AIS Newsletter February 2021


CEO Update

Welcome to our first newsletter for 2021. I hope you all had an opportunity to refresh after a challenging 2020.


As I write this, we are seeing a range of announcements and reports released by government and industry stakeholders addressing skills reform. There is general agreement that education and training, and particularly the VET system, will play a vital role in productivity growth and Australia’s recovery from COVID-19. There is also strong agreement that being innovative and forward-looking will be essential, although it is prudent to reflect on lessons from the past when discussing system reform.


Innovation drives the work of AIS, and we are proud of the important role we continue to play to ensure qualifications are aligned to the skills needs of industry. Our agenda this year includes strengthening our focus on engagement by offering new ways for our stakeholders to participate in qualification development, partly to adapt to our COVID-19 environment, but also to offer more engagement opportunities even after we return to more normal travel arrangements. Shortly, our new Engagement Hub will go live on our website. It is designed to make participation easier, particularly as many stakeholders have adjusted to working in the digital space during this last year. We want you to contribute your ideas for identifying qualification needs and their design to ensure these are fit-for-purpose.


We will be holding a range of webinars in March to discuss proposed qualification needs that have been identified by the 11 Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) we support. The two major disruptors to Australia’s workforce: Digital Transformation, and the COVID-19 recovery are a key consideration. We will send out webinar details shortly through our network for you to register participation or alternatively  you can contact us via our website. Further engagement activities will be held through the year and there are many opportunities to participate including in Technical Advisory Committees. Our Industry Skills Managers and Industry Skills Specialists are always available to discuss new or existing projects. Your feedback is important to us.


We have already kicked off a busy round of meetings for all 11 IRCs during February which are focused on both future qualification needs and the delivery of projects underway. Details of projects are outlined below. IRCs will also be releasing a series of Industry Outlooks in the first half of the year which will provide important industry intelligence to inform the development or review of qualifications to align with job needs.


With digital transformation providing many opportunities for our economy, we will continue to work with IRCs to support the development of qualifications that ensure workforce productivity and international competitiveness. Many of the projects outlined below are already responding to technological change and demonstrate the training system’s ability to be responsive and develop qualifications that offer attractive career pathways.


Sadly, Michael Apps, Executive Director of the Bus Industry Confederation, passed away on Boxing Day. He made an enormous contribution to the industry and I always valued his insight and passion, particularly on the skills agenda. My condolences are with his family and friends.


Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Andrew McKellar in his appointment as CEO for the Australian Trucking Association. I look forward to our continued work together.


Paul Walsh


Paul Walsh image

2021 IRC focus on skilling the nation

IRCs, supported by industry experts across a range of vital sectors, are leading the development of a range of new Training Package projects to ensure qualifications are meeting the skills needs of industry.


23 projects are currently in the development phase to respond to new and evolving technologies and changing work practices.

  • In the energy sector, the four IRCs are leading skills development projects in Generation, Transmission & Distribution, Electrotechnology and Gas. Among the projects underway are Renewable Technologies, Wind Power Remote Area Services, Refrigerant Flow Systems, Emergency Lighting and Alarm Systems, Storage and Reinjection of Gas, Data Logging and Hydrogen Technology.
  • The Corrections IRC is leading projects for working with cognitively impaired offenders and those affected with a history of trauma. The Public Safety IRC is leading Police Training Package projects prioritising skills needs relating to Police Search and Rescue and Police Protection.
  • The Transport and Logistics industry IRC is leading projects to address the skills needs of Heavy Vehicle drivers and entry-level workers and team leaders in logistic and warehousing roles. The Rail IRC is working on a range of projects to prioritise skills needs brought about by automation and expanded infrastructure. These include Train Driving, Track Protection, Yard Coordination, Rolling Stock Maintainer and Customer Service. The Maritime IRC is leading work to address priority skills needs in Dredging and Linesperson Operations.
  • The Water IRC has completed its industry operations and treatment skills projects, updating skills standards to meet the growing demands of changing technologies and certification requirements. These changes in the National Water Training Package (Release 4.0) have been recently endorsed by Skills Ministers.
  • Cases for Endorsement for the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Excluded Category Operations and Naval Shipbuilding Integrated Logistics Support projects have been submitted for AISC consideration at its 23 February meeting.


Keep an eye on the AIS website for regular project updates or subscribe to our email alerts.


