCSTATS
capital.NCVER,
Non-completions
represent a barrier to this goal and appropriate strategies to improve
completion rates, without compromising outcomes, must be actively sought.
Student capacity to progress

Student capacity to progress


The fundamental productivity goal of all stakeholders in the training system is to develop
human capital. Non-completions represent a
barrier to this goal and appropriate strategies
to improve completion rates, without compromising outcomes, must be actively sought.
Essential for this to occur are robust systems
to develop learner capacity. These can variously take the form of pre-apprenticeships,
foundation or even practical skills development programs. For this to function effectively
an accurate skills profile of the learner must be
developed prior to commencement, thereby
allowing preparatory programs to be targeted
at individual learner needs. This will prevent
costly duplication of effort while targeting support toward identified barriers to progression,
before they are allowed to become barriers to
success.
This approach was endorsed in the recent
Expert Panel report developed to inform the
Apprenticeships for the 21st Century review,
which describes the importance of student capacity in determining completion;
Literature points to high quality recruitment
as being the most crucial factor in ensuring
the completion of an Australian Apprenticeship. There needs to be a focus on starting apprentices and trainees with a view to
success rather than setting them up to fail.
This can include education about what the
apprenticeship or traineeship entails, aptitude testing, assessing their commitment
to the training, encouraging involvement in
pre-vocational and pre-apprenticeship programs, providing a good match between
the apprentice or trainee and employer and
ensuring appropriate induction. 2(Emphasis
added)

As the VET sector expands its capacity, in order to meet COAGs educational attainment
target for 80% of 25 34 year olds to hold an
AQF level 3 or above qualification by 2020 (as
opposed around 64% today), effective strategies to improve student readiness prior to
commencement will become crucial. Over the
next decade the tertiary education system (including VET) will be asked to increase the pool
of students it engages, without compromising
outcomes, and to ensure that this new cohort
of students has the capacity to succeed.
This is a significant challenge which will require
a particular effort be made to lift student attainment rates amongst disadvantaged students.
It is of concern to industry that the capacity of
the compulsory education system to effectively
prepare students for the further education is
faltering, with both the relative and absolute attainment standards of 15 year old Australian
students falling between 2001 and 20093.
Foundation Skills
Foundation skills focused training aligns closely to the concept of core skills identified by
the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF).
These skills allow people to engage with society more broadly, improving their ability to communicate through language and mathematics.
They help people think critically about information and ideas. They also play an important
role in facilitating further learning by improving
a learners ability to absorb and manipulate information.
In Australian Workforce Futures, Skills Australia
identifies a link between the aggregate level of
language, literacy and numeracy skills in a society and productivity.
Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy
(LLN) skills are now recognised as fundamental to improved workforce participation, productivity and social inclusion

2 Expert Panel, A shared responsibility Apprenticeships for the 21st Century


3 Results from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey reveal that Australia has seen a
decline in the reading and mathematics performance of 15 year olds 2000 and 2009.

10

International research shows that a 1 per


cent increase in a countrys literacy score
leads to a 2.5 per cent increase in labour
productivity.4
This research contributes to a recent body of
work extolling the virtues of foundation skills
both in relation to improving outcomes from
training (yielding an improved return on investment) and of improving social outcomes by
promoting effective interaction. Importantly,
improving foundation skills has been found to
be important and effective for individuals at all
levels, not just those at entry level or from disadvantaged groups:
... not confined to those with poor basic
skills, but extends to all people trying to understand new forms of communication and
information as they take on different roles in
life and work.5
EE-Oz strongly supports the development of
the foundation skills as complementary to the
development of vocational skills and continues
to lead in the inclusion of recommended levels
of Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LL&N)
in Training Package units of competency. RTO
reports received by the ISC indicate that students who have demonstrated the levels of
LL&N recommended for the unit, have three
quarter fewer non-completions.
Industry representatives increasingly feel that
introducing the provision of appropriate and
targeted support services to students will require developing an accurate picture of an individuals capacity and capability to progress,
prior to commencement. This could then be
leveraged to identify appropriate pathways to
entry for students with differing levels of readiness, in order to ensure they are provided with
the capacity to progress through their chosen
training program.

Competency based progression


Competency based progression denotes a
system in which progression is founded on
the students development and application of
knowledge and skill, rather than by time served.
This has clear benefits for stakeholders:

For RTOs, more accurate and timely recognition of individual skill levels allows training
solutions to be tailored to individual needs,
facilitating progression when competency
is demonstrated and the early identification
of strategies to minimise impediments to
progression.

For employers, recognition of their commitment to adequate supervision and exposure to workplace experience as evidence
of competency progression, which reflects
real productivity.

For students, opportunities for progression


above current rates; incentivising greater
effort and providing flexibility to address individual learning capacity
In order to achieve competency based outcomes for students and enterprises, training
systems must provide sufficient flexibility to
accommodate the individual needs of each
Contract of Training arrangement, in order to
minimise any duplication of effort and create
performance based incentives to students.
Despite these obvious benefits, it must also be
emphasised that significant barriers to competency based progression exist in the current
apprenticeship system. Any holistic program to
achieve cultural shift in energy sector apprenticeships must address each of these factors
to the satisfaction of industry, including:

Industry and regulator confidence in the


outcomes of training

Alignment of on and off-the-job elements of


competence

National consistency in the application of


training standards
4 Skills Australia, Australian Workforce Futures, 2010 p.4
5 National Centre for Vocational Education Research 2005

11

Negotiation of industrial arrangements to


support competency based progression

Apprentice capacity to progress


Blended Learning resources
Funding arrangements
EE-Oz looks forward to further consultations
with industry and government about how to
provide greater flexibility in policy setting to allow competency based progression, without
compromising the attainment standards outlined in units of competence.
Technical trainer shortages
Strong competition amongst employers for
energy sector skills is preventing RTOs from
recruiting experienced practitioners into technical training roles. This is affecting the ability
of training organisations to increase capacity
in key qualifications for which skills shortages
have been identified and in areas of emerging
skill demand.
Publicly funded training organisations in particular report that pay scales which do not distinguish between the technical skills of trainers,
fail to acknowledge the reality that VET trainers operate as dual professionals; required to
maintain both technical and pedagogical skills.
While RTO trainer remuneration fails to keep
pace with the market demand for technical
skills, RTOs will be unable to selectively recruit.
This negatively affects the perception of training roles, the quality of new entrants into the
field and outcomes for students.
Technical trainers within RTOs also advise that
there is a huge learning curve from full time technical work to full time teaching, which discourages industry practitioners from pursuing training roles. Many advise that a lack of support at
this time is a cause of discomfort, which drives
many new trainers back into technical roles.
Given the difficulty in recruiting new entrants
and the demonstrable advantages in terms of
training outcomes of establishing higher level
teaching skills, this is a problem that must be
addressed. EE-Oz supports the adoption of a

12

technical teaching qualification at at least Diploma level, as a pathway into a training role.
This qualification should incorporate industry
specific units for currency verification and to
contextualise pedagogical skills to the industry context, as well as educational delivery and
management competencies.
The intention of such a qualification is not to
replace the Cert IV TAE as an entry level requirement but to encourage recent entrants to
the training sector to refresh their underpinning
technical knowledge and develop pedagogical
skills related to their chosen field.

Impending skills shortfall


With growth and interest rate levels returning
to their historical averages, it is easy to feel the
domestic (if not the international) economy has
left the GFC well and truly behind. However a
hangover of the crisis remains within the training system, in the form of a reduced 2009
student cohort, which will severely impact the
supply of skills in the short term.
Apprenticeships within the traditional trades
have comparatively long lead times, reflecting regulatory requirements and the high level
technical skills required. Although the basis
for awarding qualifications in the energy sector trades is competence not time spent in
training, apprenticeship training has historically
been conducted over a nominal four year period. Whilst there is some flexibility to vary this
period, it has remained the de facto basis for
completion.
This arrangement manifests as a strong positive correlation between completion rates and
commencement rates four years earlier. This
relationship is illustrated graphically in Figure 4
below.
The dotted line is a forecast of student completions for 2011 2014 based on historical data
from completions from the preceding three
years. It is worth noting that the graduating
class of 2013 is expected to be considerably

smaller than the 2012 cohort. Taking regular


workforce attrition into account, the increase
in the electrical workforce in 2013 will be half
of the increase in 2012, which was itself insufficient to meet predicted workforce demand.

its reliance on construction demand), implications of this reduced cohort will be felt across
all the traditional trades.

Although little can be done within the training


system to avert this impending shortfall, the
ForElectroComms
electrical apprentices
this decrease
rep- - Environmental
time to develop
to support training
and EnergyUtilities
Industries
Scanstrategies
2012
resents 24% fewer apprentices or over 1500
levels through cyclical downturns is now, not in
fewer qualified electricians graduating in 2013.
the midst of the next crisis. Industry and government should work together to identify and
VET
Sector
reform like KickStart (which inIf not
for initiatives
put in place systemic strategies to safeguard
creased employer incentives for taking on aptraining levels, recognising these as a long
Impending skills shortfall
prentices during the worst of the crisis), this
investment
the nations
With growth and interest rate levels returning toterm
their
historical inaverages,
it isfuture.
easy to feel the
situation may have been much worse. Howdomestic (if not the international) economy has left the GFC well and truly behind. However a
ever, in industries currently experiencing skills
hangover of the crisis remains within the training system, in the form of a reduced 2009 student
shortages,
of this
downturn
will still
cohort,
whichthe
willeffect
severely
impact
the supply
of skills in the short term.
be dramatic; deepening skills shortages in key
trades
just as the economy
struggles
to build
Apprenticeships
within the
traditional
trades have comparatively long lead times, reflecting
regulatory
capacity. requirements and the high level technical skills required. Although the basis for awarding
qualifications in the energy sector trades is competence not time spent in training, apprenticeship
Whilst within
the energy been
sectorconducted
trades the electraining
has historically
over a nominal four year period. Whilst there is some
flexibility
to vary this period,
it has to
remained
trical apprenticeship
is expected
be one the
of de facto basis for completion.
the most seriously impacted (due to the large
This arrangement
manifests
a strong
number
of small employers
in theas
industry
andpositive correlation between completion rates and
commencement rates four years earlier. This relationship is illustrated graphically in Figure 4 below.

Figure
4: 4:
NCVER
commencement
and completion
data for
Electrician
(ANZSCO
- 3411), 2000-2010.
Figure
NCVER
commencement
and completion
data
for Electrician
(ANZSCO
- 3411),
Completion
projections
for
2011-2014
are
derived
from
commencement
data
2007-2010,
using
average
2000-2010. Completion projections for 2011-2014 are derived from commencement data 2007-2010,
completion modifier rate from the previous three years
using average completion modifier rate from the previous three years
10000
9000
8000
7000
6000
5000
4000
Commencements
3000
(Completions)
2000
1000
0

Source:
historical
datadata
drawn
fromfrom
NCVER,
VOCSTATS
Source:
historical
drawn
NCVER,
VOCSTATS

The dotted line is a forecast of student completions for 2011 2014 based on historical data
from completions from the preceding three years. It is worth noting that the graduating class of
2013 is expected to be considerably smaller than the 2012 cohort. Taking regular workforce attrition
into account, the increase in the electrical workforce in 2013 will be half of the increase in 2012,
which was itself insufficient to meet predicted workforce demand.

13

THE ELECTROTECHNOLOGY
INDUSTRY
14

Electrotechnology Industry
The electrotechnology industry is responsible
for harnessing electricity to a huge variety of
applications, to meet business and individual
needs, and demand for electrotechnology
skills is closely linked with the aggregate level
of demand across the domestic economy.
As modern work practices increasingly rely on
integrated energy, communication and control
technologies, skilled electrotechnology industry practitioners will be essential in ensuring
that Australian business can compete in a
global environment. On the other hand, failure
to develop sufficient industry practitioners to
meet demand would act as a bottleneck on
broader economic activity and drive up the
cost of infrastructure investments.

Latest Intelligence
Although demand for electrotechnology services is primarily driven by domestic factors,
adopting international best practice in terms of
technology, compliance and work organisation
is a primary source of competitive advantage
for individual enterprises and a determinant in
national economic competitiveness.
Evolving technological applications continually
trigger new processes and equipment, making
the industry highly responsive to changing international circumstances and requiring industry practitioners to continue learning throughout their careers.
Fluctuations of the economic cycle aside, the
key determinant of long term economic growth
is productivity and the key determinants of long
term productivity growth are skills and technology. The electrotechnology industrys role in
disseminating technological advances through
the domestic economy will ensure it remains
an industry of national importance, contributing to living standards and economic growth.

Emerging environmental factors and


their skill impacts
NBN Environment
The National Broadband Network (NBN) is the
largest infrastructure project in the nations history. Once completed, it will provide fibre to
the premises services to 93% of the population, with broadband speeds of 100 megabits
per second (with capability as high as 1 gigabit
per second). For the remaining 7%, broadband
services will be provided through a combination
of next generation high-speed wireless and satellite technologies, providing broadband speed
of 12 megabits per second or more.
The construction phase of the project is still in
its very early stages, with eight communities
currently able to access NBN fibre services.
NBN Co. has advised that while skills demand
has been low through the trial period (to September 2011) it will now begin ramping up to
2013, when an estimated workforce of 20,000
will be required and maintained for eight years.
The current work plan is for 758,000 premises
by the end of 2012.
The rollout of wireless services to rural areas
has been accelerated with the first five sites set
to come online in mid 2012, with completion
in 2015.
The potential of super-fast broadband to support integrated technologies is considerable,
yet imperfectly understood. The evolving use
of distributed-intelligence microprocessors to
continually monitor and adjust electrical systems has broad ranging applications across
business and social settings. Continual consultation will be required to ensure that training
standards support evolving innovative uses for
transferring information.

15

Access Economics reports that adopting smart


technologies in electricity, irrigation, health,
transport and broadband could add more than
70 000 jobs to the economy in 2014 alone,
with further benefits being realised as the network approaches maturity.
NBN Skills impact
The NBN will contribute to demand for electrotechnology skills through the construction
phase and subsequently, where electricians
will be involved in installing, maintaining and
controlling a number of technologies facilitated
by the network. Current technologies which
will benefit from the network will include energy
management, security and safety, intelligent
power and lighting, communications and entertainment.
The skill implications of the network will vary
according to the production stage. The geographical scale of the network is such that at
any point in time during the rollout, different
communities and regions will be at different
stages.
Stage 1 - Infrastructure development
Industry has identified the lead-up period
2012-2013 as a crucial time to develop the
skills required to build the network and to ensure that the social and economic benefits flow
as broadly as possible.
It is expected that NBN Co.s stated preference
for employing local workers in the construction phase will provide a feedstock of workers
around the country with the basic skills required to work in the energy sector industries.
Ensuring that training programs are available to
upskill these workers into vocations will remain
an industry focus, leveraging the investment in
entry level skills.
Stage 2 - Access and enhancement
Connecting premises to the network will be
carried out by workers with an open cabler
registration, aligning with Certificate II and III
qualifications in Data and Voice Communications or Certificate III in Electrotechnology

16

Electrician (with elective units in Data and Voice


Communications).
Demand for these workers is already high and
training statistics indicate there has yet to be any
substantial increase in training numbers nationally. Industry expects short term peaks in local
demand for Data and Voice specialists within
narrow geographical regions, following the establishment of local network infrastructure.
Enterprises are concerned that these local
peaks will be insufficient to warrant the development of local specialists; with this work falling to local electricians (approximately 50% of
electricians hold an open cabler registration).
This will aggravate local shortages of electricians, placing strain on other industry sectors
seeking to employ these skills and the broader
community.
Stage 3 - Exploitation and maintenance
The network will have specific applications in
relation to instrumentation and industrial control, allowing remote monitoring and control
of electrical systems to provide optimised efficiency, productivity or comfort.
Figure 5 below outlines electrotechnology applications supported by the network, which industry has identified as key workforce development
priorities. The ability of existing Training Package
components to accommodate the development of these skills has been an industry focus
in setting priorities for future development.
National licensing - Environment
On 30 April 2009 the Council of Australian
Governments (COAG) endorsed an agreement for a national licensing system for economically important trades. COAGs objective
in establishing the National Licensing System
is to remove overlapping and inconsistent occupational licensing regulations between jurisdictions. By so doing, it aims to improve business efficiency and the competitiveness of the
national economy.
The Productivity Commission has estimated
that the economic benefits, to the national

economy, of a National Licensing system will


be between $1.5 billion and 4.5 billion per year.
These benefits will accrue to all states and
territories across both the public and private
sectors. There is also significant potential to
mitigate the effects of local peaks in skills demand, whether caused by natural disaster or
economic opportunity.
National licensing in the electrical trades is
scheduled to begin in mid 2012, pending approval from all jurisdictions. The benefits for
business include less red tape, improved labor mobility, more consistent and transparent
licensing standards and increased capacity for
cross-border mutual aid arrangements to be
implemented rapidly in the event of national
emergencies and natural disasters.

opportunities under the national licence regime


will do so under revised qualifications, which
have been developed in consultation with the
relevant NOLA advisory committees, to match
the requirements of the agreed national licence
framework.
In establishing the new national licencing
framework regulatory authorities have been
vigilant in ensuring that the training standards
are not diminished and that the quality of training provision is not diluted. Training providers
will need to meet the standards for delivery and
assessment set by regulators through their advice to the Industry Skills Council to ensure that
they comply with the requirements of the AQTF
Essential Conditions and Standards for Continuing Registration, particularly:

National licensing Skills impact


Condition 3 Compliance with Legislation;
ElectroComms and EnergyUtilities Industries - Environmental Scan 2012
The training impacts resulting from the introand
duction of national licenses will be minimal for
Standard 1 The RTO provides quality trainexisting licenced tradespeople e.g. electricians
ing and assessment across all of its operaFigure
5 below outlines
electrotechnology
supported by the network, which
holding
qualifications
currently
recognised applications
tions
industry
has
identified
as
key
workforce
development
priorities.
The ability of existing
under mutual recognition arrangements. Apcreation ofofnew
national
licence
Training Package components to accommodate theThe
development
these
skills has
beencategories
an
prentices in these trades taking up training
where these previously did not exist or were not
industry focus in setting priorities for future development.

