AIS Newsletter July 2021


CEO Update

We are just past the halfway mark of 2021, and it has been an interesting year thus far. The spectre of COVID-19 still looms large, and it continues to dominate the way we go about our everyday lives. But in times like this we look at the positives that are around us, and the ways this disruption has given us the opportunity to quickly adapt and build our resilience for the future.


The discussion on digital transformation and its impact on workers and skills has been ongoing for quite some time now. The discussion swiftly turned into a reality as the pandemic has forced us to adapt and to also reboot our approach towards the future of work. The conversations that I have been involved in recently all consider how fast are we adopting digital transformation and how will the Australian workforce be able to upskill and reskill to ensure we are future ready. In the June AIS newsletter, I mentioned our support for the development of the Digital Transformation Expert Panel’s strategy, ‘The Learning Country’. To continue this clear and present conversation, AIS will be hosting a webinar to discuss how Australia’s VET system can most effectively respond to digital change underway across industry and its impact on the nation’s workforce.


This webinar is a must for anyone in industry and the VET system, including employers, employees, training organisations, business owners and policy makers.  One of the strongest messages we heard throughout the consultation process when developing the strategy, was that industry leadership is a critical success factor in ensuring we leave no worker behind. Please register for this must-attend webinar.


Last Friday I was pleased to deliver a presentation on the Digital Transformation strategy at NCVER’s annual No Frills conference. Referencing the research that informed the strategy, I was able to dispel some of the myths that digital transformation is all about technology taking away all our jobs. Jobs will change, but many more new jobs are predicted in the future, including in technology and human centred roles. Australia’s VET system will play a central role in upskilling and reskilling the nation’s workforce.


In this newsletter, we get a glimpse of how TasWater and TRILITY overcame insurmountable challenges to win top honours at an international water event. This is a true testament of hard work and industry and organisations working together for the betterment of the communities it supports.


The Industry Reference Committee’s we support continue to lead the way on skills development for their industry sectors. You can read more about the Training Package projects that have recently been approved to commence, and those projects that have been submitted for approval at upcoming AISC meetings, later in this newsletter.


To all our stakeholders and colleagues in industry and the VET sector, stay safe and well during this challenging time.


Paul Walsh



Digital Transformation Webinar

The Digital Transformation Expert Panel has now released ‘The Learning Country’ – its strategy for what Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) system must do to support our nation’s workforce through the impact of digital transformation. It emphasises that our training system needs to move quickly given predictions* that by 2034:

  • Automation will displace 2.7m Australian workers
  • Technology will supplement 4.5m Australian workers, leading to a 15% capacity uplift to Australian businesses.


With the guiding principle of ‘leave no worker behind’, the Strategy emphasises that while digital transformation is synonymous with technology, it is those inherent human skills which cannot be replicated by an algorithm that will help future-proof the workforce.


To bring this message to a wider audience, this webinar will discuss the key issues for Australia’s training system, digital transformation and how it will augment and affect the future of work.


Titled ’Digital transformation – what Australia’s VET system must do to ensure we leave no worker behind‘ the webinar will feature Professor Aleksandar Subic, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Science, Engineering, Health and Vice President Digital Innovation at RMIT University, Dr Claire Mason, Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO’s Data61, Mark McKenzie, Immediate Past Chair and Director of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) and Paul Walsh, CEO of AIS, who will also be facilitating this webinar.


Please click here to register for the webinar.


*Technology Impacts on the Australian Workforce (2020) Australian Computer Society and Faethm


Industry spotlight: TasWater – Tapping into the best water in the world

A former mining town in Tasmania’s north-east has taken out top honours at an international water judging event. Rossarden, in the Fingal Valley, was once the centre of the state’s mining industry and produced the bulk of Australia’s supply of tin. Up until August 2018, water supplies in some Tasmanian regional towns including Rossarden, were subject to boil water or Do-Not-Consume notices. Rossarden was subject to a Do-Not-Consume notice due to water contamination from the town’s previous mining operations. The regional town had a basic water supply from Aberfoyle Creek and had insufficient treatment barriers to manage water quality.


In August 2016, the then TasWater Chairman, Miles Hampton, made a public announcement that all remaining health notices would be removed from TasWater supplies in two years. Called the 24Glasses Regional Town Water Supply Project (24Glasses program), it was one the most significant infrastructure improvements supporting public health in the Tasmanian community. The 24Glasses program was specifically designed to remove boil water and do-not-consume notices for all potable water supply systems in Tasmania provided by TasWater.


From then, extensive planning, consultation and investigative work were undertaken for all the 24Glasses systems including for Rossarden. For Rossarden customers to receive safe, reliable and great tasting drinking water all the town’s existing water network needed to be overhauled, with old, galvanised pipes from the 1930’s replaced by new water mains in addition to the new plant and reservoir.


TasWater commissioned TRILITY to design, build, install and commission a custom water treatment plant. The new plant, built down stream of TasWater’s reservoir just north of Rossarden, has over the last three years supplied fully treated water to the community. TasWater worked closely with TRILITY, the main contractor for the project to construct and deliver an innovative containerised water treatment plant to ensure the community was able to receive water that was of Australian Drinking Water Standards. The plant was built in a factory in Launceston before it was transported to the site where it was installed, tested and commissioned.


