AIS Newsletter August 2021


CEO Update

In a blink of an eye, we are already eight months into 2021. While the disruption of the pandemic is around us, the welcome distraction of the Olympics and the triumph of the human spirit has buoyed many of us these past few weeks. The sheer grit and resilience on display were a sight to behold and to me is the perfect segue into what we do for the future of work in Australia and for all Australians.


To further ensure Training Packages are meeting the skills needs of workers and industry we have been working with our Industry Reference Committee’s and industry stakeholders on a number of projects. You can find updates in this newsletter.


New releases of the Correctional Services, Police, and ESI Transmission, Distribution and Rail Training Packages were approved by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) at its meeting on 21 July for referral to Skills Ministers for endorsement. A further 18 Cases for Change for Training Package development work to address priority skills needs and current industry practices will be considered by the AISC at its meeting on 19 August.


Speaking of the future of work, it is paramount that we leave no worker behind. That was the focus of the digital transformation webinar that AIS was a part of. My thanks to Dr Claire Mason, Prof Aleksandar Subic and Mark McKenzie who formed the webinar panel to discuss the key recommendations from the Digital Transformation Expert Panel’s strategy, The Learning Country. Thanks also to the many people who participated in the webinar and provided their thoughts throughout this extremely important conversation.


My congratulations to Craig Robertson of TAFE Directors Australia on his recent appointment as the founding CEO of the recently established Victorian Skills Authority. We look forward to working with Craig in his new role, as well as continuing our positive relationship with TAFE Directors Australia.


Congratulations also to Brad Williams who has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Australian Logistics Council. We’re looking forward to continuing our engagement with the ALC on the skills development agenda for the Australian logistics industry.


In this newsletter, we get a glimpse of how the ADF is using technology to usher in the future of work as part of its transition from war time deployments to domestic deployments.


My thoughts go out to all of you who are or have been impacted by the Covid pandemic. Please do all you can to stay safe.


Paul Walsh



Leaving no worker behind - The Digital Transformation Expert Panel webinar

On 21 July, AIS hosted a webinar on the Digital Transformation Skills Strategy – The Learning Country.  Hosted by AIS CEO Paul Walsh and featuring three members of the Digital Transformation Expert Panel – Dr Claire Mason, Professor Aleksandar Subic and Mark McKenzie – the audience heard how VET is now central to optimising the economic potential of digital transformation and at the same time, ensuring we leave no worker behind.


With over 240 participants from industry, government and the VET sector, Panel members emphasised that whilst digital transformation maybe synonymous with technology, it’s actually those human-centered skills which can’t be replicated by an algorithm that will future proof our workforce.


With discussion on many of the Strategy’s proposals including national lifelong learning, VET’s connection to Australia’s innovation agenda, industry leadership, growing the total investment pool in skilling and the digital transformation of teaching and learning, it’s a webinar that’s well worth watching and we encourage you to share with your networks.


Hear from the Panel and view the webinar recording on the Digital Transformation Expert Panel’s website.



Simulators helping build Defence workforce capabilities

Defence must have an agile and responsive workforce that can be able deployed domestically or internationally at short notice if required. The natural and pandemic events over the past two years have highlighted the need for a skilled workforce, and the importance of training across multiple skill areas, so that a quick response is possible when called upon.


The primary mission of the Australian Defence Force is to defend Australia and its national interests. With the reduction in international deployments, including peace operations, Defence has been involved in a larger number of domestic missions, including bushfire and flood assistance, and COVID 19 pandemic support.


Defence is a large organisation, consisting of approx. 80-85,000 ADF members and 15-18,000 public servants. Workforce development, from entry-level and trade training to the many technical specialisations required in Defence, is vital.


Defence has many specific training needs that are unique to the Defence environment. These include military specific requirements through to drone operators and combat systems personnel. Simulation is a growing aspect of Defence training, be it to equip its workforce for operations, to support domestic disruptive events or to prepare for future global engagements.


One of the challenges Defence faces is keeping a workforce trained to utilise the growing complexity of technology as part of Defence operations. Simulators are used extensively and play an important role in Defence training, be they small discreet ones for gamifications and war gaming, to very large complex simulators for flight or operational/platform skill development.  It is equally important therefore to build simulator maintenance capabilities.


Whilst having access to the technology simulators provides, and the ability to “trial’ operational and new platforms safely, an equally important need was to develop and train a suitable skilled workforce to ensure the through-life-support of its simulators.