Figure Figure
5: Enabling
skills for NBN
Training Package
coverage
5: Enabling
skillsexploitation,
for NBN exploitation,
Training
Package coverage
Unit Code
UEENEEE121A
UEENEEF102A
UEENEEF104A
UEENEEF105A
UEENEEF107A
UEENEEF111A
UEENEEF114A
UEENEEH104A
UEENEEH105A
UEENEEH108A
UEENEEH135A
UEENEEH150A
UEENEEH152A
UEENEEI040A
UEENEEI041A
UEENEEI042A
UEENEEI043A
UEENEEI044A

Unit Title
Plan an integrated cabling installation system

Install and maintain cabling for multiple access


to telecommunications services
Install and modify performance data
communication copper cabling
Install and modify optical fibre performance data
communication cabling
Set up and configure the wireless capabilities of
communications and data storage devices
Test, report and rectify faults in data and voice
installations
Set up and configure basic data communications
systems
Set up and test residential video/audio
equipment
Verify functionality and compliance of custom
electronic installations
Assemble and install reception antennae and
signal distribution equipment
Design custom electronic installations
Assemble and set up basic wired and wireless
security systems
Enter instructions and test basic wired and
wireless security systems
Plan the electrical installation of integrated
systems
Develop electrical integrated systems

Develop an electrical integrated system interface


for access through a touch screen
Develop access control of electrical integrated
systems using logic-based programming tools
Develop interfaces for multiple access methods
to monitor, schedule and control an electrical
integrated system

UEENEEK152A

Develop strategies to address sustainability issues


for electrical installations

UEENEEK153A

Assessment of energy loads and uses for energy


efficiency in residential, office and retail premises

National licensing - Environment


On 30 April 2009 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) endorsed an agreement for a
national licensing system for economically important trades. COAGs objective in establishing the
National Licensing System is to remove overlapping and inconsistent occupational licensing
regulations between jurisdictions. By so doing, it aims to improve business efficiency and the
competitiveness of the national economy.

17

applicable in all jurisdictions e.g. in refrigeration


trades will be more significant in their impact.
Whilst the treatment of new national licences
in jurisdictions where the occupations have
not previously been regulated is not yet fully
defined, it is anticipated that where a national licence is available, both new and existing workers will seek to be licenced. The increased emphasis on occupational regulatory
compliance for Training Providers in combination with the impact of the maturation of the
national VET Regulators role and the national
harmonisation of WHS regulations through
SafeWork Australia will set new benchmarks
for quality training provision by RTOs and their
industry partners.
The identification of the Electrical Fitter classification in NOLAs national licencing categories
for the Electrical Trades will have training and
workforce impacts. Across jurisdictions this
licence will provide recognition for a category
of electrical worker previously under-identified
within the sector and allow greater mobility
across the economy. Further, the development
and endorsement of a suite of qualifications to
provide a career pathway from AQF 3 to AQF 6
for this new national licence category ensures
that these workers can take full advantage of
their skills and progress within the industry.
The new qualifications are:
UEE33011 Certificate III in Electrical Fitting
UEE43011 Certificate IV in Electrical
Equipment and Systems
UEE53011 Diploma of Electrical Systems
Engineering
UEE63011 Advanced Diploma of Electrical
Systems Engineering
In addition to these licence classes, the Electrical Occupations Advisory Committee has recommended NOLA incorporate an enhanced
Restricted Electrical Licence into the national
licencing regime. Such a category will provide for fault finding on installed apparatus.
This class of licence will improve access for

18

appropriately trained tradespersons to undertake fault finding where required by their job
role. This will be particularly applicable to air
conditioning and refrigeration operatives who
need these capabilities.
The training impact of this change will be significant as skills development and/or RPL will
need to be provided to those seeking this new
class of restricted licence to verify their ability
to safely perform this type of work. RTOs will
need to seek extensions of scope and ensure
they can meet regulatory requirements to address these training needs.
All the above classes of licence within the national licensing regime will also be applicable to
electrical work in the Gas and Electricity Supply industry sectors.
Converging technology - Environment
Converging technology is a continuous process, describing the tendency of distinct technological systems to develop similar applications over time. An example is the ubiquitous
use of computer chips in previously unrelated
modern technologies.
Advances in digital communications technology has allowed automation and remote control technologies to be applied to a much wider
variety of applications, from robotics, intelligent
lighting and power, grid management, security
and industrial processes. Improved automation
and remote control technology, supported by
faster communications infrastructure, is driving
the convergence of energy sector skills with
Information and Communication Technology
(ICT) skills.
Demand for measurement and monitoring applications will also draw the energy and ICT industries closer, as electrical devices become
smart appliances whose operation can be altered remotely to accommodate the needs of
the grid. This technology is already driving Australias response to peak demand management
and opportunities for its applications (with as-

sociated benefits for homes and businesses)


will be greatly amplified by the NBN.
Another example of convergent technologies
involves the application of energy recovery
mechanisms. These allow electrical energy to
be recovered from a number of mechanical
(kinetic) and heat generating processes, with
applications in the mining, automotive and industrial processing sectors. Applications for
energy recovery are expected to expand rapidly over the coming decade, playing a significant role in realising energy efficiencies.
Converging technology Skills impact
Within the electrotechnology industry, skills
to support new technologies traditionally begin as post trade specialisations. As a new
technology matures and becomes ubiquitous
(through incorporation into broader applications), it gradually becomes necessary for all
industry practitioners to acquire and maintain
those skills; leading to its inevitable inclusion in
the trade training programs.

(OEMs), vendors and industry associations to


ensure Training Package qualifications at every
level include appropriate units of competency
to allow operatives to work efficiently, effectively and safely.
Mining boom Environment
The bulk of employment for electrotechnology
workers is in the construction industry (e.g.
57% of electricians and 42% of airconditioning and refrigeration mechanics are employed
in the construction industry). The Construction Forecasting Council expects construction
growth to recover strongly from 2012 as a series of large resource project come online.
Engineering construction will represent the majority of growth in the construction industry between 2012 and 2014, peaking at over $100
billion in 2013/2014. This strength is due to
large iron ore and LNG projects in Queensland
and Western Australia. Additionally, governments will continue to invest strongly in transport infrastructure, largely to service the needs
of the mining industry. Figure 6 below illustrates
observed and predicted construction rates to
2020.

Stages of this shift, associated with various


technologies, are evident across the workforce. Industry representatives have expressed
Given the booming
construction industries of
a belief
that it is inevitable
that all trade
level - Environmental
ElectroComms
and EnergyUtilities
Industries
Scan 2012
electrotechnology practitioners will be required
the resource rich states, it is worrying to note
deepen their skills to maintain at least bathat NCVER and ABS predict that growth in
to invest
strongly in transport
service the
needs of oftheQueensland
mining industry.
sic
ICT, instrumentation,
energyinfrastructure,
auditing and largely
thetoelectrical
workforces
and
Figure
6
below
illustrates
observed
and
predicted
construction
rates
to
2020.
Western Australia will be below the national
industrial control skills in the medium term.
average over the next five years. This is due
EE-Oz is continuously involved in consultaFigure 6: Construction activity in Australia, 2001 - 2020
to comparatively small increases in training
tions with Original Equipment Manufacturers
Figure 6: Construction activity in Australia, 2001 - 2020

Given the booming construction industries of the resource rich states, it is worrying to note that
NCVER and ABS predict that growth in the electrical workforces of Queensland and Western
Australia will be below the national average over the next five years. This is due to comparatively
small increases in training intakes despite escalating demand, which has the capacity to constrain
infrastructure development with negative, potentially long term, effects.

19

intakes despite escalating demand, which has


the capacity to constrain infrastructure development with negative, potentially long term,
effects.
Mining boom Skills impact
The Resourcing the Future report published
by the Department of Resources, Energy and
Tourism in 2010, highlighted the limited availability of skilled tradespeople (specifically including electricians) as a potential constraint
on the establishment of mining infrastructure.
Given the sheer scale of investment in mining
infrastructure and the value to these projects to
the domestic economy, it is inevitable that skilled
migration will be required to ensure skills shortages do not constrain output and investment.
The Skilled Migration summit hosted by EE-Oz
in July 2011 was attended by over 100 industry
stakeholders and provided an opportunity for
Industry, government and Training personnel
to discuss issues related to skilled migration.
Participants agreed that a robust skilled migration policy should supplement a sustained investment in education and training, to ensure
that the Australian workforce meets the skills
demands of industry and sustains the global
competitiveness of Australian firms. Two key
elements of a robust skilled migration policy
were identified:
1. Consistent and robust training standards
be applied in all skills assessments for migrant workers, to ensure that safety and
productivity levels are maintained
2. Workforce development planning is conducted to ensure training opportunities are
provided to local workers, which conform
with expected enterprise requirements

EE-Oz has been working with the COAG Skills


Taskforce, Trades Recognition Australia, industry and training provider partners to ensure
the Australian Governments skilled migration
processes deliver suitably qualified and experienced workers to Australian industry. The ISC
wishes to maintain industry confidence in the
quality of skills assessment and gap training
arrangements, which support workers to becoming safe, fully productive tradespeople in
Australian industry.
There is some concern however that the mining industry has been too quick to turn to
skilled migration to meet its skill needs and
should contribute further to developing local
skills. Anecdotal advice abounds that the resource sector does not contribute to training
in proportion to its demand for trade skills. This
advice is supported by the Resourcing the Future report which demonstrated that underinvestment in skills is particularly evident in the
electrotechnology trades, where the percentage of apprentice employment is barely one
quarter of the national average (Table 1).
A key recommendation of the report, promoted by this ISC, was for the development
of Training Impact Statements associated with
the approval process for projects over a certain size (recommendation was for $50 million).
This would include workforce development
information regarding how the project would
address its skills needs as well as impacts on
local labor supply. This information should be
made available to the NWDA and ISCs in order
to facilitate informed policy development. The
ISC eagerly awaits further details of how this
requirement will be applied.
Skills impacts of mining investment will include
increased demand for electricians as well as

Table 1: Electricians-Employment and Training in the Resources Sector


Percentage of electrician
employed in the resource
sector

5.5

Percentage of electrical
apprentices employed in
the resource sector

1.5

Relative share

27%

Derived from table 5, 7 and 9 of NCVER Tradespeople for the resources sector: projections 201020

20

hazardous areas, instrumentation and industrial control specialists. Technological advances


and improved data transfer capacity (provided
by the NBN) will have similar effects to those
in other industries (due to the convergence of
technology), with demand for greater system
automation and remote operation including
mining to transport activities. Energy auditing,
measurements and the pursuit of energy efficiency opportunities, including through distributed generation, will also be a focus.
EE-Oz is currently engaged with original equipment manufacturers supplying heavy equipment to the mining industry. These consultations will identify and develop Training Package
components at the post trade level to service
and maintain equipment that uses new technology related to remote operation of mining
equipment (to address safety concerns) and
high voltage drives (energy efficient motors).
Peak demand management Environment
In an energy system, peak demand refers to
the highest level of demand experienced within
the network. In Australia, peak demand only
occurs on approximately 1% of days but can
result in a 50-100% surge in demand for energy (Figure 7).

Despite this limited duration, electricity networks must be built to withstand peak demand
levels without failing. Over the past decade the
rate of peak demand growth has far exceeded
total demand growth for energy, largely due to
the uptake of airconditioning systems (AC penetration has risen from around 30% in 2001 to
over 70% in 2011). While this rapid growth is
expected to stabilise, system enhancement to
accommodate peak demand growth will continue to be a major driver of electricity price rises, with over $15 billion of investment required
in the next few years.
A recent review of the Queensland grid has
indicated that for each privately purchased
$1,500 air conditioning system, a further
$7,000 must be invested in the electricity network to ensure there is enough capacity to run
that system during peak periods.
Peak demand management
Skills impact
Australian Standard (AS4755) defines a requirement for an electrical product to allow the
alteration of its normal mode of operation from
a remote location. Products complying with
this standard accomodate sophisticated smart
systems to actively control system usage in
peak periods. Complying products can be

ElectroComms and EnergyUtilities Industries - Environmental Scan 2012


Figure 7: Example of residential substation peak demand. Two consecutive summer
days in 2010, only difference is ambient temperature

Source:
Energex
presentation
at EE-Oz
conference
2010 2010
Source:
Energex
presentation
at EE-Oz
conference

Despite this limited duration, electricity networks must be built to withstand peak demand levels
without failing. Over the past decade the rate of peak demand growth has far exceeded total
demand growth for energy, largely due to the uptake of airconditioning systems (AC penetration has
risen from around 30% in 2001 to over 70% in 2011). While this rapid growth is expected to stabilise,
system enhancement to accommodate peak demand growth will continue to be a major driver of
electricity price rises, with over $15 billion of investment required in the next few years.

21

promoted by energy retailers through flexible


tariff offerings.

key facilitator of remote monitoring and operation technologies.

The federal mandate for all new air conditioning


units to comply with AS4755 by 2011-2012,
is playing an important role in establishing
Australia as a world leader in demand management systems. This also foreshadows the
emerging role of smart systems and meters in
regulating energy usage to meet environmental
and economic challenges. Providing the skills
to facilitate this shift will be a critical challenge
for the industry.

Sustainability

While AS4755 compliance will initially affect


airconditioning and refrigeration mechanics,
it is clear that these systems will become increasingly common in all manner of appliances
in business and residential settings. Automation, instrumentation and industrial control
techniques will increasingly contribute to peak
demand management as well as energy efficiency and auditing efforts. The NBN will be a

22

As scientific evidence mounts that human action is contributing to global climate change,
and that there are considerable environmental
risks associated with global warming, international attention is increasingly being directed
towards developing sustainable energy practices; which meet the energy needs of the
current generation without compromising the
ability of future generations to meet their own
energy needs.
The focus of this attention is currently on limiting global carbon dioxide emissions to maintain atmospheric carbon below an acceptable
level. Without limiting global population or
growth in material living standards, only two
vectors are available to reduce carbon emissions associated with human activity:

1. Improving the efficiency of energy use


2. Reduce the carbon intensity of energy
generation
Sustainability measures in the electrotechnology industry are primarily related to the first of
these, disseminating new more efficient technologies and seeking energy efficiency opportunities in existing processes. The Electricity
and Gas Supply industries are more focused
on the second, related to cleaner generation (more efficient plants and cleaner energy
sources) as well as minimising losses incurred
through transmission and distribution systems.
In Australia the transition of the national economy to a low carbon future will require a wholesale change in community attitude toward
energy usage. It will not be limited to isolated
pockets of the economy but will require the
whole community to become accountable for
their own usage and to promote that same accountability in business and government.
The vast bulk of work related to green skills
and energy efficiency, including advice, installation and reporting work will be carried out
by people with trade and post trade electrotechnology qualifications. Electricians are positioned at the nexus of energy and the myriad
applications for which is used, making them
well placed to engage the community across
the domestic, government, commercial and
industrial sectors. The technical skills of an
electrician underpin every aspect of energy
production and usage, meaning that this transition can only occur on the shoulders of electrical workers.
The accompanying publication to this Environmental Scan, Skills to realise energy efficiency
opportunities, presents a detailed analysis of
the skills required to realise abatement opportunities across the economy, including those
related to industry, generation and buildings.
The original work related to this analysis was
conducted by the ISC in response to abatement opportunities identified by the Allens

Consulting Group on behalf of the Victorian


Government, mapping identified opportunities against current national endorsed training
standards for the energy sector industries.
Carbon price (energy auditing) Environment
A national price on carbon will incentivise both
the vectors to reducing carbon dioxide listed
above through encouraging generators to
generate electricity through less carbon intensive means and end users to consider carbon
production in their consumption decisions (including through transmission and distribution
losses). Accordingly, a carbon tax will amplify
the skills impact of the environmental factors
considered in this section.
In addition to this, carbon pricing will drive
greater accountability and reporting of energy
usage, contributing to improved community
awareness. Accurate, timely and regular measurement is necessary to account for energy
usage, promoting its judicious and effective
use.
Carbon price (Energy auditing)
Skills impact
EE-Oz is involved in development training standards for energy auditing and performance
monitoring which will underpin the design, deployment and successful operation of energy
efficient integrated systems. Specifically, there
are new roles emerging for qualified personnel
to:

Audit and assess current installations, both


holistically and at a systems level

Provide advice on the reconfiguration and


optimisation of existing systems for energy
efficiency

Provide advice on the design, deployment


and integration of new technologies to increase energy efficiency

Optimise individual and integrated systems


to achieve maximum energy efficiency

Manage and monitor system performance

23

Figure 8: The sustainable energy cycle


ElectroComms and EnergyUtilities Industries - Environmental Scan 2012

Small scale generation - Environment


Small scale generation units fall under the
purview of electrotechnology practitioners
with post trade specialisations. Small generation units have proven to be a popular way for
Australians to take up various government initiatives, particularly through the installation of
Photovoltaic (PV) panels and solar hot water
heaters. Although funding levels have been
volatile and the program oversubscribed (which
has led to some short term slow down), this
trend is expected to continue in the longer term.

