AIS Newsletter July 2022

In this month’s newsletter, we focus on the launch of the 2022 Energy & Utilities Industry Outlook, the first graduates from BHP’s Pilbara Rail Academy, and the work being conducted around Digital Capability in Australia’s Workforce.



On the 6th of July, Australian Industry Standards (AIS) released the 2022 Energy and Utilities Industry Outlook that identifies five megatrends impacting Australia’s energy and utilities sectors. It focuses on the energy and utilities industries that AIS supports – Electrotechnology; Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) Generation; ESI Transmission, Distribution and Rail; Gas; and Water.


The five megatrends include:

  • Double disruptors – digital transformation together with the current pandemic has caused a double disruption to industry, leading business and economic activities to shift rapidly to the online world.
  • Renewables, sustainability, and low emissions technologies – The decarbonisation of the energy and utilities industries has begun in earnest in Australia. Under Australia’s Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan, numerous digital solutions are being developed to support the goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
  • Data analytics – The adoption of digitalisation and data analytics technologies in the energy and utilities industries is transforming day-to-day operations and creating numerous opportunities.
  • Labour shortages – an industry-wide labour shortage is adversely affecting Australia’s economic recovery.
  • Digital transformation – the acceleration of digitalisation has impacted the skills needs of the workforce, requiring many to upskill or reskill to keep pace with the digital demand.


The Industry Outlook is based on extensive research and consultation with Industry Reference Committees (IRC) representing these sectors. It provides an overview of each industry and presents a whole-of-industry view about the opportunities and challenges for the workforce and skills development necessary to meet industry needs.


The report is a snapshot of a continually evolving story intended to alert and inform a wide audience and enhance industry’s capacity to act on workforce development initiatives. It also looks at the significant contributions of the energy and utilities industries to Australia’s economic prosperity.


You can access the Industry Outlook here.




At its meeting on 1 June 2022 the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) approved the following Training Packages for referral to Skills Ministers for endorsement.


MAR Maritime – Release 9.0

Marina Operations

The Certificate III in Marina Operations Qualification and seven associated Units of Competency have been updated to address changes in marina operations job roles and maritime regulatory requirements.


Vessel Traffic Services

A new Certificate III in Vessel Traffic Services and six new Units of Competency have been developed to address skills, knowledge, and regulatory requirements relevant to Vessel Traffic Services personnel.


POL Police Training Package Release 6.0

Police Surveillance

The Advanced Diploma of Surveillance and eight Units of Competency in the POL Police Training Package have been updated to address changes in technology and police surveillance practices, procedures, and requirements of police personnel undertaking surveillance.


TLI Transport and Logistics – Release 12.0

Customs Broking

A new Unit of Competency, and updates to the Diploma of Customs Broking and 18 Units, address updated regulatory requirements, technology changes and data analytics to enhance the resilience of the international supply chain.


Rail Traffic Pilot
One new Skill Set and one new Unit of Competency address the required skills and knowledge for Rail traffic pilots to manage rail traffic movement safely, efficiently, and effective across networks under a variety of circumstances.


Electric Heavy Vehicle

The Certificate III in Driving Operations has been updated and two new Units of Competency have been developed to address skills and knowledge for working with and operating battery electric bus, coach, or heavy vehicle.


Current Training Package development projects

There are currently 41 projects covering all industries that AIS supports. Of these, Cases for Endorsement and draft materials for six projects have been approved for endorsement by Skills Ministers, and 20 projects have been submitted to the AISC for their consideration. Draft materials are at the validation stage for 14 projects and development work is continuing in the Powerline Safety project. All projects are scheduled to be completed in 2022.


Training Package Releases submitted to AISC for approval


Aviation – AVI 10.0

Air Traffic Control

Chief Remote Pilot

Aviation Supervision

Commercial Pilot Helicopter


Defence – DEF 5.0

Electronic Forensics

Paralegal Services

Range Control Officer

Test and Evaluation

Work Diving

Moral Injury


Electrotechnology – UEE 4.0

Hazardous Areas

Rail Signalling

Electricity Meters

Advanced Diploma of Engineering – Electrical

Assess and Report on Smoke Control


ESI transmission, Distribution and Rail – UET 4.0

Refresher Skills

Power and Network Systems


Transport and Logistics – TLI 13.0

Driving Instruction.

Mobile Crane Operations

Rail Safety Management


Please visit the Projects page for a list of the projects



Sixty new train drivers are poised to graduate from BHP’s Pilbara Rail Academy Traineeship Program, created last year to meet the growing skills shortage in Western Australia.


BHP is investing $20 million in the academy program, which aims to employ and train 200 new train drivers over three years. BHP welcomed the first recruits – the new graduates – into the academy in August last year.


BHP WA Iron Ore Asset president Brandon Craig said through the investment in the academy, the company hopes to ease the squeeze of rail driver availability in WA and create new pathways for people to join its team and pursue a rewarding career.


