AIS Newsletter December 2021


CEO Update

This has been a strange and challenging year for everyone. When 2021 began, the pandemic dominated our lives. Since then, we all have had to adapt to the ‘new normal’, although what that looks like is different for everyone. For me, most of my year has been spent online, getting myself familiar with the intricacies of Microsoft Teams and remembering to turn my microphone on during my Zoom calls.


This year has shown what resilience is all about. Industries have adapted new practices, and the people who work in these industries have demonstrated that resilience. They’ve ensured supply chains have continued to deliver under the most trying of circumstances. They’ve maintained essential services in energy and water supply. Fire, emergency, police, defence, and corrections workforces have kept our communities safe and secure.


We’ve all found new ways to connect, communicate and collaborate and developed skills to use the enabling technologies. This has created new opportunities to engage with stakeholders more readily, as we work to support skills development.


Hybrid working models were created by organisations like us to continue to engage with our stakeholders. As we enter 2022, there is tremendous opportunity for our organisation.


In steps to improve Australia’s skills systems and the vocational education and training (VET) sector, the Federal Government has announced a new Industry Cluster model to lead processes for improving VET qualifications and skills standards.


Industry Clusters will replace the current model of 67 Industry Reference Committees and six Skills Service Organisations. They will be established next year and are expected to be fully operational by 1 January 2023.


The Federal Government is investing $292.5 million in new Industry Clusters. The reform will give industry a stronger, broader and more strategic role in ensuring the nation’s VET system can address skills and workforce challenges.


According to The Hon Stuart Robert MP, Federal Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, the new Industry Clusters will strengthen employer leadership and engagement, giving industry a broader, more strategic role ensuring Australia’s VET system addresses skills and workforce challenges across the economy, including labour demands, as Australia reopens strongly.


As we move into 2022, one of our biggest priorities is to ensure we continue to support industry in the development of vocational skills. A number of Training Package development projects are currently underway to keep nationally recognised qualifications contemporary and future focused, providing skilling opportunities to individuals and supporting industry growth and productivity.


As I reflect on 2021, I also want to say thanks to our team who have also shown their resilience and commitment throughout the year.


In this last newsletter of 2021, read about recently endorsed Training Packages and new projects; the latest on the Heavy Vehicle Driver Apprenticeship; the Australian Training Awards 2021and the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) winning two prestigious international awards for training in wind turbine safety.


Finally, I would like to thank all our IRCs and our broader industry stakeholders for your continued support. In signing off, I would like to wish each and every one of you a restful Christmas break and a 2022 filled with new hope and purpose.


Paul Walsh



2021 Rewind

Training Package development

In 2021, AIS representatives attended 22 industry and education forums including presenting at some of these key events. Many events were reshaped, cancelled or postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19.


Our eleven IRCs, through the support of various TACs and industry stakeholders, have collectively overseen the work of 61 Training Package projects throughout 2021. This has involved a huge effort from all, including online engagement which continued to be very successful.


Thank you to everyone who contributed or provided feedback for these projects. Your input will help improve the skills of industry and their current and future workforce. During the year we held:

  • 38 IRC Meetings – involving over 170 industry leaders, and
  • 223 TAC meetings – involving over 600 industry subject matter experts


This resulted in the completion of 22 projects and nine Training Package releases endorsed by Skills Ministers this year. A further four projects have been completed and materials submitted to the AISC for consideration. We look forward to releasing these following their endorsement. A summary of these projects is provided below.


35 Current projects are underway across all 13 Training Packages. Draft Materials from 15 of these projects have been sent for public consultation or validation. Development work has commenced on the other 20 projects.


Our website, has detailed information about these projects.


*See article below on recent Training Package endorsements, new Training Package development projects and what projects are in the pipeline.


Heavy Vehicle Driver Apprenticeship - UPDATE: IRC gives 'green light' to establish a Heavy Vehicle Driving Apprenticeship

For many years, the Australian freight industry has been discussing the need to professionalise the heavy vehicle industry and has now achieved another milestone on its road to professionaling the occupation of a heavy vehicle driver.


Over recent months, the Transport & Logistics Industry Reference Committee (IRC) and Australian Industry Standards (AIS) examined the merits of establishing an apprenticeship model for heavy vehicle drivers and assessed industry support for the proposal. In response to ardent industry support, the IRC released a Communique on 1 November to recommend that a national apprenticeship be established by utilising the existing Certificate III in Driving Operations (TLI 31221).


With IRC endorsement, the AIS team have since conducted targeted consultation with heavy vehicle transport sectors and engaged with State Training Authorities (STA) to progress the establishment of an apprenticeship for the truck driving vocation in each of the states and territories.


The apprenticeship proposal was received positively by the STAs who saw compelling evidence of industry support along with the backing of national and state transport associations, unions and training providers. The likely term for the apprenticeship is 2 to 3 years duration, dependent on license status and experience, however, other implementation details are yet to be defined at the state or territory level.