Rossarden water winning the best tasting tap water in Australia and the best Municipal Water in the world demonstrates that TasWater supplies water at the highest global standard regardless of the number of customers or the remoteness of the location. TasWater General Manager, Corporate and Community Relations Juliet Mercer said the international award was a testament to the hard work that went into the organisation’s 24Glasses Regional Towns Water Supply Program, which resulted in the removal of all public health alerts on Tasmanian drinking water.


“Just over three years ago, Rossarden was under a Do-Not-Consume notice,” Ms Mercer said.


“A safe, clean and reliable water supply underpins the health and wellbeing of our communities, which was the driving motivation behind the 24Glasses program. The program saw public health alerts removed from 29 Tasmanian towns and drinking water systems through the installation of 17 new water treatment plants, 16 reservoirs and more than 70 kilometres of new trunk mains,” she added.


However, Rossarden needs to be seen as part of the broader project – the processes that achieved the Rossarden result was replicated numerous times across the state. Public health is TasWater’s highest priority so the success for the project can be measured by residents now having safe, reliable and clean drinking water. Ready access to safe, reliable water is not only essential for the health of the community, but it also underpins the economy and enjoyment of the environment.


Rossarden winning the award validates the success of what targeted and considered infrastructure investment can achieve. It also demonstrates that it is producing and treating water at the highest global standard.


Training and upskilling are an integral part of TasWater’s strategy to build capability and ensure a sustainable water and sewerage sector in Tasmania for the future. It aims to attract and retain new talent at the beginning of their career. Throughout the development and execution of its 24Glasses program, it had staff from a range of areas and capabilities working towards the successful delivery of the works.


While the Rossarden Water Treatment Plant was maintained and operated by TRILITY until 1 July 2021, most water treatment plants across the state are operated by TasWater, where it has both long serving and trainee water service operators ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of drinking water to customers. The trainees undertake on-the-job training leading to nationally recognised water industry qualifications. Throughout its business, TasWater offers VET qualifications across a variety of disciplines in both the corporate and operations arenas. As of 30 June 2020, it had 86 employees working towards a qualification.


TasWater also has an annual summer internship program, a new annual Graduate Program and its long-standing annual Steve Balcombe Scholarship which helps support university students studying in a field relevant to TasWater.


These are all examples of how TasWater is committed to build the workforce of the future.


“Seeing a town where so recently you could not even drink the water, now recognised as having the best drinking water in the world is an incredible result and is a great source of pride to TasWater. This global recognition reinforces that the standard of treatment processes and training we have implemented is truly world class.”


Find out about TasWater and how it has put Australia on the global stage


New Training Package Development Projects

The 15 Cases for Change submitted by the IRCs we support were approved by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) at its meeting on 22 June.


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.


Aviation – Air Traffic Control, Aviation Supervision, Chief Remote Pilot, Commercial Pilot Regulatory


Defence – Electronic Forensics, Paralegal Services, Range Control and Management, Test and Evaluations, Work Diving


ESI Transmission, Distribution & Rail – Transmission Structures, Refresher Skills, Power and Network Systems


Transport & Logistics – Customs Broking, Driving Instruction, Materiel & Deployment Logistics


Cases for Change update

A further 22 Cases for Change proposing Training Package development projects have been submitted to the AISC for consideration at its meetings on 21 July or 19 August.


Corrections – Correctional Practice


Electrotechnology – Advanced Diploma of Engineering and Technology; Hazardous Areas; Rail Signalling; Electricity Meters; Computer Systems and Engineering; Electronics and Communications; Renewables; Refrigeration and Air Conditioning; Instrumentation and Control


ESI Generation – Control Room Operations


Gas – Industry Skills


Maritime – Autonomous Maritime systems; Marina Operations


Public Safety – Emergency Care; Emergency Management; Fire


Transport & Logistics – Mobile Crane Operations


Transport & Logistics (Rail) – Rail Safety Management; Rail Traffic Pilot


Water – Water Network Maintenance; Flood Site Operations


Transition period extended for Maritime qualifications

On 4 June 2021 Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) agreed to extend the transition period of selected Maritime Training Package qualifications as listed below.


ASQA made the decision following requests from Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), with the support of Australian Industry Standards.


This extension is granted to all RTOs delivering the qualifications. The decision extends the transition period for these RTOs to continue training, assessment, and issue Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) certification.


ASQA will publish this decision on its website and notify all affected RTOs.


The qualifications will remain on the relevant RTOs’ scope of registration until the end of the extended transition period, unless withdrawn from scope prior.


Qualification Extended transition period end date
  • MAR10318 Certificate I in Maritime Operations (General Purpose Hand Near Coastal)
  • MAR30218 Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Integrated Rating)
  • MAR40518 Certificate IV in Maritime Operations (Marine Engine Driver Grade 1 Near Coastal)
  • MAR40618 Certificate IV in Maritime Operations (Master up to 35 metres Near Coastal)
  • MAR50115 Diploma of Maritime Operations (Engineer Watchkeeper)
  • MAR50315 Diploma of Maritime Operations (Watchkeeper Deck)
  • MAR50415 Diploma of Maritime Operations (Master up to 500 GT)
  • MAR50613 Diploma of Maritime Operations (Marine Engineering Class 3 Near Coastal)
  • MAR60315 Advanced Diploma of Maritime Operations (Master Unlimited)
31 December 2021
  • MAR60115 Advanced Diploma of Maritime Operations (Marine Engineering Class 2)
30 April 2022
  • MAR60215 Advanced Diploma of Maritime Operations (Marine Engineering Class 1)
21 December 2023