Currently, the Commonwealth Government


provides Small-scale Technology Certificates
(STCs), for installed renewable Small Generation Units (SGUs), to incentivise installation.
The cut off for these programs is listed in Table
Commitment to sustainable energy applications will require businesses 2. These classifications are reflected in the limiand households to continually review usage patterns in light of changes in tations imposed within units of competency.
Commitment
to sustainable
energy
applicaregulatory frameworks,
technologies,
incentives and
industry
work Above this level, relevant units are included in
practices.
tions will require businesses and households
the UEP ESI Generation Training Package.
to the
continually
usage
lightroles
of in
This cycle will involve
support review
of existing
andpatterns
emerginginjob
energy efficiency assessment,
improvement.
Seeing
changes management
in regulatory and
frameworks,
technoloenergy efficiency as a cycle indicates that these roles are supportive of each
gies, incentives and industry work practices.
other and that these roles may merge over time or according to the scale at
which the cycle of AAAA MMM is applied (Figure 8).
This cycle will involve the support of existing
and emerging job roles in energy efficiency

Small scale generation Skills impact


The popularity of renewable SGUs is driving
demand for post trade electrical skills related
to the design and installation of these units,
particularly the Certificate IV in Electrical - Photovoltaic Systems and associated Skill Sets.

assessment,
management
and improvement.
Carbon price (Energy auditing)
Skills
impact
This popularity has also brought increased
Seeing
energy efficiency
as a cycleforindicates
EE-Oz is involved in
development
training standards
energy auditing
and with
performance
scrutiny,
industry regulators taking a more
monitoring which will underpin
the
design,
deployment
and
successful
operation
of
energy
efficient
that these roles are supportive of each other
vigilant approach to inspecting and approving
integrated systems. Specifically, there are new roles emerging for qualified personnel to:
such level
installations. This is driving demand for
and that
these
roles mayboth
merge
over time
Audit and assess
current
installations,
holistically
and or
at a systems
electrical
Provide advice
on the reconfiguration
optimisation
systemsinspectors
for energyholding a Certificate IV in
according
to the scale at and
which
the cycle ofofexisting
Electrical
Inspection
and Audit.
efficiency
AAAA MMM is applied (Figure 8).
Provide advice on the design, deployment and integration of new technologies to
increase energy efficiency
2: Cut
levels for
Small
Unitsenergy efficiency
Optimise Table
individual
andoff
integrated
systems
to Generation
achieve maximum
Manage andSystem
monitor
system
performance
type
System capacity and annual
Installation periods
electricity output

(photovoltaic) systems
Small scale generationSolar
- Environment

No more than 100 kW and a toOn or after 14 November 2005


tal annual electricity output less
Small scale generation units fall under the purview ofthan
electrotechnology
practitioners with post
250 MWh

trade specialisations. Small generation units have proven to be a popular way for Australians to take
wind turbines
No installation
more than 10
and a to- (PV)
Onpanels
or after 1 April 2001
up various governmentSmall
initiatives,
particularly through the
ofkW
Photovoltaic
tal
annual
electricity
output
less
and solar hot water heaters. Although funding levels have been volatile and the program
than 25 MWh
oversubscribed (which has led to some short term slow down), this trend is expected to continue in
the longer term.
Hydroelectric systems
No more than 6.4 kW and a toOn or after 1 April 2001
tal annual electricity output less
than 25 MWh

EE-OZ Training Standards 2012

24

27

To address the safety aspects of performance


of regulated work in relation to the installation
of SGUs arising from such incidents, Office of
the Renewable Energy Regulator (ORER) has
amended the relevant regulations to require
proof of attendance by the licenced person,
verified in writing by the owner/lease of the
property.
EE-Oz is currently reviewing the appropriateness of existing units related to the installation
of micro hydro and wind SGUs, to ensure these
support current technology and meet regulatory, planning and environmental requirements.
Over the longer term, continued community uptake of small generation units, in particular photovoltaics, will require all industry practitioners
to be familiar with these technologies and how
they are deployed. In addition to this requirement for all electrical practitioners, industry has
recognised that several other vocations will from
time to time interact with photovoltaic units, including emergency services workers and building, construction and property services workers. EE-Oz is currently involved in developing
training package components and support
materials to ensure these workers can operate
safely in the vicinity of these installations.
Natural Refrigerants Environment
Refrigeration and air conditioning equipment
incorporating natural refrigerants is now being manufactured and installed. Although they
are flammable, toxic or operate at extreme
pressures, natural refrigerants are increasingly
preferred to synthetic refrigerants with Ozone
Depletion Potential (ODP) and a high Global
Warming Potential (GWP).
Although high global warming potential synthetic greenhouse gases, such as those used
in synthetic refrigerants, will not be subject to
a carbon price, transition to natural refrigerants
will be supported by an equivalent carbon price
using existing import and manufacture levies under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic
Greenhouse Gas Management legislation. This
will be reviewed annually to reflect the existing
carbon price. Levels to 2015 are:

2012-13 - $23 per tonne of CO2 equivalent


2013-14 - $24.15 per tonne CO2 equivalent
2014-15 - $25.40 per tonne CO2 equivalent
Industry expects this levy will treble the price of
synthetic refrigerants, providing a strong signal
for the sector to move to natural refrigerants.
Existing refrigeration and air conditioning workers will require up-skilling to enable them to
safely handle Hydrocarbons, Carbon Dioxide
and Ammonia refrigerants during the servicing and repair of stationary refrigeration and air
conditioning systems.
Natural Refrigerants Skills impact
EE-Oz is currently involved in a project to
develop Australias training capacity and resources to up-skill existing refrigeration and air
conditioning workers to safely handle natural
refrigerants (Hydrocarbons, Carbon Dioxide
and Ammonia) during the servicing and repair
of stationary refrigeration and air conditioning
systems. This will involve developing and delivering train-the-trainer programs for the majority
of the existing 100-110 full time and 40-50 part
time refrigeration and air conditioning teachers/trainers from both public and private RTOs
across Australia.
Natural refrigerants are often flammable, toxic
and/or operate at extremely high pressures.
For these reasons, working with natural refrigerants requires workers to implement additional safety procedures and practices, to ensure
the safety of those handling and using them,
the equipment and the general public.
Few existing refrigeration and air conditioning workers with an ARC refrigerant handling
license have been trained or are competent
in safely handling natural refrigerants during
the servicing and repair of stationary refrigeration and air conditioning systems. To ensure
these license holders can safely handle and
use natural refrigerants, a concerted industry
wide gap training effort will be required (to train
approximately 25,000 workers, Table 3) and
has been flagged as an immediate priority by

25

Table 3: Refrigeration Licence Types


ARC License Type Stationary
Equipment

ACT

NSW

QLD

SA

TAS

NT

VIC

WA

Total

Full Refrigeration and Air


conditioning Licence

226

4783

3539

1384

264

320

2771

1970

15257

10

491

1592

137

189

67

1371

568

4425

Restricted Domestic
Refrigeration and Air
conditioning Appliance

79

67

11

54

43

266

Restricted Refrigerant
Recoverer Licence

37

60

17

55

19

193

Restricted Refrigerant Handler


Licence

77

56

22

103

22

284

Aviation Transitional Licence

14

29

14

75

Marine Transitional Licence

156

251

37

41

26

111

178

805

Refrigerant Recoverer
Transitional Licence

27

27

22

96

Refrigerant Handler Transitional


Licence.

37

33

15

52

146

Drinks Industry Transitional


Licence

17

78

1213

922

345

66

64

944

410

4042

325

6918

6580

1980

576

498

5499

3230

25606

Restricted Split System Air


conditioning Installation and
Decommissioning Licence

Trainee Licence
Total

industry. The resources being developed by


the ISC will be integral to this effort.
Industry representatives feel that as these alternative natural refrigerants become increasingly common, all industry practitioners will be
required to have these skills. An impact study
on including these skills within the core of the
trade level qualification is being explored.

Current industry priorities


The 2011 EE-Oz Environmental Survey identified positive business sentiment amongst respondents from the electrotechnology industry, with almost half expecting to increase their
staffing level in 2012 and only one fifth expecting staffing levels to decrease (Figure 9).
Respondents identified government policy as
the major short term driver of business demand, reflecting the volatile policy environment

26

(across all levels of government) of sustainable


energy initiatives over the past several years.
Policy certainty provided by a carbon price and
revised Renewable Energy Target (RET) incentives will go some way toward addressing this
concern, although further harmonisation of
jurisdictional mechanisms will be required to
ensure investment occurs in the most efficient
manner.
Over the longer term, respondents identified
the strength of the national economy as the
primary driver of business demand, reflecting the broad application of electrotechnology
skills in the domestic economy.
Respondents also identified technology as the
primary driver of long term skills demand, guiding change in work roles and structures.
RTO stakeholders indicated that capacity to
deliver training was being expanded across

Figure 9: Employment expectations Electrotechnology industry firms 2012

Source: EE-Oz Environmental Scan Survey 2011

most qualifications, with a particular emphasis


on the trade and instrumentation specialisation. Capacity development for electronic qualifications was more mixed, with some training
providers indicating they would decrease capacity in 2012.
Elective units for electrical apprentices
Data on apprentice elective unit choices,
based on information from thousands of students over the past five years, indicates that
although Data and Voice Communications
remains the most popular elective choice, the
frequency of its uptake has fallen from 71.24%
in 2006 to 46.32% in 2011.
The proportion of students taking the next
most popular elective, Appliance Servicing,
has remained fairly consistent over the period,
hovering around 35% of apprentices.
Although starting from a small base, the fastest proportional growth in elective uptake has
been in Switchgear and Control Gear, Renewable Energy (extra low voltage) and Electronics
and Communications units. The proportion of
students taking these electives has trebled over
the past five years and preliminary data from
2012 suggests this upward trend is continuing.

Training market responsiveness


Language, literacy and numeracy
Registered Training Organisations continue to
report inadequate numeracy as the primary

cause of student non-completion, with a recent survey of TAFE teachers conducted by


the ISC indicating that it may be a factor in as
many as 50% of apprentice non-completions.
Stakeholders recognise non-completion as
a significant cost to industry, not just to the
immediate parties to the contract of training
(student, employer and RTO) but also to government, and as hampering efforts to address
skills shortages.
EE-Oz has been involved in a program with regional high schools to raise awareness of the
numeracy requirements of Electrotechnology
trade training and provides access to online
tools for students through its website. The ISC
has also incorporated recommended LL&N
attainment levels into units of competence to
provide a readiness guide for prospective students. These currently use the National Reporting System. However, EE-Oz is actively
engaged in initial mapping of selected units to
the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF).
Validation and assessment of
workplace evidence for
Contract of Training students
Vocational education and training conducted
under a contract of training (through either an
apprenticeship or traineeship), utilises a combination of on and off-the-job training to develop vocation competence across a series
of industry identified workplace tasks. This

27

combination of on and off-the-job training allows students to contextualise theoretical skills


with their workplace application.
On-the-job training has been strongly linked to
workplace productivity and forms an integral
component of a robust competency assessment. Industry regulators feel that the thorough
collection and assessment of on-the-job evidence is required to ensure students develop
the procedural skills required to operate safely
in the industry across the full scope of work.
Despite this, there is growing concern that
some training providers are neither equipped
nor resourced to verify workplace evidence.
Pink slip program
The EE-Oz Pink Slip RTO Evaluation Process
applies to RTOs who wish to extend their
scope of registration to incorporate an high risk
qualifications and/or Skill Sets from the Electrotechnology and Electricity Supply Industry
Training Packages (identified in Table 4).

28

The Pink Slip RTO Evaluation Process has


been developed by EE-Oz Training Standards
based on an initial concept proposed by NSW
VETAB. It ensures high quality outcomes for
learners and speedier registration for training
providers. By providing a benchmark for required delivery and assessment resources,
Pink Slips will provide evidence to the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) when it
audits applications for initial registration/extension to scope.
EE-Oz appointed industry experts, with relevant educational and training experience, will
conduct site visits at the RTO to determine a
training providers capacity to deliver training
and assessment which meets the requirements of the training package qualification(s).

Identified Workforce
Development Needs
Short term
Industry Skills Councils contribute to the development of the Priority Occupation List (POL),

Table 4: Industry identified high risk qualifications and skills sets in the
Electrotechnology industry
ELECTROTECHNOLOGY QUALIFICATIONS / SKILL SETS
Qualification Code

Qualification Title

UEE30807

Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician

UEE31707

Certificate III in Hazardous areas Electrician

UEE40207

Certificate IV in Electrical Data and Voice Communications

UEE40307

Certificate IV in Electrical Installation Inspection and Audits

UEE40407

Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation

UEE40507

Certificate IV in Electrical Air-conditioning Systems

UEE40607

Certificate IV in Electrotechnology Systems Electrician

UEE40807

Certificate IV in Electrical Fire Protection Control Systems

UEE41107

Certificate IV in Electrical Lift Systems

UEE41207

Certificate IV in Electrical Rail Signalling

UEE41807

Certificate IV in Hazardous areas

UEE41907

Certificate IV in Electrical Renewable Energy

UEE42009

Certificate IV in Electrical Photovoltaic Systems

UEE50207

Diploma of Electrical and Instrumentation

UEE50307

Diploma of Electrical and Refrigeration and Air-conditioning

UEE50407

Diploma of Electrical Engineering

UEE50907

Diploma of Industrial Electronics and Control Engineering

UEE60107

Advanced Diploma of Electrical Engineering

UEE60607

Advanced Diploma of Industrial Electronics and Control Engineering

UEE60907

Advanced Diploma of Renewable Energy Engineering

UEE61207

Advanced Diploma of Engineering Explosion protection

UEE32211

Certificate III in Air-conditioning and Refrigeration

UEE41010

Certificate IV in Energy Management and Control

UEE42711

Certificate IV in Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Servicing

UEE42911

Certificate IV in Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Systems

UEE50310

Diploma of Electrical and Refrigeration and Air-conditioning

UEE51211

Diploma of Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering

UEE62511

Advanced Diploma of Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering

29

Table 5: Electrotechnology Calling Extracted from 2011 POL


ANZSCO

Occupation Title

2333

Electrical Engineers

2334

Electronics Engineers

3123

Electrical Engineering Draftspersons, Technicians

3124

Electronic Engineering Draftspersons, Technicians

3126

Safety Inspectors

3411

Electricians

3421

Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics

3422

Electrical Distribution Trades Workers

3423

Electronics Trades Workers

3424

Telecommunications Trades Workers

used as the basis for determining qualifications


eligible for funding under the National Workforce Development Fund.

The electrotechnology and telecommunications trade is clearly the most highly


skilled trade (as is evident from the wages)
and behaves more like a professional occupation than other trades.

EE-Oz supports the assessment made by


the Department of Education, Employment
and Workplace Relation (DEEWR) in relation
to the compilation of the 2011 POL and confirms that the list reflects advice received from
industry in relation to qualifications within the
Electrotechnology sector which are currently
in demand (Table 5).

It has also identified the electrotechnology and


telecommunications trades as providing particularly valuable outcomes for students, highlighting the value of these skills to industry and
the strong opportunities for career advancement.