On hearing of these positive discussions, the IRC Committee at its 8 December meeting agreed to progress the apprenticeship proposal and has requested Australian Industry Standards submit applications to each of the State/Territory Training Authorities for formal registration of the Heavy Vehicle Driving Apprenticeship.


The IRC Chair, Mark McKenzie, confirmed that the apprenticeship “has the potential to change the mindset of our industry and the role we need to play around workforce development. It will put us in a stronger position to attract a qualified workforce”.


This marks an important milestone in the journey to recognize the essential role our professional heavy vehicle driver workforce plays in supporting the vital Transport & Logistics needs of the Australian Community.


2021 Australian Training Awards

A young female electrician working for Rio Tinto in the Northern Territory has been crowned Apprentice of the year at the 2021 Australian Training Awards.


The Awards are the peak national awards that showcase Australia’s national training system and celebrate the exceptional talent in vocational education and training (VET). They were held at a virtual presentation event on 18 November.


The Awards recognised outstanding achievement in three broad categories: individuals including students, apprentices, trainees and teachers; employers who train their workforce; and registered training organisations.


Apprentice of the Year Award – Savanne Canobie


Savanne completed her Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician qualification at Rio Tinto Gove Operations in Northeast Arnhem Land. Raised and educated in the town of Nhulunbuy, she is an active member of the community through sports and community events. As a female apprentice in what is traditionally a male dominated industry, Savanne consistently demonstrated an eagerness to refine her skills and seek out opportunities to lead. She is a mentor to new apprentices and has career aspirations to become qualified in a dual trade in Electrotechnology and Instrumentation and Control. Savanne is a role model for other females considering an Electrical career in the mining industry and actively promotes female apprentices joining Rio Tinto Gove Operations.


A partnership between the Canberra Institute of Technology, Neoen and Vestas took out the Industry Collaboration Award.


The Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) Renewable Energy Industry collaboration is a joint approach to researching and building sustainable networks, training opportunities and career pathways for jobs in the global renewables industry. The program involves working with key global stakeholders to build Canberra’s capacity as a national tertiary education and trades skills hub.


CIT, Neoen and Vestas have formed a strong partnership through the establishment of the CIT Renewable Energy Skills Centre of Excellence and the CIT Renewables Board.


Collaboration between Neoen and CIT originated following Neoen’s success in securing a long-term feed-in tariff for power in the ACT Government’s first Wind Auction in 2015. Since 2017, both CIT and Vestas have remained committed to raising awareness about career opportunities within the renewables sector and to ensuring they are at the forefront globally in training the renewables workforce now and into the future.


Together, these organisations are delivering positive outcomes for students in industries with strong prospects. With a passion for the VET industry and climate, the group provides a platform to share the exciting opportunities associated with the renewables industry with the local community and schools. The collaboration also strives to demonstrate the technological, social and environmental benefits that flow from embracing wind technology and renewables sector training.


See all the winners and finalists


CIT wins international wind turbine safety training awards

The Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) has won two prestigious international awards for training in wind turbine safety, announced at the Global Wind Organisation (GWO) Safety and Training Awards in Copenhagen last Thursday.


CIT was awarded Training Team of the Year in the Asia-Pacific Region, and Training Team of the Year – Globally (smaller training providers). CIT was one of the first in Australia to offer training in wind turbine safety. The training was developed in collaboration with industry to teach the practical and technical skills needed in Australia and overseas.


The awards highlight CIT’s focus on developing and delivering GWO safety training at the highest standard.


Industry skills survey and call for submissions now open

A survey inviting responses from industry about key issues affecting skills and workforce development is now open and all industry stakeholders are encouraged to participate.


Your input will assist the development of the 2022 Industry Outlooks.


The skills surveys aim to build a whole-of-industry picture and will be used to assist in identifying new or emerging skills needs and help inform training package development.


The skills survey can be completed online and should take around 5 to 10 minutes. Industry representatives are also invited to make submissions.


Complete the IRC Skills Survey.  Make an industry skills needs submission.


Closes Monday 31 January 2022.


For more information, please contact AIS at: [email protected] or by calling (03) 9604 7200.


Training Package Development



New releases of the Gas, and Transport and Logistics Training Packages were endorsed by Skills Ministers on 18 November.


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:


UEG Gas Training Package (Release 3.0)

Hydrogen Gas Technology

The revised Training Package addresses the skills needs of gas technicians working with hydrogen. The materials include six new Units of Competency, three new Skill Sets and 13 updated units. The new Units of Competency and Skill Sets have been drafted specifically for hydrogen gas, and the existing units were updated to allow for hydrogen contextualisation as well as other gases.


Storage and Reinjection of Gas

Materials include three new Units of Competency and two updated Units of Competency to address advancements in gas storage technology and the skills needs for those working in underground and above ground storage facilities to minimise safety risks and meet industry regulatory requirements. These Units of Competency for underground storage have been developed to allow for contextualisation for Carbon Capture Storage which are designed to help accelerate Australia’s decarbonisation.


