AIS Newsletter October 2021


CEO Update

As we approach 2022, I am thinking about a post-pandemic Australia and am looking forward to the possibilities. The latest OECD Economic Survey of Australia notes that while the pandemic interrupted a 28-year run of uninterrupted growth, Australia’s initial downturn was mild in 2020 compared to most OECD countries. The 2021 outbreak of the Delta variant has led to longer continued lockdowns in Australia, though there are positive signs we are moving to a steady re-opening over the weeks and months ahead.


Education and skills will play a critical role in that re-opening and our economic recovery. Digital transformation has accelerated across all industries. With the rapid adoption of new technologies, workers need to re-skill and upskill to enable enterprises to unlock the benefits of these technological advancements. Engagement with industry will be more important than ever, as will a responsive VET system that delivers those skills. We’re looking forward to the establishment of the new Industry Engagement arrangements that continue to build on the current arrangements.


One industry that has been in the spotlight throughout Covid is transport and logistics, as we’ve seen the importance of the supply chain to get goods to our doors and shops. The freight task has increased, and we need more skilled drivers to meet the demand now and into the future. So, how do we keep goods moving in Australia? This was one of the many questions posed at a webinar on the establishment of a Heavy Vehicle Driver Apprenticeship hosted by AIS on 8 October. The Transport and Logistics Industry Reference Committee (IRC) is proposing the new apprenticeship. My thanks to IRC members who participated on the webinar panel, Lynda Douglas, Cathi Andrews, Peter Anderson and Mark McKenzie, along with the many stakeholders who joined the webinar and provided their thoughts throughout this extremely important conversation.


The Industry Reference Committee’s we support continue to lead the way on skills development for their industry sectors. In this newsletter, you can read more about the Training Package releases that have been endorsed by Skills Ministers and are now available on for implementation and those projects that have been submitted for approval.


Additionally, in this newsletter, we get a glimpse of the important work that Energy Queensland is doing to help improve safety around powerlines.


October is also the month that we roll out our Stakeholder Survey. Your feedback is important to us as we navigate the coming months into the new year. Let us know how we are engaging with you in the new ‘normal’ of stakeholder engagement.


At this point, I would like to acknowledge the contribution of Jillian Dielesen, who has retired from her role as the CEO of the Logistics & Defence Council (LDSC). I wish you well for the future and thank you for your commitment and leadership. My congratulations to Michael Taremba on his recent appointment as the LDSC’s new Chief Executive Officer following Jillian’s departure. We look forward to working with Michael in his new role, as well as continuing our positive relationship with the LDSC.


It is now Training Awards Season. State and Territory training award events in the ACT, Northern Territory, NSW and Queensland have been held over the past month with winners from the electrotechnology and renewable energy sectors. My congratulations to the winners and all finalists! We’re looking forward to the 2021 Australian Training Awards to be held on 18 November.


Be safe and be well.


Paul Walsh



Keep Australia moving - The Heavy Vehicle Apprenticeship Consultation webinar

On 8 October, AIS hosted a webinar on The Heavy Vehicle Driver Apprenticeship consultation. Hosted by AIS CEO Paul Walsh and featuring four members of the Transport and Logistics Industry Reference Committee (IRC) – Mark McKenzie, Peter Anderson, Lynda Douglas and Cathi Andrews – the audience heard how the IRC is proposing a new Heavy Vehicle Drivers Apprenticeship in response to industry’s call to professionalise the Heavy Vehicle Driver occupation.


To over 180 participants, the Panel members emphasised that the apprenticeship would address driver shortages across Australia, create career pathways and ensure the safety of those working in the industry and all other road users. It is the hope that the creation of this apprenticeship will help mitigate some challenges, particularly in relation to the national heavy vehicle licensing system and the current utilisation of national traineeships.


In the webinar, the Panel also noted the COVID experience has shone a light on the vital role played by road transport in supporting the Australian economy, that now is the time to create a national Heavy Vehicle Drivers apprenticeship. The Panel also believes that such a move is a necessary first step towards raising the profile of the professionalism of the Australian road transport operator workforce in line with the significance and vital standing of the industry within the overall national economy.


The Industry Consultation Paper is now available to download and the IRC would appreciate your views on the Industry Consultation Paper and invite you to submit responses to the consultation questions that have been identified.


Your views would be appreciated by close of business on Friday, 15 October 2021 and you can submit your feedback on the paper here.


New Training Package releases endorsed

New releases of Correctional Services, Police, and ESI Transmission, Distribution and Rail Training Packages have been endorsed by Skills Ministers and our now available on for implementation.