The high value placed on electrotechnology


skills by employers was recognised in the recent NCVER report, Attrition from the Trades,
stating:

This analysis is reflected in employment statistics collected by DEEWR (Figure 10 below),


which demonstrate the rapid growth of the industry over the past five years (with almost all

Figure 10: Percentage growth in employment by occupation 2006 2011


50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Airconditioning
andrefrigeration
mechanics

Electrical
engineer

Electrical
engineering
draftsperson

Electricians

Electronics
engineer

Compiled from: DEEWR Industry Employment Projections 2015-2016

30

Electronics
trades
worker

Australian
average

industry qualifications recording growth in excess of the Australian average) and expectations for strong growth to continue well into the
future (Figure 11 below).
This growth is particularly evident in the electrician occupation, in which employment has
risen from 1% of national employment in 2006
(ABS Census data) to 1.32% in 2010 (DEEWR, Australian Jobs, 2011). This increase can
be attributed to technological change, infrastructure investment and construction sector
growth. As Australia transitions to a low carbon
future, the proportion of electricians required by
the workforce can be expected to continue to
outpace broader population growth. Electrical
skills required to update existing infrastructure,
implement industrial control techniques and
account for energy usage (as required under
a carbon price) are expected to drive demand.
Figure 11 indicates that demand for electrotechnology workers across all areas other
than the electronics trades, is expected to
exceed the national average rate of skills demand growth. The stand out again are electricians, with employment demand expected to
be more than three times the national average
over the next five years.
A concerning note is that over this same period NCVER forecasts expect supply side constraints to limit workforce expansion to 3%

(under the average scenario), considerably below the 6.8% growth in demand. As discussed
in the Systemic Overview section of this report,
the 2013 cohort is expected to represent a
significant reduction in graduates, exacerbating this shortfall and deepening the skills shortages already experienced in the industry.
Medium term
Emerging environmental factors identified by
industry as workforce development priorities
in the medium term (i.e. factors expected to
affect demand for skills in the future) are heavily influenced by the international sustainability
agenda, which is driving both technology and
work practice development.
Community and business awareness and use
of electricity are expected to change dramatically as Australia moves towards a low carbon
future. In addition to increased use of smart
grids, automation and instrumentation technology, all of which will increase demand for
post-trade electrical skills, moving to a more
energy conscious future will require electricians
trained in energy auditing and reporting techniques, such as those required to calculate obligations under a carbon price.
The importance of the electrical and electronic instrumentation and industrial control
disciplines in increasing the energy efficiency
of industry and industrial processes cannot

Figure 11: Predicted annual employment growth by occupation to 2015 2016


8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
Airconditioning
and
refrigeration
mechanics

Electrical
engineer

Electrical
engineering
draftsperson

Electricians

Electronics
Electronics
engineer
tradesworker

Australian
average

Compiled from: DEEWR Industry Employment Projections 2015-2016

31

be overstated. Not surprisingly, instrumentation was one of the fastest growing elective
choices for electrical apprentices and the most
heavily subscribed qualification field under EBPPP and NWDF places brokered by EE-Oz.
Since 2008, EE-Oz has consistently identified
these skills as essential to strategies for carbon
pollution reduction in reports to government
and industry, stating that effective measurement must underpin any abatement technology and that integrated control and monitoring
systems empower industry to maximise and
maintain benefits. These roles are highly flexible across a range of industrial/commercial
settings and that skilled operatives in these
trades are in high demand in the resources
sector, leading to increased competition as
abatement strategies are implemented and
mandated.
The establishment of the NBN will support
modern and sustainable work practices by improving data access and communication, necessary in the remote monitoring and operation
of energy systems. Stakeholders in the National Broadband Rollout agree that a nationally consistent approach to training and workforce development will provide the project and
the community with a mobile, skilled workforce
able to meet the required technical, quality and
safety required.
Technical trainer, energy auditing and specialist photovoltaic design and installation qualifications were also identified as key facilitating
skills in the medium term.
Trade qualification
The environmental factors discussed above indicate continued strong demand for electrical
trade qualified workers for the foreseeable future and numerous pressures to integrate previously specialised skills into the trade program.
Industry requires personnel able to apply their
knowledge and skills, communicate ideas
both orally and in writing, control highly technical equipment, critically assess and appraise

32

situations and apply creative, diagnostic and


problem solving techniques on a day-to-day
basis, whilst maintaining pace with technological advancement.
Some industry representatives feel that elevating the trade qualification to a Certificate IV
through incorporating additional units covering
maturing technologies such as photovoltaics,
smart systems, energy auditing, mentoring/
training or automation would be beneficial.
However the implications of this shift are as yet
uncertain.
EE-Oz will be conducting further consultations
with all industry stakeholders in 2012, to identify the appropriate AQF level and skills mix
for the trade qualification, in order to meet the
skills needs of industry now and into the future.
Impact of the Workforce Development
Funding Strategies
From November 2009, when the Enterprise
Based Productivity Places Program (EBPPP)
was introduced, the workforce development
strategy of funding industry training places,
brokered by the ISC, on the basis of co-investment by enterprises and Government, has
been highly successful in the energy sector industries.
There have been three iterations of this implementation model, each with a slightly different
focus, demonstrating the flexibility of the model
to meet identified goals. These programs are:

Enterprise Based Productivity Places Program (EBPPP)

Critical Skills Investment Fund (CSIF)


National Workforce Development Fund
(NWDF)
Table 6 provides a summary of places funded
under these programs
These programs will provide a total of 2870
training places in industry training programs.
Of these 2297 are post trade qualifications and
399 are for Renewable/Sustainable energy
Skill Sets. The remainder are at AQF level 2-3.

Table 6: Workforce Development Programs Places - Electrotechnology


No. of Places
Program

Electrotechnology Qualification

EBPPP

Certificate III in Electrical Instrumentation

EBPPP

Certificate IV in Electrical - Photovoltaic Systems

322

EBPPP

Certificate IV in Electrical Rail Signaling

15

EBPPP

Certificate IV in Electrical Inspection and Audit

96

EBPPP

Certificate IV in Hazardous Areas

EBPPP

Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation

536

Total

974

NWDF

Certificate IV in Electrical Energy Efficiency Assessments

311

NWDF

Certificate III in Electrical Instrumentation

63

NWDF

Certificate IV in Hazardous Areas -Electrical

200

NWDF

Certificate III in Hazardous Areas -Electrician

16

NWDF

funded

126

NWDF

Diploma of Electrical Engineering

20

NWDF

Certificate IV in Electrical Instrumentation

174

NWDF

Diploma of Electrical and Refrigeration and Air-conditioning

64

NWDF

Diploma of Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering

48

NWDF

Certificate IV in Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Servicing

79

NWDF

Certificate IV in Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Systems

29

NWDF

Certificate IV in Air-conditioning Systems Energy Management and Control

68

NWDF

Natural Refrigerant Skill Sets

300

NWDF

PV Skill Sets

66

NWDF

Energy Efficiency Skill Sets

33

Total

CSIF

Certificate IV in Hazardous areas - Electrical

50

CSIF

Certificate IV in Electrical - Instrumentation

155

CSIF

Certificate II in Air-conditioning Split Systems

110

Total

315

1597

33

When compared with the in-training data for


the Electrotechnology Training Package, reported by NCVER VOCSTATS, these figures
represent more than a 10% boost to training
delivery in the sector. This is particularly noticeable in areas where demand is rising, such as
post trade instrumentation skills and renewable energy (PV) installations and inspections.
Under the EBPPP, post trade instrumentation
qualifications represented 38% of the 1420
qualifications brokered by EE-Oz Training
Standards, or more than 55% of qualifications
in the Electrotechnology sector.
Post trade training in photovoltaic systems
was the second most frequently identified enterprise need (322 places or 23% of Electrotechnology qualifications), followed by electrical inspection (96 places or 10%).
The growing profile of refrigeration and air
conditioning as an area where energy efficiencies and greenhouse gas abatement can be
achieved is reflected in the increased take-up

of post trade and para-professional qualifications and natural refrigerant skill sets under
NWDF.
The success of these programs demonstrates
that collaboration between industry and government provides a model for skill development which targets resources to areas of
greatest need.

Current Impact of
Training Packages
The tables below reflect the impact of the
currently endorsed UEE07 Electrotechnology
Training Package including current number of
enrolments (Table 7), RTOs with qualifications
on scope (Table 9) and RTOs registered to provide training from this package (Table 10).
The data reported by NCVER appears to be
anomalous in some respects, particularly in
relation to the reporting of data related to the
Certificate IV in Electrical Photovoltaic Sys-

Table 7: In-Training UEE Electrotechnology Training Package All Versions


Apprentices and trainees - June 2011

Enrolments for Reporting period

Total
Enrolments
(Rounded)*

Type of accreditation

34

Status of
Qualification

- Certificate

Current

UEE20207 - Certificate II in Business Equipment Servicing

24

Current

UEE20507 - Certificate II in Computer Assembly and Repair

Current

UEE20607 - Certificate II in Custom Electronics Assembly


and Setup

Current

UEE20707 - Certificate II in Data and Voice Communications

Current

UEE20907 - Certificate II in Electronic Assembly

Current

UEE21007 - Certificate II in Fire Alarms Servicing

Current

UEE21207 - Certificate II in Antennae Equipment

Current

UEE21307 - Certificate II in Remote Area Essential Service

10

Current

UEE21607 - Certificate II in Security Assembly and Setup

22

Current

UEE21707 - Certificate II in Technical Support

21

Current

UEE21907 - Certificate II in Electronics

12

Current

Table 7: In-Training UEE Electrotechnology Training Package All Versions continued


Apprentices and trainees - June 2011

Enrolments for Reporting period

Total
Enrolments
(Rounded)*

Status of
Qualification

Type of accreditation

UEE22007 - Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)

16

Current

UEE22107 - Certificate II in Sustainable Energy (Career


Start)

Current

UEE30107 - Certificate III in Business Equipment

Current

UEE30207 - Certificate III in Computer Systems Equipment

Current

UEE30407 - Certificate III in Data and Voice


Communications

71

Current

UEE30507 - Certificate III in Appliance Servicing

73

Superseded

UEE30510 - Certificate III in Appliance Servicing

Current

UEE30607 - Certificate III in Electrical Machine Repair

99

Current

UEE30707 - Certificate III in Switch Gear and Control Gear

65

Current

18987

Current

UEE30907 - Certificate III in Electronics and


Communications

954

Superseded

UEE30910 - Certificate III in Electronics and


Communications

Current

UEE31007 - Certificate III in Fire Protection Control

Current

UEE31207 - Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control

214

Current

UEE31307 - Certificate III in Refrigeration and AirConditioning

2225

Current

UEE31407 - Certificate III in Security Equipment

62

Superseded

UEE31410 - Certificate III in Security Equipment

Current

UEE31807 - Certificate III in Hazardous areas Instrumentation

Current

UEE40407 - Certificate IV in Electrical - Instrumentation

79

Current

UEE40607 - Certificate IV in Electrotechnology - Systems


Electrician

Current

UEE40707 - Certificate IV in Electronics and


Communications

Current

UEE41207 - Certificate IV in Electrical - Rail Signalling

17

Current

UEE42210 - Certificate IV in Instrumentation and Control

Current

UEE50407 - Diploma of Electrical Engineering

Current

UEE30807 - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician

35

Table 7: In-Training UEE Electrotechnology Training Package All Versions continued


Apprentices and trainees - June 2011

Total
Enrolments
(Rounded)*

Enrolments for Reporting period

Status of
Qualification

Type of accreditation

UEE50507 - Diploma of Electronics and Communications


Engineering

Superseded

UEE50510 - Diploma of Electronics and Communications


Engineering

Current

UEE60107 - Advanced Diploma of Electrical Engineering

10

Current

UEE60207 - Advanced Diploma of Electronics and


Communications Engineering

Current

UEE60210 - Advanced Diploma of Electronics and


Communications

Current

UEE60707 - Advanced Diploma of Refrigeration and AirConditioning Engineering

Current

UEE30506 - Certificate III in Appliance Servicing

Superseded

UEE30606 - Certificate III in Electrical Machine Repair

Superseded

UEE30706 - Certificate III in Switchgear and Control Gear

Superseded

UEE30806 - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician

1407

Superseded

UEE30906 - Certificate III in Electronics and


Communications

40

Superseded

UEE31206 - Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control

11

Superseded

UEE31306 - Certificate III in Refrigeration and AirConditioning

280

Superseded

24798

Total

* Source; NCVER, VOCSTATS Apprentice & Trainees July 2011 series, Jan-March in training 2011 (accessed Feb 2012)
Note: Qualifications at CIII and above are typically delivered as 3-4 year apprenticeships hence overlap
between current and superseded qualifications

Table 8: Enrolments and Completions UTE99 Electrician and Refrigeration Qualifications


Type of
accreditation
Jan - Mar 2011

UTE30999 - Certificate III in


Electrotechnology Refrigeration
and Air Conditioning

UTE31199 - Certificate III in


Electrotechnology Systems
Electrician

In-training

476

7,020

Completed

179

1,872

Training contract
status

* Source; NCVER, VOCSTATS Apprentice & Trainees July 2011 series, Jan-March in training 2011 (accessed
Feb 2012)

36

tems which was first endorsed in 2009 and revised in 2010 but does not appear in the NCVER
VOCSTATS dataset.
Under the Enterprise Based Productivity Places Program 2010 -2011, 308 places were allocated
for this qualification. EE-Oz will work with enterprises and RTOs contracted to deliver this training to
ensure that relevant data is recorded.
This summary includes all data from NCVER VOCSTATS in relation to the various versions of the
UEE Electrotechnology Training Package. Superseded qualifications have been included in this report to document the full cohort as qualifications delivered as apprenticeships have durations which
exceed the period of endorsement of some qualifications and when transition arrangements are
taken into account significant overlaps between versions occur.
Data for the two highest volume qualifications UTE30999 - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Refrigeration and Air Conditioning and UTE31199 - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Systems Electrician
from the UTE99 Electrotechnology Industry Training Package are reported in Table 8.
Table 9: RTOs with Scope for Qualifications from UEE Electrotechnology Training
Package All Versions
By Current Qualifications

RTOs

UEE20107 - Certificate II in Air-conditioning Split Systems

30

UEE20207 - Certificate II in Business Equipment Servicing

UEE20507 - Certificate II in Computer Assembly and Repair

17

UEE20607 - Certificate II in Custom Electronics Assembly and Setup

UEE20707 - Certificate II in Data and Voice Communications

21

UEE20907 - Certificate II in Electronic Assembly

UEE21007 - Certificate II in Fire Alarms Servicing

UEE21207 - Certificate II in Antennae Equipment

UEE21307 - Certificate II in Remote Area Essential Service

UEE21607 - Certificate II in Security Assembly and Setup

10

UEE21707 - Certificate II in Technical Support

UEE21907 - Certificate II in Electronics

16

UEE22007 - Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)

39

UEE22107 - Certificate II in Sustainable Energy (Career Start)

20

UEE30107 - Certificate III in Business Equipment

UEE30207 - Certificate III in Computer Systems Equipment

12

UEE30407 - Certificate III in Data and Voice Communications

10

UEE30506 - Certificate III in Appliance Servicing

UEE30507 - Certificate III in Appliance Servicing

UEE30510 - Certificate III in Appliance Servicing

37

Table 9: RTOs with Scope for Qualifications from UEE Electrotechnology Training
Package All Versions continued
By Current Qualifications

UEE30606 - Certificate III in Electrical Machine Repair

UEE30607 - Certificate III in Electrical Machine Repair

11

UEE30706 - Certificate III in Switchgear and Control Gear

UEE30707 - Certificate III in Switch Gear and Control Gear

UEE30806 - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician

14

UEE30807 - Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician

79

UEE30906 - Certificate III in Electronics and Communications

UEE30907 - Certificate III in Electronics and Communications

27

UEE30910 - Certificate III in Electronics and Communications

19

UEE31007 - Certificate III in Fire Protection Control

UEE31206 - Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control

UEE31207 - Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control

17

UEE31306 - Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning

UEE31307 - Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning

30

UEE31407 - Certificate III in Security Equipment

UEE31410 - Certificate III in Security Equipment

UEE31807 - Certificate III in Hazardous areas - Instrumentation

UEE40407 - Certificate IV in Electrical - Instrumentation

15

UEE40607 - Certificate IV in Electrotechnology - Systems Electrician

20

UEE40707 - Certificate IV in Electronics and Communications

21

UEE41207 - Certificate IV in Electrical - Rail Signalling

UEE42210 - Certificate IV in Instrumentation and Control

UEE50407 - Diploma of Electrical Engineering

18

UEE50507 - Diploma of Electronics and Communications Engineering

19

UEE50510 - Diploma of Electronics and Communications Engineering

12

UEE60107 - Advanced Diploma of Electrical Engineering

15

UEE60207 - Advanced Diploma of Electronics and Communications Engineering

UEE60210 - Advanced Diploma of Electronics and Communications

UEE60707 - Advanced Diploma of Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning


Engineering

Total
Source: training.gov.au (accessed February 2012)

38

RTOs

629

Table 10: RTOs with scope for UEE07 Electrotechnology Training Package All Versions
By Training Package

UEE07 Electrotechnology Training Package

RTOs

197

Source: training.gov.au (accessed February 2012)

Future Direction for Endorsed


components of Training Packages
The review of UEE07 Version 4 in 2011, to
produce the recently endorsed UEE11 Version 1, saw the restructure of all qualifications
to incorporate NQC/NSSC policy initiatives, to
include components for green skills and to address National Occupation Licensing Authority
requirements. This review was extremely comprehensive with few components remaining
unamended.
The competency standards in the UEE Electrotechnology Training Package represent the
greatest portion of training provision for the
industries covered by EE-Oz. The key electricians qualification (Certificate III Electrotechnology Electrician) underpins a wide range of
industry specialisations at higher AQF Levels
and career pathways at AQF levels 4 -6 in the
ESI- TDR and ESI Generation sectors.
This is also true of the Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air-conditioning which is the prime
qualification for career pathways in the Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC)
sector.

The 2011 review saw the first major amendments to the high use, regulated trade level
qualifications since 2007. Industry and its training providers are now seeking a period of stability to to implement these changes and adapt
training systems to meet new training requirements embedded in these, particularly those
aligned to new national licencing requirements.
Further work in 2012-2013 will focus on the
redesign of units to align with the new template for unit of competency and assessment
requirements identified by NQC/NSSC in
2010-11. Prototyping of units for this work has
begun. However clear policy guidance is not
yet available on the implementation of the templates and systems for the publication of draft
material are yet to be developed.
Further review work will encompass an ongoing Essential Knowledge and Associated Skills
(EKAS) review and the inclusion of the new
components already identified including new
post trade components to address pathways
to higher level qualifications.
Continuing work on the mapping of Australian
Core Skills Framework indicators will also be
incorporated in the new units design.

39

Electricity Supply
Industry (ESI)
40

Electricity Supply Industry


(ESI)
The ESI encompasses systems for producing
and supplying electricity to consumers. Access to safe, reliable and competitively priced
energy has underpinned Australian prosperity, described in the Draft Energy White Paper
(DEWP) 2011 as the cornerstone of Australias
economic and social development6.

from Northern Queensland to Tasmania. The


shape of the network, long and sparsely populated by global standards, can create various
challenges in capacity investment which contributes to comparatively high investment capital costs in the network (e.g. 95% of Ergons
network services only 5% of its customers).

The industry maintains over $120 billion worth


of electricity assets including generation plant
and network infrastructure, and will experience
heavy infrastructure investment over the coming years.

The creation of the NEM, the rationalisation of


regulatory barriers to interstate energy trade,
the establishment of third party access to the
services of energy infrastructure and the liberalisation of ownership in the energy sector,
have all created opportunities for private sector
investment. The extent of privatisations, acquisitions and mergers has been an important aspect of market activity over the last few years.
The recent trend is for greater vertical integration, as a means for retailers and generators to
internally manage price volatility, which is also
contributing to closer alignment of electricity
and gas supply networks.