AIS Global – Focus on COVID-19 supply chains in Vietnam

AIS Global presented at the recent 14th Logistics Industry Reference Council (LIRC) meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam. In focus was a series of webinars that AIS Global will host on supply chain considerations for the dispersal of a COVID-19 vaccine in Vietnam.


The LIRC is leading the development of a skilled logistics workforce as part of an Aus4Skills program funded by the Australian Government. In Australia, vaccine dispersal will be one of the biggest logistics exercises in history. This was acknowledged by Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week in his Press Club address where he also spoke about Australia’s commitment to supporting our South-East Asian neighbours. AIS has a deep understanding about supply chain skills and broad connections into industry and education sector expertise. Further information about AIS’ work supporting the Cross Sector Supply Chain Skills Project can be found here For more information about our work in Vietnam, please contact Leanne Mundy at [email protected]


Coming soon - Industry Spotlight 2021

We will be commencing a new industry series soon and would like to hear from you. Essentially, we will be highlighting a specific industry every month with insights into the latest developments, trends and what’s in store in 2021 and beyond. If you would like to contribute to this item, please email [email protected] for more information.



Training Packages endorsed

Skills Ministers endorsed the latest releases of the Aviation, Maritime, Transport and Logistics (including Rail), Public Safety, Correctional Services, Defence, Gas, and National Water Training Packages. This is the culmination of 21 projects, led by the Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) to address priority skills needs of the industries they represent.


The revised qualifications and occupational skills standards contained in these packages have been reviewed and developed to align to changing work practices, new technologies and regulatory requirements, helping to establish career pathways and enable workforce mobility.


Aviation Training Package (Release 7.0) – the Certificate IV in Aviation (Aviation Supervision) has been revised to support supervisory operational roles in the Aviation industry, including specialist streams for aerodrome, cabin crew and ground operations supervisors. Seven associated Units of Competency have been updated to address new skills requirements arising from advances in aviation technology, including digital literacy, cyber security, data analysis and advanced communications.


Maritime Training Package (Release 7.0) – Certificate I in Maritime Operations (General Purpose Hand Near Coastal) has been revised and new Units of Competency and Skill Sets developed for specialist maritime operations in Dynamic Positioning, Compass Adjusting and Maritime Towage. This enables workforce mobility and supports the development of specialised career pathways.


Transport and Logistics Training Package (Release 8.0) – the updated materials include  a new Skill Set and five new Units of Competency for Fuel Storage Dangerous Goods Contractor; two existing Logistics and Warehousing qualifications amalgamated into one Supply Chain Operations qualification to meet the skills needs of entry-level workers in logistic and warehousing roles; seven updated rail infrastructure qualifications and associated Units of Competency which incorporate new technologies used in building rail infrastructure and automation used in track infrastructure installation and maintenance.


Public Safety Training Package (Release 3.0) – eight new Units of Competency developed to address technical skills required by fire services personnel undertaking aerial firefighting activities; 26 updated units in Advanced Diploma and Diploma of Emergency Management qualifications to address the skills and work practices required for prevention, preparedness, incident response and recovery during a disaster or emergency incident.


Correctional Services Training Package (Release 3.0) – new Skill Sets and Units of Competency and revised existing qualifications and units for correctional staff involved in offender engagement, correctional management and dog handling.


Defence Training Package (Release 4.0) – three new Skill Sets, three new units and qualifications updated to address Defence capability reviews, wider industry practices, and Defence legislative requirements regarding Evaluations, Simulator Maintenance, and work, health & safety.

Gas Industry Training Package (Release 2.0) – new and updated units address priority skills needs of the gas industry, covering Gas control systems (including new Certificate IV) Gas leak survey, Gas processing and Pipeline emergency repairs.


National Water Training Package (Release 4.0) – the revised materials include three new Units of Competency and updated core units and electives, covering contemporary industry practices, new technologies, and operator certification changes in water operations and water treatment. Certificate IV in Water Industry Operations and Certificate IV in Water Industry have been streamlined into a single qualification.


To support the delivery of the Training Packages, a Companion Volume Implementation Guide (CVIG) has been developed for each package to assist assessors, trainers, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and enterprises. The CVIG contains a comprehensive list of all products in the Training Package. It also includes a link to mapping information which details the changes that have been made to the materials, regulation and licensing implications and useful links to other information.


The endorsed Training Package materials are now available on


More information on these projects and a link to the new materials can be found on the projects page on the AIS website.

Water treatment