“Through the academy, we can make our business and the mining sector more resilient, create training and job opportunities in regional WA, and continue to deliver value to communities and the economy,” he said.


More than 70 per cent of the 60 trainee drivers are women and about 20 per cent are indigenous, as BHP works to increase diversity and strengthen the capability of its workforce.


The academy recruits have a range of life skills and experiences, including former Uber drivers, ex-military personnel and mums looking for a career change after raising children.

One of the most compelling stories is Jewell Albert, who follows in the footsteps of her father Ricardo Dann, a BHP train driver for more than 25 years.


“Growing up in Port Hedland you drive past all these trains going to work and never in my life would I have thought I would be operating one,” Jewell said.


“The reason I applied was seeing my dad and the lifestyle balance he had and how happy he was when he came home from work.”


After undergoing the 10-month intensive program at BHP’s Port Hedland and Newman operations where they learned specialist skills in train shunting, communication systems and signalling, route planning, and safety and fatigue management, the graduates will receive nationally recognised qualifications in a Certificate IV in Train Driving.


They will join BHP’s experienced team of drivers responsible for operating the company’s WA iron ore train fleet of more than 180 locomotives, which deliver ore across more than 1000 kilometres of track from its Pilbara mines to Port Hedland for export.


A fully laden BHP WA iron ore train typically comprises four diesel-electric locomotives pulling approximately 270 cars carrying 40,000 tons of iron ore and can be up to two kilometres long.


More than 5000 people applied last year to join the Rail Academy, which is one of a number of avenues BHP offers as an entry to the sector, including school-based traineeships in the Pilbara, mature age traineeships, and maintenance traineeships and apprenticeships at the FutureFit academy.


Modelling commissioned by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA last year found the sector could need as many as 40,000 new workers by 2023 and faced a skills shortage of up to 33,000 if the situation was not addressed.



The progressive application of digital technologies in the workplace is challenging vocational education and training providers to provide students with the digital capabilities sought by employers.


Erin Knudsen, Industry Manager at Australian Industry Standards, together with Claire Mason from Data61 and Michael Wyndham from DEWR presented a project that brings together a digital policy focus, industry expertise and the artificial intelligence of natural language processing at the 31st National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’ on July 8th.


This project is developing tools to identify the digital skills development demanded by employers of the VET sector, the digital skills already represented in training products and the emergent skills on the horizon.


The project has three main steps:

  • Evaluate and adapted a proven digital skills framework, the European Union’s DigComp 2.1, to identify 21 digital skills in 5 groupings used in workplaces and society more broadly.
  • Apply natural language processing (NLP) to job ads data and the ESCO skills-occupation taxonomy to identify the digital skills required across occupations. The NLP algorithms developed were applied to all training package content (around 16,000 documents) to identify where digital skills are represented and where they are not.
  • The third output from the project will be a prototype of a dynamic online industry knowledge base. The prototype will leverage digital technologies to draw on multiple online data sources to relate digital skills, existing and emergent technologies and occupations.


Industry feedback was obtained to validate and evaluate the effectiveness of this approach in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of training package content and areas for potential training product development. The presentation will share these outcomes.


It is the expectation that the resulting digital capability framework will be applied broadly, in multiple ways in multiple contexts, to facilitate workforce training.


What's Happening!

Nominations Open: 2022 Australian Defence Industry Awards

Recognising people and businesses, rather than products and platforms, the Australian Defence Industry Awards universally acknowledges all defence industry stakeholders — from primes, SMEs, academic institutions and associations through to high-performing individuals such as defence executives, Indigenous and female leaders, students, scientists, technicians and academics.


The awards are open to all businesses operating in Australia supporting the defence supply chain and have become a coveted accolade for organisations and professionals seeking to forge their role in the defence industry.


Nominations and submissions are open until 21 July, finalists to be announced 10 August.


Australian Defence Industry Awards


Nominations Open: 2022 Australian Freight Industry Awards

The Australian Freight Industry Awards are among the most coveted accolades in the Australian transport industry, recognising the outstanding achievements of Australian freight and logistics operators and the people they employ. 2020 marked the 31st Anniversary of the Awards.


The Australian Freight Industry Awards are but one way that recognises the fantastic achievements of operators, organisations and individuals right across the industry. 


Nominations are open until 15 August.


Australian Freight Industry Awards


Safeskies Conference 2022

The aviation industry seems to have got off to a flying start in 2022, domestically at least, and Safeskies Australia is no exception. They are busy finalising an engaging and thought-provoking return to face-to-face conferences with Safeskies 2022 to be held in Canberra from 20-22 September 2022.


The theme for 2022, recognising the potential impact of technologies such as advanced air mobility, uncrewed and space operations on the traditional aviation ecosystem, is ‘Sharing the skies safely’.