Latest Industry Intelligence


The Governments Clean Energy Future Plan,
the central tenet of which is a carbon price
mechanism starting in July 2012, includes assistance of $5.5 billion for emission intensive
generators. Plans to close up to 2000 MW of
coal fired generation plants will drive significant
investment in alternative generation sources
(predicted to be primarily gas and wind). In addition to this, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will make $10 billion available for renewable and low emissions generation investment.
The Australian Energy Regulator reports that in
the current five year regulatory cycle network
investment is running at historically high levels,
at $7 billion in electricity transmission (82 per
cent above last period) and $35 billion in electricity distribution ( 62 per cent above last period). The only jurisdiction in which investmentis
expected to decrease is Tasmania.
The National Electricity Market (NEM) is a
wholesale market operating in southern and
eastern Australia which brings together energy
generators and retailers, to service over nine
million business and residential customers.
It is the longest alternating current electricity
system in the world, extending over 4,500 km

Linking Western Australia and the Northern


Territory to the NEM, identified as a policy goal
in the DEWP, will require a further investment in
infrastructure, but will improve the efficient and
autonomous operation (from a government
oversight perspective) of the network.
Independent of the sustainability agenda, the
Australian energy networks are entering a
phase of growth and renewal, as aging network infrastructure is replaced to meet reliability standards and peak demand growth.
This infrastructure investment environment will
translate into robust demand for skills in both
the generation and energy supply industries
over the foreseeable future.
Operatives employed in the Generation sector
may be involved in a wide range of tasks, including, but not restricted to; operation of unit
plant from the control room, local operation of

6 DEWP 2011, p.ix

41

plant systems, management and coordination


of unit or station operations, mechanical maintenance, electrical maintenance, electronic/ instrumentation maintenance and/or installation
of new plant.
Operatives in the Transmission, Distribution
and Rail (TD&R) sector may be involved in
a wide range of tasks, including, but not restricted to; installation, maintenance, servicing,
commissioning, network protection, network
operation, asset management, planning and
vegetation control.

Emerging environmental factors and


their skill impacts
National licensing Environment
On 30 April 2009, the Council of Australian
Governments (COAG) endorsed an agreement
for a national licensing system for economically
important trades. COAGs objective in establishing the National Licensing System is to remove overlapping and inconsistent regulation
between jurisdictions in the way that they licence occupational areas. By so doing, it aims
to improve business efficiency and the competitiveness of the national economy, reduce
red tape, improve labour mobility and enhance
productivity.
The Productivity Commission has estimated
that the economic benefits of a National Licensing system will be between $1.5 billion
and 4.5 billion per year to the national economy. These benefits will accrue to all states and
territories, across both the public and private
sectors. There is also significant potential to
mitigate the effects of local peaks in skills demand, whether caused by natural disaster or
economic opportunity.
In the Electricity Supply Industry all four trade
level (AQF 3) Qualifications have been aligned
with national licence categories for Distribution
Linework, Transmission Linework, Cable Jointing and Rail Traction Linework. All four revised
qualifications have been endorsed in UET12
version 1.

42

These national licences will give greater impetus to the harmonisation of training and regulatory standards within the industry and further
strengthen the industrys ESI Passport initiative
and nationally agreed refresher training protocols.
National Licensing Skills Impact
Greater interconnectedness within the National
Electricity Market (NEM) and a trend toward
firms increasingly operating across borders
has led to strong industry support for an alignment of regulatory requirements between jurisdictions, of which national licensing is a key
component.
Dealing with the combination of strengthened
VET, Work Health and Safety (WHS) regulations and National Occupational Licensing requirements will be a major challenge for training providers in the coming year. However the
impacts of these will be mitigated through the
close relationships between enterprise and the
training system, with the majority of training
provision for the sector provided through enterprise RTOs or enterprise/RTO partnerships.
RTOs will need to be aware that the revisions
to Training Standards at AQF 3 to match national licencing requirements are necessarily
reflected in post trade and para professional
qualifications within the revised UET12 Training Package. RTOs will need to ensure that resources, methodologies and staff professional
development are available to implement these
amendments across the AQF levels.

Sustainability
As scientific evidence mounts that human action is contributing to global climate change,
and that there are considerable environmental
risks associated with global warming, international attention is increasingly being directed
toward developing sustainable energy practices; which meet the energy needs of the current
generation without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet their own energy
needs.

Figure 12: Energy Sector Impact on Other Sectors

The focus of this attention is currently on limiting global carbon dioxide emissions, to maintain atmospheric carbon below an acceptable
level. Without limiting global population or
growth in material living standards, only two
vectors are available to reduce carbon emissions associated with human activity:

technologies and seeking energy efficiency


opportunities in existing processes. The Electricity and Gas Supply industries are more focused on the second, related to cleaner generation (more efficient plants and cleaner energy
sources) as well as minimising losses incurred
through transmission and distribution systems.

1. Improving the efficiency of energy use

Peak demand growth coupled with a historically low level of infrastructure investment
over the past decade, has necessitated significant network upgrades in the current cycle.
This has already had an impact on electricity
prices which is expected to continue. Thankfully, consumer awareness of the infrastructure

2. Reduce the carbon intensity of energy


supply
Sustainability measures in the electrotechnology industry are primarily related to the first
of these, disseminating new more efficient

43

component of energy pricing is increasing


which may facilitate changes in consumption patterns necessary to slow peak demand
growth (and associated energy price rises).

integration of systems to address sustainability


and energy efficiency goals.

In addition to these factors, which in themselves represent significant challenges to the


Electricity Generation and Supply industry, the
imperative for sustainable, low carbon, energy
efficiency centred growth is a factor of great
impact across these industries.

Integration in energy networks of various

Electricity supply and related services impact


on all aspects of the Australian economy. Figure 12 represents a high level analysis of interactions of various identified industry sectors
with the energy sector.
The impetus for sustainable energy efficient
systems across the economy is accompanied
by the desire to implement technological solutions as evidenced by unprecedented demand
for renewable and sustainable systems and
energy supply.
Against this background there is a web of often competing and/or convergent technology
at various stages of maturation which offer significant benefits to sustainability and energy efficiency targets. Predicting and responding to
the possible skills demand arising from these
is a difficult task as shifts occur in industry investment priorities, responses to government
policy as well as consumer demand and concerns for environmental safety.
Energy efficiency is seen as an opportunity to
realise sustainability goals at relatively low cost
to the economy.
Efforts to achieve improvements in energy efficiency are diverse, including retrofits to commercial/industrial installations and energy supply infrastructure and the early retirement of
inefficient assets in favour of new investment.
A key aspect of the response of the Energy
Supply Industries is that of investment in convergent and integrated technologies and the

44

Typically these include:

generation facilities including:

----

base load
peak load generation
large scale and small scale renewables
systems
-- localised and grid connected co/trigeneration.
Improved systems control and data acquisition systems to enable more responsive
systems management across the increasing variety of generation types, feedstock
sources and transmission and distribution
networks.

Deployment of advanced metering systems across networks to provide accountability for bi-directional energy flows

Development and mandating of standards


for efficient appliances and systems

Integration of smart appliances with distribution networks to enable demand management

Deployment of high speed data networks


(NBN) to facilitate integrated control
The accompanying publication to this Environmental Scan, Skills to realise energy efficiency
opportunities, presents a detailed analysis of
the skills required to realise abatement opportunities across the economy, including those
related to industry, generation and buildings.
The original work related to this analysis was
conducted by the ISC in response to abatement opportunities identified by the Allens
Consulting Group on behalf of the Victorian
Government, mapping identified opportunities against current national endorsed training
standards for the energy sector industries.
EE-Oz notes that concurrent with the development of this document, a number of initiatives, reports and surveys on energy efficiency

commissioned by government are being conducted, including:

Extension of Energy Efficiency Opportunities to Electricity and Gas Transmission and


Distribution Networks

National Energy Savings Initiative


Review of Energy Efficiency Skills Demands
and Training Provision Across the Trades
and Professions
EE-Oz will be contributing to these and will include relevant intelligence in the mid-year review of the Environmental Scan.
Maintaining an appreciation of scope and
potential impact of various government studies and initiatives, such as those listed above,
combined with industry investment planning
represents an ongoing challenge to the ISC.
The evaluation of skill requirements associated with such initiatives can often result in an
assessment of needs in isolation, if predicted
needs for more or new and updated skills
requirements are not considered in context
of economy wide demand. Improved communications within and between government
bodies and industry associations is required to
ensure that the aspirations of such initiatives
can be matched with workforce planning and
development strategies to ensure sufficient
skills are available to realise the goals set for
such projects.
Co-generation/biomass Environment
Co-generation/biomass is the use of technology to recycle energy by changing the form
of energy so that it can be stored or re-used.
Typically this occurs via the capture of waste
heat from industrial processes or the mining
of energy from waste products (e.g. sugar mill
bagasse or by-products form diary production). It is the capture of wasted energy and/
or the fact that carbon from the consumption
of feedstock can be rapidly reclaimed via new
growth that offers the sustainability and efficiency dividend.

This efficient re-use of energy can be applied at


both small and large scale in both standalone
and grid connected configurations. At the
smaller scale (commercial or public buildings)
tri-generation via combined heat and power
(CHP) technologies produces heating, cooling
and electrical power from an integrated system.
Various systems and technologies have been
trialled and some deployed on a commercial
scale. Some of these, notably in the sugar industry, have had auspicious beginnings but
have foundered on faltering markets for renewable energy credits which supported the economic model for the original investment.
Intelligence from such false starts and regulatory uncertainty has discouraged some investment in large scale co-generation projects.
The announcement of a carbon price to be
introduced from July 1 2012 has potential to
stabilise the investment environment and lead
to increased investment in co-generation opportunities.
ClimateWorks Australia in their 2010 Low Carbon Growth Plan and subsequent updates to
this work, have identified a number of co-generation/biomass opportunities in a variety of industries including steel making, cement manufacture, food processing (including dairy foods),
chemical and petro-chemical production.
Co-generation Skills impact
The deployment of co-generation technologies
requires both generic skills and specialised
skills, the balance of which is contingent on the
technologies and feedstock being exploited.
Skills to install and commission co-generation
systems and to operate and maintain these as
generation plants, are consistent with those for
traditional thermal generation technologies (although working on a much smaller scale and
in standalone environments may present new
skills challenges for individual operatives).
Working within a particular industrial commercial environment however calls up new skills,
particularly related to post-trade maintenance,

45

instrumentation and industrial control competencies which reside in the Electrotechnology Training Package but are increasingly
accessed by operatives in these emerging
generation sector operations.
This cross sector transfer of skills has been referenced in relation to other aspects of this ESI
industry environmental scan and is a feature of
the move towards sustainable and energy efficient energy systems.
As outlined in the accompanying publication
to this Environmental Scan, Skills to realise
energy efficiency opportunities,, EE-Oz has
identified qualifications Trade, Post-Trade and
Para-professional from the Electrotechnology,
ESI - Generation and ESI TDR Training Packages covering various aspects, technologies
and scales of application.
Peak demand management
Environment
In an energy system, peak demand refers to
the highest level of demand experienced within
the network. In Australia, peak demand only
occurs on about 1% of days but can result in a
50-100% surge in demand for energy.

levels without failing. Over the past decade the


rate of peak demand growth has far exceeded
total demand growth for energy, largely due to
the uptake of airconditioning systems (AC penetration has risen from around 30% in 2001 to
over 70% in 2011). While this rapid growth is
expected to stabilise, system enhancement to
accommodate peak demand growth will continue to be a major driver of electricity price rises, with over $15 billion of investment required
in the next few years.
A significant proportion of industry representatives are now predicting that total electricity demand will remain stagnant in the short term as
energy efficiency policies and increased prices
both act to quell demand.
However peak demand will continue to grow,
necessitating further network investment and
accordingly driving price rises. ESI organisations are urgently seeking to address critical
network constraints and partner with industry and the community to moderate extreme
peaks in demand growth.

Peak demand management Skills impact


While consumption patterns will be informed
by smart appliances and systems across doDespite this limited duration, electricity netmestic and commercial/ industrial settings, the
ElectroComms
and
Scan 2012
works
must be built
to EnergyUtilities
withstand peakIndustries
demand - Environmental
capacity of energy networks to take advantage

Figure
13:
Example
of residential
substation
peak peak
demand.
Two consecutive
summer summer
days in 2010,
Figure
13:
Example
of residential
substation
demand.
Two consecutive
only
difference
is
ambient
temperature
days in 2010, only difference is ambient temperature

Source: Energex presentation to EE-Oz Annual Conference 2010


Source: Energex presentation to EE-Oz Annual Conference 2010

46

Despite this limited duration, electricity networks must be built to withstand peak demand levels
without failing. Over the past decade the rate of peak demand growth has far exceeded total
demand growth for energy, largely due to the uptake of airconditioning systems (AC penetration has
risen from around 30% in 2001 to over 70% in 2011). While this rapid growth is expected to stabilise,
system enhancement to accommodate peak demand growth will continue to be a major driver of
electricity price rises, with over $15 billion of investment required in the next few years.

of these opportunities will be integral to realisation of these possibilities.


Skills in advanced metering, network design,
systems control and data acquisition will help
consumers to understand exactly what they
consume, at which times, what this costs and
what alternatives are available. This information
transfer must work both ways, so that generators are able to alter production levels to suit
customer needs and reward preferred consumption patterns.

Current industry priorities


Figure 14 shows the combined growth expectations of the Generation and Transmission,
Distribution and Rail sectors of the Electrical
Supply Industry. Growth expectations in the
Transmission, Distribution and Rail sector are
slightly stronger than the aggregate, with two
thirds of employers expecting to increase their
staffing levels in the year.
Generation Drivers
Respondents to the 2012 Environmental Scan
Survey from the generation sector indicated
that the key short and long term driver of business demand is government policy.
This reflects the environment in which the sector operates, with government policy providing
the framework for transition to a low carbon
economy (and with little to no export opportunities or foreign competition).

Transmission Drivers
Respondents from the Transmission, Distribution and Rail (TD&R) sector identified the dual
challenges of evolving work practices and implementing new technologies as the key short
term drivers for the sector. These drivers do not
necessarily act in concert, with combinations
of these anticipated to create compounding
skills demands in the future.
In regards to longer term drivers respondents
saw the challenge of an aging workforce and
accompanying skills deficits and skills development lags as the major factor in the industry
securing a productive future.
Impact of the Workforce Development
Funding Strategies
From November 2009, when the Enterprise
Based Productivity Places Program (EBPPP)
was introduced, the workforce development
strategy of funding industry training places,
brokered by the ISC, on the basis of co-investment by enterprises and Government, has
been highly successful in the energy sector industries.
There have been three iterations of this implementation model, each with a slightly different
focus, demonstrating the flexibility of the model
to meet identified goals. These programs are:

Enterprise Based Productivity Places Program (EBPPP)

Critical Skills Investment Fund (CSIF)

Figure 14: Employment expectations Electricity Supply Industry firms 2012

Source: EE-Oz Environmental Scan Survey 2011

47

National Workforce Development Fund


(NWDF)
In ESI Generation these programs have created 139 Training places across the following
qualifications, a breakdown of these places is
provided in Table 11.
These places are all at trade or post-trade level
and when compared to the in-training figures
reported by NCVER VOCSTATS for the UEP06
Training represent a significant boost to training in this sector.
In the ESI TDR sector uptake has been
against the EBPPP and CSIF workforce development programs, targeting qualifications
across a range of AQF levels (Table 12).
Proportional to the total training uptake of
these qualifications across the industry (refer to In Training Enrolments, Table 16 below)
this is a significant increase, demonstrating
the effectiveness of the fund in increasing
industry engagement with the training sector

and developing skills of high value to the economy.


Engineering graduate shortages are leading
to a broader range of roles, historically carried
out by engineers, being undertaken by paraprofessionals. This trend is reflected in the increased uptake of AQF 5 and 6 level qualifications under these programs.
EE-Oz is cooperating with Engineers Australia to bring about the implementation of Advanced Diploma qualifications, aligned to the
Dublin Accord, as a pathways to engineering
programs in the Higher Education sector.
Programs under the CSIF are targeting skills
needs identified as essential to address vegetation control, asset management and surveillance requirements identified as part of the
Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission. This
training will increase the capacity of enterprises
providing contracted services to ESI network
owners for asset inspection and vegetation
control.

Table 11: Workforce Development Program Impacts Generation Qualifications


Program

Qualification

Number of places

EBPPP

Certificate III in ESI Generation

40

EBPPP

Certificate III in ESI Generation Operations

11

EBPPP

Certificate IV in ESI Generation Operations

72

EBPPP

Diploma of ESI Generation Operations

16

Total

139

Table 12: Workforce Development Program Impacts ESI - TDR Qualifications

48

Program

Qualification

Number of places

EBPPP

Certificate IV in ESI substations

14

EBPPP

Advanced Diploma of ESI Power Systems

33

Total

47

CSIF

Certificate II in ESI - Asset Inspection

110

Certificate II in ESI - Vegetation Control

457

Total

567

The raised profile that this has given these skills


has prompted industry to review the vegetation control qualification and develop a new
qualification for asset inspection. Industry is
now considering the development of career
pathways for new entrants and existing workers undertaking these qualifications.

Training market responsiveness


Pink slip program
The EE-Oz Pink Slip RTO Evaluation Process
applies to RTOs who wish to extend their
scope of registration to incorporate identified
high risk qualifications and/or skill set from
the UEE07 Electrotechnology and UET09 ESI
Transmission Training Packages.
The Pink Slip RTO Evaluation Process has
been developed by EE-Oz Training Standards
based on an initial concept proposed by NSW
VETAB. It ensures high quality outcomes for
learners and speedier registration for training
providers. By providing a benchmark for required delivery and assessment resources,
Pink Slips will provide evidence to the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) when it
audits applications for initial registration/extensions to scope.
EE-Oz appointed industry experts, with relevant educational and training experience, will
conduct site visits at the RTO to determine a
training providers capacity to deliver training
and assessment which meets the requirements of the training package qualification(s).