Data Loggers

Five new Units of Competency have been developed to address the skill needs of gas technicians to install, operate and maintain data logging equipment. Information generated by the data loggers is stored in a manner allowing for future retrieval and analysis. Three existing Units of Competency have been updated for working with gas meters.


TLI Transport and Logistics Training Package (Release 10.0)

Supply Chain Operations – Certificates I and IV

Qualifications in Logistics and Warehouse Operations at Certificate I and IV have been reviewed and amalgamated into two qualifications to address current and future skills needs of entry-level workers and team leaders/supervisors respectively.


The Certificate IV in Transport Scheduling has been amalgamated into a stream within the new Certificate IV qualification. These changes enable flexible career pathways and workforce mobility across multiple sectors of the Transport and Logistics industry. The revised qualifications include two new Units of Competency relating to logistics planning and 54 updated units.


Driving Operations

The Certificate II, III and IV in Driving Operations qualifications and 55 associated Units of Competency have been updated to incorporate recent technology advancements and align with applicable regulatory requirements. These changes are aimed at enhancing the professionalism and safety levels of Australian heavy vehicle drivers. Two new Units of Competency relating to in-vehicle technology and alpine driving have been developed to address priority skill needs.


The Certificate III in Driving Operations and the Certificate III in Waste Driving Operations have been amalgamated into a single qualification to create a flexible career pathway for new and existing heavy vehicle drivers and to enable workforce mobility.


Train Driving

The Certificate II in Shunting, Certificate III in Rail Driving, Certificate III in Terminal Train Driving and Certificate IV in Train Driving qualifications have been updated, along with associated Units of Competency and Skill Sets. This includes pre- and post-operational requirements of a train driver in preparing autonomous or remotely operated trains for their journey.


Yard Coordination

The Certificate III in Rail Yard Coordination and Rail Signalling qualifications have been amalgamated into a new Certificate III in Rail Operations and associated Units of Competency and Skill Sets have been updated.


Rolling Stock Maintainer

A new qualification has been developed that will create a career pathway for rolling stock maintainers and enable operators to develop in-house capabilities for preventative maintenance of rolling stock. Three new Skill Sets and two new Units of Competency were also developed.


Rail Track Protection

A new Unit of Competency “Use mobile electronic track warning system”, has been developed to ensure rail track workers have the required skills and knowledge to effectively use systems and to increase safety and productivity of the industry.


Crane high risk work licence materials

The Skills Ministers also endorsed Crane High Risk Work Licence materials in the Transport and Logistics Training Package.


At the request of Safe Work Australia, nine Units of Competency have been updated and aligned to existing requirements for high-risk work licences for crane operators as set out in Schedule 4 of the model WHS Regulations.




At its meeting on 1 December, the AISC approved the TLI Transport and Logistics Training Package Release 11.0 for endorsement by Skills Ministers.


The materials include updates to two qualifications, one Skill Set and eight associated Units of Competency, addressing rail customer service skills and knowledge related to ticketing and security requirements.




A Case for Change for Training Package development, submitted by the Gas IRC, was approved by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee at its meeting in October.


Gas Industry Skills

This project involves the revision of five qualifications and 73 Units of Competency in the UEG Training Package to address current industry practices, new technologies and regulations.


With the introduction of new technologies and work practices, job roles are adapting to new work functions, allowing cross skilling between roles, and increasing workforce mobility. The traditional pipeline technician or operation roles are now blending with gas processing or storage roles, which will need to be reflected in the qualifications. Traditional operation and supervisory roles will also re-quire added skills around the use of automation and digital technology.  In addition, the National Hydrogen Strategy also calls for the increasing introduction of Hydrogen into the domestic gas market and the development of hydrogen as an export market. A Technical Advisory Committee is being formed for this project.


Assess and report on smoke control features (RAC)

The project will develop one new Unit of Competency and one new Skill Set in the Electrotechnology Training Package (UEE). These will establish the skills and knowledge requirements for assessment and reporting on a building’s smoke control features of mechanical services systems, in accordance with Essential Services Fire Measures legislation. The new unit will be added as an elective in several Refrigeration and Airconditioning Qualifications.


Mobile Crane Operations 

The purpose of this project is to review Certificate III and IV in Mobile Crane Operations to align the qualifications with current industry practices and regulatory requirements.


Project proposes to review the TLI30121 Certificate III in Mobile Crane Operations and TLI40721 Certificate IV in Mobile Crane Operations, update imported Units of Competency and review associated Units of Competency to ensure the skills and knowledge requirements contained in the qualifications address changes in technology, transport related activity risk factors and regulations associated with the role of mobile crane operator.


A further five Cases for Change for Training Package development work covering Defence, Police, Aviation, Maritime, Transport & Logistics industries were approved by the AISC at its meeting on 1 December. Information about the projects listed below will be provided to stakeholders early next year.

TLI Electric Heavy Vehicle Project

MAR – Vessel Traffic Services

AVI Commercial Pilot Helicopter

DEF – Moral Injury

POL Surveillance