Earlier this year, the Public Safety Industry Reference Committee, with support from subject matter experts, led the development of three new Units of Competency and updated two qualifications in the Defence Training Package to address the skills and knowledge requirements for simulator maintenance managers and simulator maintenance technicians. These qualifications and skills standards are applicable to both the ADF workforce and to the broader Defence industry.


Lynda Douglas, Director National Skills Framework said “Defence continues to build an agile and highly skilled workforce, to enable it to respond effectively to new operational needs and developments in technology. Simulators and their maintenance are an effective resource in this endeavour.”


Defence now delivers blended training, focusing on platform specific simulators, to maintain and build the skill levels and capability of its simulator maintenance workforce, now and into the future.



New Training Package releases approved

New releases of the Correctional Services, Police, and ESI Transmission, Distribution and Rail Sector Training Packages were approved by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) at its meeting on 21 July for referral to Skills Ministers for endorsement.


The Industry Reference Committees with responsibility for these Training Packages developed the new and updated materials contained in these releases through the projects below to address priority skills needs and current industry practices:




Trauma Informed Approach

Materials including a new Skill Set, two new Units of Competency and three updated units, are aimed at ensuring Correctional Services Officers working with vulnerable offenders have the required skills and knowledge to make informed decisions about appropriate models of supervision for offenders who have experienced trauma.


Working with Cognitively Impaired Offenders

A new Skill Set and Unit of Competency have been developed and three units updated, aimed at ensuring Correctional Services Officers have the appropriate skills and knowledge to better understand and assist offenders with a cognitive impairment.




Police Protection

Revised materials include updates to two existing qualifications and nine Units of Competency to reflect contemporary practice and operational policing requirements related to police protection services.


Police Search and Rescue

Two existing qualifications and 10 Units of Competency have been updated to address contemporary operational policing requirements in search and rescue operations across different geographies and urban and remote settings (including land and marine).




Industry Skills

The revised Training Package includes six new Units of Competency and updates to seven qualifications and 77 units. The materials address changes to the skills needs of the industry resulting from increased automation of power systems, new technologies, renewable power sources, current industry practices and increased regulatory and safety requirements.


The six new Units of Competency address the skill needs for Asset Inspectors, Distribution Underground Lineworkers, Vegetation Control Workers and Distribution Lineworkers working with alternate supplies on the distribution network.



New Training Package development projects

Cases for Change submitted by the Maritime, Rail and ESI Generation IRCs were also approved by the AISC at its meeting on 21 July.


The following projects have commenced, and Technically Advisory Committees are being formed. The projects will address priority skills needs and ensure qualifications, Skill Sets and Units of Competency reflect current technologies, industry practices, and regulations for the respective industry.


MAR Maritime Training PackageMarina Operations

The Certificate III in Marina Operations qualification and seven associated Units of Competency will be reviewed and updated to address changes in marina operations job roles and maritime regulatory requirements, and to enable a vocational outcome consistent with current industry practice and new and emerging automated technologies.


TLI Transport and Logistics Training PackageRail Safety Management

This project will review and amalgamate the Certificate IV in Rail Safety Management and Certificate IV in Rail Investigation, develop two new Units of Competency, and review associated units to ensure the skills and knowledge requirements contained in the qualification address changes in technology and national rail network standards, including safety regulations associated with the role of rail safety management.


UEP ESI Generation Training PackageControl Room Operations

Four new Units of Competency and three new Skill Sets will be developed to address skills requirements for control room operations relating to power generation in both fossil fuels and renewable energies, encompassing automated control systems.


A further 18 Cases for Change for Training Package development work covering Corrections, Public Safety, Electrotechnology, Maritime, Transport & Logistics and Water industries, along with Cases for Endorsement for new releases of the Electrotechnology, ESI Generation, Maritime and Transport and Logistics (Rail) Training Packages will be considered by the AISC at its meeting on 19 August.


AIS Capability Statement – What we do

As an organisation, AIS has been at the forefront of the VET space and beyond. To articulate what we do and how we approach what we do, we have come up with our very own capability statement. This outlines what we, as an organisation can offer. As we engage with a wide range of stakeholders to facilitate outcomes that enhance vocational education and training, we are putting our over 26 years of experience into action to further provide world-class skills solutions to support careers, lifelong learning and build business capabilities all around. For more information, view the Capability Statement.