Identified Workforce
Development Needs
Industry Skills Councils contribute to the development of the Priority Occupation List (POL),
used as the basis for determining qualifications
eligible for funding under the National Workforce Development Fund.
EE-Oz supports the assessment made by the
Department of Education, Employment and
Workplace Relation (DEEWR) in relation to the

Table 13: Current ESI-TDR Sector Trade


and Post Trade Qualifications
ESI QUALIFICATIONS / SKILL SETS

UET09 Skill Set

Refresher Units

UET30109

Certificate III in ESI Transmission

UET30209

Certificate III in ESI Distribution

UET30309

Certificate III in ESI


Rail Traction

UET30409

Certificate III in ESI


Cable Jointing

UET40109

Certificate IV in ESI
Power Systems

UET40209

Certificate IV in ESI
Substations

UET40309

Certificate IV in
ESI Network
Infrastructure

compilation of the 2011 POL and confirms that


the list reflects advice received from industry in
relation to qualifications within the ESI sector
which are currently in demand. Table 14 below
lists applicable callings from the POL.
Table14: ESI-TDR Calling Extracted from
2011 POL
ANZSCO
Code

Classification

3422

Electrical Distribution Trades


Workers

3123

Electrical Engineering
Draftspersons, Technicians

2333

Electrical Engineers

3411

Electricians

Industry intelligence indicates that these skills


shortages will continue into the foreseeable future and may very well intensify as a result of
considerable retirements expected in the next
five years.

49

The ESI Passport Committee maintains a database recording all industry operatives who
are issued with a passports for access to ESI
networks. This information provides a snapshot of the age profile of the personnel within
the database. The data in figure 15 below is
reported on a jurisdictional basis and allows an
industry overview of the workforce age profile.
Current statistics show that the ESI workforce
is still skewed considerably to the higher age
bracket with more than 54% of the workforce
39 years or older and with 27% of the workforce 50 or older.
This means that whilst recruitment has been
increased since the Global Financial Crisis,
significant further investment in skills will be
required to ensure that this age balance is redressed, and to place the workforce on a sustainable footing.
Although NSW has not entered a significant
data set into the system at the time of this
snapshot, other jurisdictions have done so.
The data has been taken across a range of
callings within the sector that may require network access, requiring ESI Passport. Table 15
outlines passport categories which include the
following ESI workers:

Table 15: ESI Industry Categories for


Passport Issue
ESI Industry Callings Covered
by ESI Passport

Meter Technician

Non Electrical
Worker

Support Worker

Switching Operator

Team Leader /
Supervisor

Technical Worker

Tester, Protection,
Control & Cables

Trade Worker

Vegetation Worker

Live Line

Apprentice

Asset Inspector

Cable Jointer

Electrical Inspector

Electrician

Electricity Supply
Worker - Non Trade

Engineer

Lineworker
Distribution

Lineworker
Transmission
Source: ESI Industry Passport Data December
2011.

Figure 15: Age Profile of ESI Employees


7000

WAA

6000

VIC

5000

TAS
SAA

4000

QLD

3000

NTY

2000

NSW

ACT

1000
0
15-19

20-29

30-39

40-49

Source: ESI Industry Passport Data December 2011.

50

50-59

60-69

70-79

The Skills and Resourcing Reference Group


of Energy Networks Australia (ENA), the peak
body for Australias Transmission Distribution
Networks has been requested by the ENA
Asset Management Committee to provide advice on skills imbalances within the sector. The
committee has identified the issue in the following terms:
The ESI is experiencing engineering, paraprofessionals, and trade supply/demand
imbalance that is likely to worsen; there
is strong competition from the resource
sector and diminishing supply (quality and
quantity)7.
The ENA Asset management committee sees
this issue as having both long term and short
term impacts, notably the ability of the sector to respond more effectively to the demand
for extra field resources during emergencies,
in the shorter and longer terms, Increase the
supply [of skills] and improve the attractiveness
of the ESI.
The industry sees improvement in national
consistency of skills and training requirements
leading to industry efficiencies in sharing of
field resources (including in times of emergencies) and the adoption of industry best practice
in operations.

Current Impact of
Training Packages
UET ESI Transmission, Distribution and
Rail Sector Training
Table 16 shows NCVER statistics for enrolments against the current UET09 Training
Package and the superseded UET06 and
UTT98 Training Packages.

The enrolment data is reflective of industry


structure, with the Distribution lineworker qualification being dominant across all three iterations of the Package from UTT98 to UET09.
Increased enrolments in the AQF 5 and 6
qualifications reflect the growing emphasis on
higher level skills and new roles for para-professionals in the sector. There has also been a
shift from the Certificate IV Power Systems to
Certificate IV ESI Substations reflected in the
allocation of places under current workforce
development programs.
Even taking into account a traditional apprenticeship duration of 4 years and qualification
implementation lags, it is of concern that a
significant number (7.2%) of enrolments are
against qualifications from the UTT98 Training
Package (replaced in 2006 by UET06).
New national licencing requirements embedded in the UET12 Training Package qualifications are anticipated to provide significant incentives to enterprises and their partner RTOs
to transition current enrolments to the new
qualifications as soon as possible to ensure
they meet national licencing requirements.
The implementation of the Training.gov.au
website has restricted access to RTO scope
information to current versions of Training
Packages. Table 17 shows the number of
RTOs with Scope to deliver qualifications from
the Current Version (UET09 Version 3) of the
ESI Transmission, Distribution and Rail Sector Training Package. It should be noted that
a count of RTOs by qualifications will always
include duplicate entries. Therefore, the count
of RTOs with scope at qualification level (99) is
higher than that at Training Package level (69)
for UET09.

The UET ESI Transmission, Distribution and


Rail Sector Training Package has recently been
reviewed and endorsed as UET12. This Package has not yet been implemented on Training.gov.au and therefore no enrolments are
reported.
7 ENA AMC Strategy 2011-2012

51

Table16: In-Training UTT and UET TDR Training Packages, All Versions
Apprentices and trainees - June 2011

Enrolments for Reporting period

Total
Enrolments
(Rounded)*

Status of
Qualification

Type of accreditation

UET20110 - Certificate II in ESI - Vegetation Control

Current

UET20511 - Certificate II in National Broadband Network


Cabling (Electricity Supply Industry Assets)

Current

UET20209 - Certificate II in ESI - Transmission Line


Assembly

Current

27

Current

UET30209 - Certificate III in ESI - Distribution

1145

Current

UET30309 - Certificate III in ESI - Rail Traction

84

Current

UET30409 - Certificate III in ESI - Cable Jointing

76

Current

UET40209 - Certificate IV in ESI - Substation

26

Current

UET50109 - Diploma of ESI - Power Systems

57

Current

UET60109 - Advanced Diploma of ESI - Power Systems

44

Current

UET30109 - Certificate III in ESI - Transmission

UET20109 - Certificate II in ESI - Vegetation Control

Superseded

UET20206 - Certificate II in ESI - Transmission Line


Assembly

Superseded

UET30106 - Certificate III in ESI - Transmission

44

Superseded

UET30206 - Certificate III in ESI - Distribution

1100

Superseded

UET30306 - Certificate III in ESI - Rail Traction

102

Superseded

UET30406 - Certificate III in ESI - Cable Jointing

174

Superseded

UET40106 - Certificate IV in ESI - Power Systems

27

Superseded

UET50106 - Diploma of ESI - Power Systems

Superseded

UET60106 - Advanced Diploma of ESI - Power Systems

Superseded

UTT20198 - Certificate II in ESI - Distribution (Powerline)

Superseded

UTT30101 - Certificate III in ESI - Distribution (Powerline)

197

Superseded

UTT30198 - Certificate III in ESI - Distribution (Powerline)

Superseded

UTT30298 - Certificate III in ESI - Transmission (Powerline)

Superseded

UTT30301 - Certificate III in ESI - Cable Jointing (Powerline)

Superseded

UTT30402 - Certificate III in ESI - Rail Traction (Powerline)

Superseded

Total

3137

* Source; NCVER, VOCSTATS Apprentice & Trainees July 2011 series, Jan-March in training 2011 (accessed Feb 2012)

52

Table 17: RTOs with Scope for UET09 Version 3 qualifications


RTOs with
Scope

By Current UET09 Version 3 Qualifications

UET20109 - Certificate II in ESI - Vegetation Control

UET20110 - Certificate II in ESI - Vegetation Control

UET20511 - Certificate II in National Broadband Network Cabling (Electricity


Supply Industry Assets)

UET20209 - Certificate II in ESI - Transmission Line Assembly

UET30109 - Certificate III in ESI - Transmission

14

UET30209 - Certificate III in ESI - Distribution

24

UET30309 - Certificate III in ESI - Rail Traction

UET30409 - Certificate III in ESI - Cable Jointing

14

UET40109 - Certificate IV in ESI - Power Systems

UET40209 - Certificate IV in ESI - Substation

UET40309 - Certificate IV in ESI - Network Infrastructure

UET50109 - Diploma of ESI - Power Systems

UET60109 - Advanced Diploma of ESI - Power Systems

Total

99

Source: training.gov.au (accessed February 2012)

Table 18: Total RTOs with Scope to deliver components of UET06 and UET09
By Versions of the UET Training Package

UET09 ESI - Transmission Distribution and Rail Training Sector Training


Package
UET06 ESI - Transmission Distribution and Rail Training Sector Training
Package

69

40

Source: training.gov.au (accessed February 2012)

Table 18 shows the statistics for RTOs with


Scope to deliver any component from the either the UET09 or UET06 versions of the ESI
Transmission, Distribution and Rail Sector
Training Package, link to data source included.
UEP ESI Generation Sector Training
The tables below reflect the impact of the currently endorsed UEP ESI - Generation Sector
Training Package. RTOs registered to provide
training from this package (Table 21) far outnumber the current number of enrolments (Table 19) and RTOs with whole qualifications on
scope (Table 20).

This is due to UEP06 components being more


widely applied at the unit level rather than the
qualification level. This reflects the traditional
reliance on in-house training by large state
owned generation utilities which have a history
of being self-regulating.
UEP06 units are also widely imported into
other qualifications, particularly at AQF levels
2 and 3. These provide a range of skills applicable in a variety of industrial settings as they
were developed in the context of established,
large coal fired power stations, which are similar in nature to other heavy industries.

53

The revision of UEP06 initiated in 2010 has ensured consultation with those developing and
implementing alternative generation technologies, including renewable and sustainable energy sources. This combined with the impact
of carbon pricing on established generators
is anticipated to increase the take-up of qualifications in the sector as skills become more
mobile.
The enrolment data in Table 19 is extracted
from the official NCVER VOCSTATS system,
for the UEP06 Generation Training Package
and shows data from mid-2011.
The generation sectors response to the initial
round of Enterprise Based Productivity Places
Program (EBPPP) which encouraged enterprises to identify their own skills needs indicates that industry is already reacting to these
impacts.
The most popular qualification brokered by EEOz under the EBPPP for the ESI Generation
sector was the Certificate IV ESI Generation
Operations (71 places). The next most subscribed qualifications were the Certificate III in
ESI Generation Operations (51 training places)
and the Diploma of ESI Generation Operations
(16 places).
It should be noted that the NCVER VOCSTATS
enrolment figures below (Table 19) do not appear to report these enrolments fully as only 37
enrolments are reported nationally.

54

Table 19: In Training UEP06 Qualifications


Apprentices and trainees - June 2011

Enrolments for Reporting period

Total
Enrolments
(Rounded)*

Status of
Qualification

Type of accreditation

UEP20106 - Certificate II in ESI Generation (Operations


Support)

Superseded

UEP30206 - Certificate III in ESI Generation (Operations)

20

Current

UEP40206 - Certificate IV in ESI Generation (Operations)

Current

UEP40306 - Certificate IV in ESI Generation Maintenance

Current

UEP40506 - Certificate IV in ESI Generation Maintenance

Current

UEP50206 - Diploma of ESI Generation

12

Current

Total

37

* Source; NCVER, VOCSTATS Apprentice & Trainees July 2011 series, Jan-March in training 2011 (accessed Feb 2012)

Table 20: Numbers of RTOs Delivering UEP Qualifications


By Current Qualifications

RTOs

UEP20106 - Certificate II in ESI Generation (Operations Support)

UEP30106 - Certificate III in ESI Generation (Systems Operations)

UEP30206 - Certificate III in ESI Generation (Operations)

UEP40106 - Certificate IV in ESI Generation (Systems Operations)

UEP40206 - Certificate IV in ESI Generation (Operations)

11

UEP40306 - Certificate IV in ESI Generation Maintenance

UEP40506 - Certificate IV in ESI Generation Maintenance

UEP50106 - Diploma of ESI Generation (Systems Operations)

UEP50206 - Diploma of ESI Generation

UEP50406 - Diploma of ESI Generation (Electrical/Electronic)

Total

48

Source: training.gov.au (accessed February 2012)

RTO with Scope to deliver any component from the UEP06 ESI Generation Sector Training Package, link to data source included.
Table 21: RTOs with Scope to deliver UEP06 Components
By Training Package

UEP06 ESI - Generation Sector Training Package

RTO

Source: training.gov.au (accessed February 2012)

55

Future Direction for Endorsed


components of Training Packages
The review of UET09 Version 3 in 2011 to produce the recently endorsed UET12 Version 1
restructured all qualifications to incorporate
NQC/NSSC policy initiatives and include components for green skills and address National
Licencing Authority requirements was very
comprehensive.
Further work in 2012-2013 will focus on the
redesign of units to align with the template for
unit of competency and assessment requirements, identified by NQC/NSSC in 2010-11.
This work will encompass ongoing EKAS review work and the inclusion of the new components already identified including new post
trade components to address pathways to
higher level qualifications.
The UEP06 ESI Generation Sector Training
Package has also undergone extensive review
in 2010-11 and a new version UEP12 is imminent.
As with the UET Training Package the main focus in 2012-13 will be the redesign of the units
to meet NSSC requirements accompanied by
an EKAS and pre-requisite review.
Ongoing consultations with regard to the development of new components for the large
scale renewable/sustainable energy generation sector will also be continued in 2012.

56

57

GAS Supply Industry


(GSI)

58

Gas Supply Industry (GSI)


The GSI covers gas transmission and distribution from wellhead to consumer access point,
both through an extensive pipeline network and
appropriate storage vessels, to meet the needs
of domestic and international customers.
The GSI is at a critical juncture. A confluence of
factors has combined to drive global demand
for gas to an all-time high.
Technological improvements have opened up
domestic gas to international export markets,
as global demand for energy soars driven by
rapid economic growth in Asia. Gas is expected
to be the primary short term beneficiary of increased international focus on sustainable energy practices, identified as a key transition fuel
from more polluting hydrocarbon sources such
as coal and petroleum, and able to provide
both peak and base load power at competitive
prices in addition to an alternative automotive
fuel. This is further contributing to demand in
both domestic and international markets.
At the same time, relatively recent extraction
technologies have more than doubled accessible reserves, ideally positioning Australia to
capitalise on this burgeoning international demand. These factors have led to predictions
that domestic gas production will triple in Australia to 20308.
This rapid growth and forecasts of further future expansion however belie considerable
concern among industry participants of the
sectors capacity to expand under existing labour market conditions. Businesses report
that deepening skills shortages endanger the
development of infrastructure to support capacity expansion.

This problem is at least partially related to inadequate industry coverage in federal data sets.
The sector remains underrepresented in formal
government statistics with no occupational
code (ANZSCO) explicitly related to industry
participants (occupations are obscured within
broad construction or plumbing classifications)
nor are industry codes appropriate (ANZSIC);
Gas Supply (3620) is based on an outdated
town gas industry which excludes transmission industry operations and Pipeline Transport
(6501) and covers all pipeline utility operations
including petroleum and water.
Without having an accurate picture of how
many workers are currently in the industry,
what their skills profile is and how sectoral
growth can be expected to impact skills demand, RTOs have difficulty in making a business case to justify the development of training
resources, recruitment of staff and formation of
partnerships with industry.
At the request of peak industry bodies, EEOz Training Standards, the Australian Pipeline
Association, LPG Australia, Energy Networks
Australia, the Australian Workers Union and
Transport Worker Union, the Skills and Labour
Branch of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace relations (now the
Department of Industry, Innovation, Science,
Research and Tertiary Education) conducted a
Survey of Employers Recruitment Experiences
in the Gas Supply Industry9.
This survey has provided insights into the GSI
workforce and highlighted the dire need for
skills in key occupations to facilitate industry
growth. The results also suggest that the industry is substantially larger than recorded in

8 Draft Energy White Paper 2011, p.149


9 http://www.deewr.gov.au/employment/lmi/regionalreports/industry/pages/2011.aspx

59

formal statistics with responses from employers representing over 11,000 workers (response rate for the survey was 45%).

Latest Intelligence
The Gas Supply Industry services both domestic and export markets. In 2010, approximately 1,100 Peta Joules (PJ) of gas was supplied to domestic markets and a further 1,000
PJ into LNG export markets (all of which was
from offshore basins in Western Australia and
the Northern Territory). LNG export from the
eastern gas market is set to begin from 2014.
The GSI has three discrete areas, the eastern,
northern and western markets (Figure 16 below).

Eastern market
High prices and improved technology are shifting the focus of eastern gas market operations
away from conventional production to meet
domestic demand (mostly in the southern
states), to unconventional reserves in northern
NSW and Queensland to meet the demand
from export markets in Asia. This shift will affect both gas and electricity markets, as gas
powered generation increases.
The eastern gas market has just over 40%
of Australias proven reserves or 45,230 PJs.
Over three quarters of this comes from CSG
reserves in Queenslands Surat Bowen basin.

Figure 16: Australian Gas Industry schematic

Source: Australian Energy Regulator, State of the Energy Market 2011

60

Western market
Upstream gas infrastructure in Western Australia is approaching capacity, with new offshore
and onshore pipelines required to link reserves
to domestic markets.
Western Australia has almost 60% of Australias proven and probable gas reserves (68, 898
PJs), of which the vast majority is in the Carnarvon basin. Despite this, WA accounts for
just 32% of domestic sales.
Northern market
The northern gas market operations have focused on producing LNG for export, although
a pipeline was built connecting the Bonaparte
basin to communities in the Northern Territory
in 2008. In its Gas Statement of Opportunities,
the Australian Energy Market Operator has
flagged the possibility of expanding gas processing and transmission, to supply southern
gas demand centres with gas from the northern basins.

shortages) will increase the risk that this goal


cannot be realised.
Burgeoning export market Skills impact
Should gas production fail to meet demand,
industry is concerned that long term contractual obligations to export markets will mean
that it is the domestic market which feels the
brunt of any shortfall.
In order to meet energy security and sustainability goals in the domestic economy, development of transmission and distribution networks
must occur in a timely and effective manner.
Ensuring that the skills necessary to realise
these network aspirations exist in the quantity
required by enterprises is a clear industry priority. This will require developing additional skills
in relation to:

Certificate II in Gas Industry Pipeline Operations

Certificate II in Gas Industry Transmission


Pipeline Construction

Emerging environmental factor and


their skill impacts

Certificate II in Gas Industry Cylinder Op-

Burgeoning export market - Environment


The historical separation of international and
domestic gas markets is ending, with implications for domestic energy prices. Isolation from
foreign consumers has held domestic prices
below the international energy price and, as
this gap closes, higher prices are driving investment in infrastructure, as suppliers seek to
expand their capacity.

Age profile of GSI workforce


Environmental
Figure 17 illustrates the age distribution of the
GSI workforce. Of significant concern is the
low proportion of 15 24 years old in the industry, almost 60% below the national average. This means that for every worker in the 15
24 year age range in the industry, there are
two workers over the age of 55 and approaching retirement.

AEMOs Gas Statement of Opportunities 2011


predicts that as early as 2015 Australia could
be the second largest LNG exporting country
in the world and the largest in Australasia, and
that by 2020 Australia could generate half of
global production growth.
While the report predicts that Australia will have
sufficient overall supply for both domestic and
export markets to 2030, capacity constraints
(such as those arising from skills and labour

erations

For an innovative and technology driven industry experiencing dramatic expansion, this is
cause for concern.
Additional information from the Department of
Resources, Energy and Tourism, published in
the 2010 Resourcing the Future report, notes
that the advanced age of the gas workforce
will make substantial replacement recruitment
necessary, especially in light of the number
of new LNG trains due for construction to
2015, highlighting replacement demand in gas

61

Figure 17: Age distribution of workers in the GSI


80%
70%
60%
50%
Australian average
Gas Supply Industry

40%
30%
20%
10%
%

15-24

25-54

55+

Age profile of GSI workforce - Skills impact

operations could be around 2,000 persons per


annum, including approximately 500 retirements.
This represents a significant proportion of the
national workforce retiring each year and current training levels will simply be insufficient to
meet this predicted demand for skills. New
strategies to boost recruitment levels are currently being sought.
Although members of the broader community
are increasingly aware of the gas industry, it
does not yet have the recognition of more established industries as providing a career path,
rewarding and fulfilling employment for young
workers.
Industry feels that the declaration of the Certificate III as an apprenticeship will increase the
desirability of the qualification, identifying it to
students as a skilled technical vocation and
provide an appropriate framework for developing the high level technical skills required by
autonomous workers in the industry.
Jurisdictional declarations of apprenticeships
also have government funding implications,
declaring this qualification as an apprenticeship will increase incentives for industry to con-

62

tribute to the development of new operatives,


further boosting training and recruitment levels.
To this end, EE-Oz has been supports efforts of
jurisdictional Industry Working Groups (IWGs),
developed through State and Territory Industry
Training and Advisory Boards (ITABs), to petition for the recognition of the Certificate III level
qualification from the UEG Training Package as
an apprenticeship.
The ISC is happy to report that on 24 February 2012 the Western Australian Office of the
State Training Board took the step to establish
the UEG30106 Certificate III in Gas Industry
Operations as an Apprenticeship. Industry is
confident that this move will have significant
impact on local recruitment efforts and looks
forward to other jurisdictions following Western
Australias lead.

Sustainability
As scientific evidence mounts that human action is contributing to global climate change,
and that there are considerable environmental
risks associated with global warming, international attention is increasingly being directed
towards developing sustainable energy practices; which meet the energy needs of the
current generation without compromising the

ability of future generations to meet their own


energy needs.
The focus of this attention is currently on limiting global carbon dioxide emissions to maintain atmospheric carbon below an acceptable
level. Without limiting global population or
growth in material living standards, only two
vectors are available to reduce carbon emissions associated with human activity:
1. Improving the efficiency of energy use
2. Reduce the carbon intensity of energy
generation
Sustainability measures in the electrotechnology industry are primarily related to the first of
these, disseminating new more efficient technologies and seeking energy efficiency opportunities in existing processes. The Electrical
Supply and Gas Supply industries are more focused on the second, related to cleaner generation (more efficient plants and cleaner energy
sources) as well as minimising losses incurred
through transmission and distribution systems.
While many renewable energy sources suffer
from challenges related to intermittent supply,
prohibitive cost or untested technologies, gas
is already well established in the global energy
mix and has considerably lower emissions
than other hydrocarbon fuels. Gas fired electricity generation produces approximately 30%
- 50% less emissions per megawatt hour than
coal generation and is capable of generating
base load power. LPG also provides a cleaner
alternative to gasoline which powers almost
one million vehicles nationwide.
Carbon price - Environment
The Australian Governments Clean Energy Future package, which will introduce a price on
carbon from 1 July 2012, will elevate the role of
gas in the nations energy mix at the expense
of more polluting hydrocarbon energy sources
such as coal and petrol.
Treasury modeling demonstrates that electricity
generation from gas, which currently accounts
for about 15% of generation, could increase to

63

44% by 2050, under a carbon tax. This is in addition to demand for gas as a direct fuel source
for heating, transportation and cooking.
Carbon price Skills impact
The recurring theme of this report is that in order to realise the myriad opportunities provided by a flourishing gas sector, including those
related to sustainable energy usage, considerable investment will be required in transmission
and distribution networks.
The necessary first step for this to occur is investment in skills. Unless the skills required to
support network expansion are available, infrastructure investment bottlenecks risk compromising sustainability goals and carbon reduction targets, in addition to export revenue.
Community concerns about Coal Seam
Gas (CSG) - Environment
Coal Seam Gas production began in Australia in 2004 and has experienced rapid growth
from inception. The majority of activity is occurring in the Surat Bowen basin, which contains most of Australias proved and probable
CSG reserves and runs from northern New
South Wales into Queensland.
Community sensitivities to the environmental
impact of CSG exploration and exploitation
have centered on the impact on water tables
and prime agricultural lands. However communities also recognise the environmental,
social and economic benefits of having a low
cost, low carbon energy source, plus a reliable
source of export revenue.
Longer term resolution of these conflicts will
be in the best interests of all stakeholders.
Community concerns can only be addressed
through a comprehensive evidence based review of industry operations, focusing on establishing environmentally sensitive technologies
and work practices.
The application of environmental laws, regulation, and enforcement should be arrived
at transparently and be applied consistently
throughout the country.

64

Community concerns about Coal Seam


Gas (CSG) Skills impact
National Training Packages are industrys preferred method for documenting work practices
and developing clear performance expectations from industry practitioners, of the standard to which an individual is expected to perform in the workplace.
Engaging industry regulators in this process
will be essential in ensuring industry outcomes
conform to community expectations.

Industry
Industry is extremely bullish about the future
with a ratio of five employers expecting to
increase their staffing levels over the coming
year, for each expecting it to remain constant.
No survey respondent from the GSI expected
staffing levels to decline in the coming year
(Figure 18).
Figure 18:Employment expectations
Gas industry firms 2012

Source: EE-Oz Environmental Scan Survey 2011

This optimism is also reflected in the DEEWRs


survey of employer experiences, which found
that 89% of employers expected to increase
staffing levels in the twelve months from July
2011, compared to 41 % nationally.
Over the short term, employers indicated they
felt government policy is the primary driver of
business demand, reflecting the prominent
role identified for gas in assisting the global
transition from high carbon emission fuels such
as coal. The structure of incentive regimes

promoting sustainable energy usage affect the


value proposition offered by alternative fuels.
In regards to the longer term, employers identified technology and aging workforce as the
twin drivers of business demand.
Over the past few years, technology has
played a key role in unlocking unconventional
gas reserves and linking domestic gas production to foreign markets. This has placed upward pressure on demand. Simultaneously the
implications of an ageing workforce are limiting
industrys capacity to meet predicted demand.
Over the long term, industry participants feel
that the balance between these two competing forces will determine industry growth.
National Workforce Development Fund
The past 12 months has seen an increased
up-take of the GSI Training Package from a
very low base, largely as a result Government
initiatives related to employer demand driven
training. Under the NWDF 46 training places
were brokered for the Certificate III in Gas Industry Operations, building on a similar uptake
under the EBPPP program.
Under the EBPPP trial program, which commenced in 2009, two industry organisations,
in cooperation with EE-Oz Training Standards,
secured funding to partner with a Victorian
RTO to deliver the Certificate III and IV qualifications from the Gas Training Package. One
hundred and fifteen (115) operatives are being
trained through the program; 80 LPG workers
and 35 Gas distribution workers.
Under the formal EBPPP, introduced in 2010,
another major industry employer is now training close to 50 operatives against the Certificate III Gas Industry Operations qualification.
These successes again demonstrate the value
of providing assistance to individual enterprises in identifying their own workforce development needs and collectively brokering training
places to meet these needs.

Market
Insufficient industry coverage in ANZSIC
and ANZSCO codes
Obtaining data on employment in the sector
and the identification of job roles in the sector
is difficult due the lack of the gas industry categories within the ANZSCO system used by
the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Currently many gas industry job roles are not
clearly identified as they are included in other
groupings such as Plant Operators associated
with civil construction and operatives in the
petro-chemical sector. This has led to a lack
of data on skills and skills shortages and no
readily available taxonomy for industry to apply
to its workforce.
In response to advice from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, EE-Oz and industry partners
conducted a campaign to encourage industry
participants to clearly identify themselves with
the industry on their 2011 census form. The
ISC looks forward to a review of ANZSCO
codes utilised from industry participants in light
of responses from the census.
Shortage of RTOs in the GSI
There are relatively few RTOs with Gas Supply
Industry qualifications on scope, making it difficult for enterprises to develop their workforce.
Evidence for this difficulty was provided in the
DEEWR survey, which indicated that the proportion of recently recruited staff in the industry
who require further development was one third
above the national average. Of these, 89% required skills specific to the job indicating that
their training had not been contextualised to
industry requirements. This category often includes workers brought in similar fields in the
construction or plumbing industries.
The additional training effort associated with
bringing new workers up to speed represents
a duplication of effort, an additional cost for
employers and a waste of time for employees.
Clearly improved outcomes could be achieved
if training effort was directed toward areas of
identified industry need.

65

Employers in the sector report difficulties engaging RTOs to deliver Gas Training Package
qualifications without supporting data to quantify the demand for these skills. Enterprises
must be able to demonstrate to educators that
the demand for training is ongoing rather than
point in time, to encourage RTOs to investment in human and physical resources to support this training.
Despite these difficulties some headway is being made. In the past twelve months a new private RTO on the eastern seaboard and a major
Victoria TAFE have brought gas qualifications
on scope and are seeking to expand their capacities to deliver training.
Industry representatives hope that improved
industry information provided by the DEEWR
survey and investment certainty provided by
the carbon tax, will encourage more RTOs
to commit to developing resources to deliver
UEG qualifications.

Identified Workforce
Development Needs
Industry Skills Councils contribute to the development of a number skills/occupation lists,
which utilise ANZCO codes as their basis, including the Priority Occupation List (POL) and
Skilled Occupation List (SOL). The difficulty
in identifing skills specific to the GSI through
these mechanisms is further evidence of the
deleterious impact to the industry of the current classifications.
Despite the shortcoming of the ANZSCO classifications, Government agencies have been
quick to recognise that skills shortage conditions exist across a broad range of occupations covered by the UEG Training Package,
explicitly including these qualifications in programs despite their lack of an ANZSCO code.
Anecdotally, industry representatives advise
that skill availability is already the limiting factor in determining sector growth. Current
construction capacity is committed for the

66

foreseeable future to sanctioned projects and


new projects must simply join the back of the
queue, waiting up to five years for the requisite
skills to become available.
The DEEWR survey demonstrates that employers commonly have difficulty recruiting
suitable staff and that key skills related to the
development of gas network infrastructure are
in deep shortage, finding that;

A much higher proportion of employers in


the Gas Supply industry reported recruitment difficulty (82 per cent) compared with
all industries (64 per cent).

Employers in the Gas Supply industry attracted fewer suitable applicants (1.5 suitable applicants per vacancy) compared
with all industries (2.0 suitable applicants
per vacancy).
With projected annual growth between 8.9%
and 12.6% over the next 20 years, this situation will only get worse.
In order to improve the skills base of its workforce, industry will focus on encouraging new
RTOs to deliver UEG qualifications (and existing providers to expand their scope) and recruiting new young workers into the industry
in 2012.

Current Impact of
Training Packages
Please note that the enrollments data sourced
from NCVER is for the first quarter 2011, whilst
RTO scope data from training.gov.au is from
February 2012.
These figures (identified in Table 22) are from
first quarter 2011 and so do not reflect the 46
training places brokered under the NWDF for
the Certificate III in Gas Industry Operations
qualification.
The number of RTOs with full qualifications on
scope is approximately one seventh of those
with some element of the Training Package on
scope. This confirms intelligence that training

delivery in the sector is still mainly at unit level.


Industry sees this as a key constraint in raising
the skills base in the sector.
Some sections of the industry are exploring
ways in which endorsed components can be
applied to develop personnel certificate schema
which leads to full qualifications. Importantly this
approach has led to greater understanding and
engagement of industry with the Training Package and an appreciation of the applicability of
the industry developed standards to individual
workplaces.

Table 22: In Training UEG06 Training Package Qualifications


Apprentices and trainees - June 2011

Enrolments for Reporting period

Total Enrolments (Rounded)*

Type of accreditation

UEG20106 - Certificate II in Utilities Industry Operations

UEG30106 - Certificate III in Gas Industry Operations

81

UEG40106 - Certificate IV in Gas Industry Operations

56

Total

144

* Source; NCVER, VOCSTATS Apprentice & Trainees July 2011 series, Jan-March in training 2011 (accessed Feb 2012)

Table 23: RTOs with Scope for UEG06 Qualifications


By Current Qualifications

RTOs

UEG20106 - Certificate II in Utilities Industry Operations

UEG30106 - Certificate III in Gas Industry Operations

UEG40106 - Certificate IV in Gas Industry Operations

Total

22

Source: training.gov.au (accessed February 2012)

Table 24: RTOs with Scope for UEG06 Training Package Components
By Training Package

UEG06 GSI - Gas Industry Training Package

195

Source: training.gov.au (accessed February 2012)

67

Future Direction for Endorsed


components of Training Packages
The comprehensive review of UEG06 Version
1.1 in 2011 to produce the recently endorsed
UEG11 Version 1 restructured all qualifications
to meet industry requirements and incorporate
NQC/NSSC policy initiatives and include components for green skills.
As a result of this review the AQF level 1 level
qualification was deleted and the AQF 2 qualification was replaced 4 new qualifications.
The AQF 3 and higher level qualifications require further review to ensure they meet current industry needs. This may mean the creation of new components to address emerging
skills needs including those related to coal
seam gas.

68

Further work in 2012-2013 will focus on the


redesign of units to align with the template for
the unit of competency and assessment requirements identified by NQC/NSSC in 201011. Clear policy guidance is not yet available
on the implementation of the templates and
systems for the publication of draft material are
yet to be developed.
Further review work will encompass ongoing
Essential Knowledge and Associated Skills
(EKAS) review work and the inclusion of the
new components already identified to address
pathways to higher level qualifications.
Units included in UEG11 will be included in further work on the mapping of Australian Core
Skills Framework indicators for inclusion in the
new Foundation Skills section of the unit template.

69

Ongoing consultations in regard to the development of new components for the large scale renewable sustainable energy generation sector will also be continued in 2012.

APPENDIX A

70

Appendix A
Status of Continuous Improvement
At the time of this plan, the status of the four Training Packages is as follows:
Training
Package
Code

Currently
Endorsed
Version

Revised
Version for
Endorsement

Status in the
Continuous Improvement
Cycle

UEE07

UEE07 V4

UEE11 V1

Endorsed December 2011

UEG06

UEG06 V1.1

UEG11 V1

Endorsed October 2011

UET09

UET09 V3

UET12 V1

Endorsed February 2012

UEP06

UEP06 V1.1

UEP12 V1

Undergoing Quality
Assurance processes

This reflects the work of industry Technical Advisory Committees, National Training Advisory Committees and the EE-Oz secretariat in developing new and revised Training Package components to
meet both industry priorities and NSSC and other government policy objectives.
This indicates that all four packages are in various stages of the continuous improvement process:

71

Gas Industry Training Package


2011 - Continuous
Improvement Plan Activity

Comment 2012 Environmental Scan

Activity 1:
EKAS Review

An intensive Review of Essential Knowledge and Skills (EKAS)


requirements has been completed for all AQF 2 and AQF 3
Level Qualifications.
Amended Units and Qualifications resulting from this review
were endorsed in UEG11 Version 1.

Activity 2:
Research of Gas
Industry Job Roles

DEEWR commissioned project to establish Gas Industry


job role categories completed. Research data gathered and
validated with industry stakeholders.
This research will assist industry in identifying career pathways
within the sector and developing new competencies and
qualification to support the development of these.
Importantly this research will also underpin the development
classifications for the use in identifying and reporting skills in
need within the industry

Activity 3:
Review of current and
emerging regulatory
requirements, codes
of practices and
applicable standards in
response to changing
industry needs

The Industry Skills Council has strengthened its relations with


jurisdictional regulators during 2011 to allow the development
of a national perspective on currently applicable and emerging
regulatory requirements.

Activity 4:
Review of Diploma and
Advanced Diploma
Level Qualifications

These qualifications have been reviewed as part of the Industry


meeting NQC Qualification packaging rules formula and
included in the endorsed UEG11 Version 1 Training Package.

Activity 5:
Review of pathways to
higher qualifications
from AQF 2 level

Redevelopment of all AQF 2 level qualifications completed,


including:

The rapid expansion of the sector and sensitivities around


some aspects of the industry has meant that consultations are
ongoing.
This activity is incomplete in 2011.

In line with the EKAs review activity 1 above and the


requirement to migrate to the new unit template, these
qualifications will undergo further review by industry.

Restructuring of qualifications

EKAS Review

Streamlining of qualifications

AQF 3 level remains a single qualification at this time and


further review is required to identify appropriate specialisations.

72

Gas Industry Training Package


2011 - Continuous
Improvement Plan Activity

Comment 2012 Environmental Scan

Activity 6:
Competencies
and Qualifications
Coal Seam Gas
Transmission and
Distribution

This work has not progressed as rapidly as was anticipated


and remains ongoing.

Activity 7:
Streamlining of
Training Packages and
Migration to TGA

All qualifications now comprised of Core and Elective units only.


Elective Unit Schedules have been removed from the UEG
Training Package.
Electives choices are grouped within qualifications to specify
completion requirements.
Non-regulated qualifications incorporate 2:1 Core to Elective
ratio and allow for importation of up to 1/6 of qualification from
other sources.
UEG06 Version 1.1 was migrated to TGA via Contracted
services in July 2011.
Newly endorsed UEG11 Version 1 Released in January 2012.

Activity 8:
Inclusion of ACSF
Indicators and
Foundation Skills

No work has been completed on Gas Units in phase 1 of the


ACSF mapping project in 2011.
A selection of UEG11 units will be included in phase 2 of the
ACSF mapping in 2012.

73

Electrotechnology Training Package


2011 - Continuous
Improvement Plan Activity

Comment 2012 Environmental Scan

Activity 9:
Energy Efficiency

As a result of consultations with industry a new suite of Training


Package components for energy assessments was developed
in 2011.
These comprised

4 new units of competency

4 new Skill Sets

1 new Certificate IV level qualification developed

All components were validated by industry and were endorsed


in UEE11 Version 1 in December 2011.
Activity 10:
Fuel Cells

This project was to be initiated in 2010 in cooperation an


Australian manufacturer of Fuel Cells.
As a result of changes in the ownership and personnel the
manufacturer discontinued its engagement with EE-Oz.
Industry sees this technology as being able to bring significant
benefits through distributed generation of base load power
at a reduced carbon cost and will continue to liaise with
stakeholders on the development of appropriate Training
Package components related to installation and maintenance.

Activity 11:
Renewable Energy Small Generation Units
Up to 10 Kw

Units for Small Generation Units including those covering Small


Wind Generation and Micro Hydro systems were updated and
included in appropriate qualifications within the revised UEE11
Version 1.

Activity 12:
Renewable Energy Emergency Isolation

Initial research, testing and scoping of this issue revealed a


complex set of requirements.
Industry briefings provided for DEEWR, DRET and DCCEE.
A joint project between EE-Oz, CPSISC and GSA scoped was
scope and a WIP Application to develop a comprehensive
workforce approach including cross ISC development of
appropriate units and resources
This project has been approved by DEEWR and will be
completed in 2012.
Project to commence in Q1 2012.

Activity 13:
Industrial Networks

74

The work of this activity has been coordinated with activities


16 and 17 to ensure that new and revised competencies within
the Computer systems and instrumentation/ Industrial Control
disciplines are better aligned with industry requirements and
current technologies.

Electrotechnology Training Package


2011 - Continuous
Improvement Plan Activity

Comment 2012 Environmental Scan

Activity 14:
Vendor Mapping

Following initial project in 2010 it was anticipated that further


work would be carried out to map vendor training to units and
skill sets in the UEE Training Package.
However, the scope of the restructuring of UEE11 has
meant that most of industrys effort has been focussed on
achievement of this comprehensive review and vendor
mapping work was not advanced.
Work on the mapping of vendor training programs will remain
on the agenda for future continuous improvement.

Activity 15:
National Licences
Electrotechnology
Trades

All licenced Electrical qualifications have been updated to


include new and revised components to address requirements
for national licencing as identified by the Electrical Interim
Occupational Advisory Committee of the National Occupational
Licensing Authority (NOLA).
In addition to the update of qualifications associated with
existing licence categories a new suite of qualifications from
AQF 3 to AQF 6 have been developed to provide a career
pathway for industry operatives classified under the new
Electrical Fitter National Licence category.
These new qualifications have been endorsed in UEE11
Version 1.

Activity 16:
Integrated systems

This review had two aims:


1. Refinement of selected integrated systems units to meet
with Copper Development Associations (CDA) code of practice.
Reorganisation of units within and between the computers
systems and instrumentation and industrial control discipline
to better align with the requirements of industrys application
of skills in the rapidly expanding area of industrial automation
and control which is being driven by the resources boom and
energy efficiency requirements. Further work in this area is
anticipated as national and international standards emerge and
technologies mature.
Currently identified changes have been incorporated into the
review for UEE11 Version 1.

75

Electrotechnology Training Package


2011 - Continuous
Improvement Plan Activity

Comment 2012 Environmental Scan

Activity 17:
Automation and
Industrial Computer
Systems

In harmony with the work detailed in Activity 16 above industry


identified and developed a new Certificate IV in Industrial
Automation and Control to meet the demand for specialist
post-trade skills in automation and process control.
This qualification provides pathways from various trades to
move into automation and has been welcomed by industry.
The identification by NOLA of an Electrical Fitter licence
classification also may provide a pathway for the take-up of
post-trade training using this qualification.
All Computer Systems and Industrial control qualifications were
updated as part the review of UEE11.

Activity 18:
EKAS Recoding

This work has been completed for all units as an important


step for the publication of UEE11 Version 1. The full review
of UEE07, including this work on EKAS, to create the UEE11
package included the amendment or replacement of almost
all units within the package and the restructuring of all
qualifications.
This work has positioned the package for the further review
which will undertake to develop all units in the new unit
template and assessment requirements formats, once policy is
clear on these.

Activity 19:
Sector skills
Identification/Work
Outcome

Work carried out by various discipline committees to improve


the identification of career pathways

Activity 20:
Rationalisation and use
of imported units

Imported units within the UEE Electrotechnology Training


Package have been reviewed and updated.

Activity 21:
Streamlining of
Training Packages and
Migration to TGA

All qualifications now comprised of Core and Elective units only.

Included in this review was the identification of opportunities


to replace native units with selected imported units and to use
develop common units between EE-Oz managed Training
Packages.
Elective Unit Schedules have been removed from the UEE
Training Package.
Electives choices are grouped within qualifications to specify
completion requirements.
Non-regulated qualifications incorporate 2:1 Core to Elective
ratio and allow for importation of up to 1/6 of qualification from
other sources.
The revised UEE07 Version 4 was migrated to TGA via
Contracted services in July 2011.
Newly endorsed version endorsed UEE11 Version 1 was
endorsed in December 2011.

76

Electricity Supply Industry Transmission, Distribution & Rail Sector


2011 - Continuous
Improvement Plan Activity

Comment 2012 Environmental Scan

Activity 22:
Career Pathways
Certificate IV, Diploma
and Advanced Diploma

The ESI-TDR Sector has identified and strengthened


pathways from trade (AQF 3 level) to Cert IV level for both
Electricians/Line workers to within the sector. These have been
implemented in the review and restructuring of qualifications to
meet national licencing requirements and address streamlining
and other policy requirements.
Further work to extend these pathways to AQF 5 & 6 levels still
needs to carried out. This will need to be coordinated with the
identification of new qualifications at these levels to supplement
the existing Diploma and Advanced Diploma.

Activity 23:
Certificate II Pathways
to higher qualifications
- Vegetation Control

Certificate II ESI Vegetation Control has been fully reviewed


and restructured. This review included the use imported units
to create pathways for those with existing skills acquired in
related industries in arboriculture and horticulture to enter the
ESI sector.
Pathways to higher qualifications considered but not
developed.

Activity 24:
Incorporation of
Pathways for Metering
units

A suite of metering units initially identified in 2010 has been


developed an endorsed in UET11 and UEE11 as required
to provide pathways to these post trade skills from the both
electrical and ESI sectors.
Currently these are positioned at Cert IV level with UET12 as
industry agreement on new AQF 5 & 6 pathways has yet to be
reached.

Activity 25:
Smart Grids and Grid
Connected Renewable
Energy systems

This activity has to date resulted in the rationalisation of a group


of units from the UEE07 Electrotechnology Training Package to
be housed more appropriately with the UET12 package.
As is evident elsewhere in this report there is increasing
crossover between sectors as Grid Connected generation and
smart systems are deployed and workers within both sectors
are increasingly seeking common skills especially at post trade
levels.
The energy sector industries recognise that further work in the
smart grid/distributed generation space which crosses all four
EE-Oz managed Training Packages

Activity 26:
Isolation of Renewable
Energy Systems

See Activity 12 above.

77

Electricity Supply Industry Transmission, Distribution & Rail Sector


2011 - Continuous
Improvement Plan Activity

Comment 2012 Environmental Scan

Activity 27:
Distributed Generation

Distributed generation combined with smart grids and


energy efficiency strategies have great potential to produce
productivity gains whilst addressing key sustainability goals.
The fact that limited effort can be reported directly against
this activity indicates a key feature of the nature distributed
generation in that it calls-up range of technologies and skills
which are in ways discrete but will act to enable to distributed
generation across smart girds.
Some of the activities which have been documented elsewhere
in this report, notably Activities 24, 25, 11, 12, 33 and 38
demonstrate this inter-connection.

Activity 28:
Peak Demand Energy Markets
and infrastructure
development

As discussed above, industry has not progressed this work


directly. However, there is related activity in the Generation,
Gas and Electrotechnology sectors which will impact on this
area as it grows in importance as an energy efficiency strategy.
The application of equipment standards in refrigeration and air
conditioning sector is an example of how this occurring.

Activity 29:
Refresher Training

The success of the ESI sectors Refresher Training strategy, as


demonstrated in the natural disasters of 2011combined with
the expanded take of the ESI Skills Passport initiative, has
been widely recognised by government as a benchmark for
harmonisation.
Industry further refined existing Refresher competencies via a
comprehensive EKAS review in 2011.
Significantly, as a direct result of the Queensland floods and
cyclone experience, a new refresher training competency was
created to allow for common polarity testing procedures which
ensure that services could be more rapidly restored in times of
emergency.
These amendments have been endorsed in UET12.

Activity 30:
Streamlining of UET
ESI- TDR Training
Package and Migration
to TGA

78

All qualifications now comprised of Core and Elective units only.


Elective Unit Schedules removed and electives grouped to
specify qualification completion requirements.
Non-regulated qualifications incorporate 2:1 Core to Elective
ratio and allow for importation of up to 1/6 of qualification from
other sources.

Electricity Supply Industry Transmission, Distribution & Rail Sector


2011 - Continuous
Improvement Plan Activity

Comment 2012 Environmental Scan

Activity 31:
EKAS Recoding

This activity has progressed and changes have been


incorporated into UET112.
Ongoing work on the EKAS will be included in work which will
position the ESI-TDR Training Package for transition to the
new unit template and assessment requirements as policy is
defined.

Activity 32:
Inclusion of ACSF
Indicators and
Foundation Skills

Stage 1 of the ACSF Project has developed draft ACSF


indicators for units at the trade level qualifications within the
Training Package.
Incorporation of these draft components
into the Training Package is dependent on
1. Finalisation of a review of the ACSF
2. Policy on Foundation Skills In the new Unit template being
defined.

79

Electricity Supply Industry Generation Sector


2011 - Continuous
Improvement Plan Activity

Comment 2012 Environmental Scan

Activity 33:
Renewable Energy
Large scale Generation

This activity was to focus on the development of qualifications


for large scale solar and wind generation technologies.
Progress on the development of large scale solar has been
limited by the delays in investment decisions in large scale solar
plant. Solar Projects planned in NSW and Qld are yet to be
progressed and whilst industry has identified applicable existing
Training Package components it is awaiting the opportunity to
engage in consultations as such plant is being deployed and
becomes operational.
Within the large scale wind sector engagement with major
owner/operators on training matters has been retarded by
concerns about competition and commercial advantage in this
sector.
In 2011 a degree of maturity around these concerns has arisen
and industry is beginning to understand the role it can play in
developing national standards that facilitate skills portability
within the sector to meet the needs of a variety projects.
Within the revision of the UEP06 Training Package EE-Oz
has reviewed and updated some existing and identified new
competencies which reflect the scope of work available in the
industry.
Importantly pathways for qualified electricians to undertake
post-trade training at AQF 4 level to enable them to work in the
sector as wind technicians have been identified and included in
the UEE11 Electrotechnology Training Package.
The identification by NOLA of an Electrical Fitter licence
classification also may provide a pathway for the development
of post-trade training so these workers can carry-out
maintenance tasks in the large scale wind generation sector.

Activity 34:
Gas Fired Electricity
Generation

80

This activity conducted a review of existing units and their


relationship to qualifications.
Amendments will be endorsed in UEP12.

Electricity Supply Industry Generation Sector


2011 - Continuous
Improvement Plan Activity

Comment 2012 Environmental Scan

Activity 35:
Cert II Pathways to
higher qualifications

A feature of the review of the UEP06 qualifications was to


remove the out-of-date qualification structures including the
embedded Certificate II qualification incorporated into the AQF
level.
Although the Certificate II in Generation Operations was
revised in UEP06 V1.1, including access from the AQF 2
qualification to higher level qualification was a priority in the
review of the higher level qualifications and thus a further review
of the Certificate II in the light of the restructuring of other
qualifications was warranted.
Industry has redesigned the qualifications in line with
streamlined qualification policy whilst providing career
pathways.

Activity 36:
Streamlining of UEP
ESI- Generation
Training Package and
Migration to TGA

All qualifications now comprised of Core and Elective units only.


Elective Unit Schedules removed and electives grouped to
specify qualification completion requirements.
Non-regulated qualifications incorporate 2:1 Core to Elective
ratio and allow for importation of up to 1/6 of qualification from
other sources.
Where possible these policy objectives have been achieved for
regulated qualifications.

Activity 37:
EKAS Recoding

As a part the review of qualifications for UEP12 EKAS


redevelopment and recoding, associated with Activity 35
above, has been undertaken.
Further work on higher level qualifications and for large scale
renewable energy systems will be required.

Activity 38:
Inclusion of ACSF
Indicators and
Foundation Skills

No work has been completed on Gas Units in phase 1 of the


ACSF mapping project in 2011.
A selection of units will be included in phase 2 of the ACSF
mapping in 2012.

81

Cross Sector
2011 - Continuous
Improvement Plan Activity

Comment 2012 Environmental Scan

Activity 38:
Renewable Energy
Inspections

In late 2010 EE-Oz coordinated an industry response to the


Draft revised Regulations to the Renewable Energy (Electricity)
Act 2000, which included provisions for an inspection regime
for Small Generation Units.
In the light of these regulations being passed industry has
reviewed units and associated Skill Sets applicable to
renewable energy installation inspections.
Updated units and related Skill Sets have been incorporated
into UEE11 Version 1.
These units will meet the needs of independent inspectors
providing contracted services and inspectors those employed
by ESI network providers.

Activity 38:
Pathways for
HV switching
competencies

82

A suite of new units for switching has been developed and


endorsed in the UET12 ESI Transmission, Distribution and
Rail Training Package, Version 1.
These units will be imported into the UEE11 Electrotechnology
Training Package to provide pathways for holders of
qualifications from both packages to access these as post
trade skills and to aid progression to higher level qualifications
within both packages. Rationalisation between UET12 &
UEE11 will continue to be considered where industry identifies
opportunities for flexibility and reduced maintenance whilst
maintaining regulatory compliance.

EE-Oz Training Standards


Unit 2, 48 Mort Street, Braddon ACT 2612
Tel: 02 6262 7055

Fax: 02 6257 4222

ee-oz@ee-oz.com.au
www.ee-oz.com.au

Electrocomms and EnergyUtilities


Industry Skills Council Ltd