The Industry Reference Committees responsible for these Training Packages, with the support of subject matter experts on Technical Advisory Committees, developed the new and updated materials contained in these releases through the projects below to address priority skills needs and current industry practices:


Corrections (CSC release 4.0)

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 (POL release 5.0)

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).


ESI Transmission, Distribution & Rail (UET release 2.0)

The ESI Transmission, Distribution and Rail Industry Reference Committee led the development of six new Units of Competency and the update of seven qualifications and 77 units. The revised 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 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 releases of the Maritime, and Electrotechnology Training Packages were also endorsed yesterday by Skills Ministers. They will be available on for implementation in the coming days.



Dredging Operations

A new Skill Set and Unit of Competency has been developed to address the skills and knowledge requirements for seafarers undertaking dredging operations, with a focus on safety standards.


Maritime Operations Linesperson

One qualification and seven Units of Competency have been revised to address the skills and knowledge required to work with highly automated line equipment and safely perform mooring and unmooring operations.



Emergency Lighting and Alarm Systems/Fire and Smoke Control Systems;

Variable Refrigerant Flow AC Systems

The Electrotechnology Industry Reference Committee has led the development of six Units of Competency, six Skill Sets and transitioned one qualification.


The updated Training Package addresses three distinct skills needs:

  • Skills required of air-conditioning technicians engaged in the inspection, testing and repair of fire and smoke control features of mechanical services systems; and, to install, commission, service and maintain a range of variable refrigerant flow air conditioning systems.
  • Skill needs of electricians engaged in the inspection, testing and maintenance of emergency lighting and alarm systems.
  • Safe work practices for electricians engaged in roof top solar installation.


Crane high risk work licence materials submitted

The Transport and Logistics Industry Reference Committee has submitted the Case for Endorsement and draft Training Package materials for the Crane High Risk Work Licence project to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee for their consideration.


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.


AIS Annual Stakeholder Survey

At Australian Industry Standards, we are focused on delivering outcomes to support our stakeholders. How are we doing? What can we do better? How have we engaged with you in the time of COVID?


Your feedback via our short survey is the finger on the pulse we are looking for.


All you need is 10 minutes to complete our annual survey here.


The survey will remain open until the close of business on Friday 19 November 2021.


Saving lives, one download at a time.

Energy Queensland has 1.7 million power poles and over 225,000km of overhead and underground powerlines across Queensland. Unfortunately, many powerlines are accidentally contacted by workers every day, which can result in severe and sometimes fatal injuries.  On average per year, over 750 accidental contacts occur with powerlines, causing electrical arcing which can be up is 30,000 degrees Celsius.


To put it in context, each year, one person is electrocuted and approximately 10 people are severely burned and injured, many others are just very lucky to have received no injury. Accidental contact costs to Energy Queensland are conservatively estimated at 30 million dollars each year.


To help improve safety around powerlines, Ergon Energy and Energex, as part of Energy Queensland, have developed a lifesaving tool which was formally recognized at the Safe Work Awards as Queensland’s “best solution to an identified electrical issue.”


The Look up and Live app was conceived just over five years ago, by the Community Safety Team at Ergon Energy (now Energy Queensland) by listening to and being an advocate for safety and industries working near powerlines.


“The Community Safety Team saw a need for a powerline safety app to be publicly available, so while engaging and educating face to face with the industries, we were able to enable behaviour changes with a completely free product that was easy to use and empowered workers to use the hierarchy of control to plan ahead to identify and eliminate powerline hazards,” said Glen Cook, Community Safety Specialist at Energy Queensland.


Known as ‘Cookie’ to his peers, he is the Principal Community Safety Specialist at Energy Queensland and has been the driving force behind a new powerline safety innovation that he helped develop.


In 2019, Cookie was recognised for his outstanding efforts, being named as a finalist in both the NSCA Foundation & GIO’s National Safety Awards of Excellence and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s Queensland Safe Work Awards. In 2020, he was named the winner of the Health and Safety Professional of the Year for the Australian Health and Safety Awards. He was also recognised internationally and was a plenary speaker at the ESRI GeoConX Conference in Atlanta, USA, explaining how the Look up and Live application is changing behaviours and saving lives.


Currently, six Australian powerline companies are part of the Look up and Live app, Ergon Energy, Energex, Endeavour Energy, Powerlink, Essential Energy and South Australian Power Network.


This Look up and Live app has bought these companies and at-risk industries together nationally and has assisted in all to begin working together on these preventable accidents. Raising firstly awareness of powerline hazards, and empowering people to use the Look up and Live app as a tool to use the hierarchy of controls, to reduce incidents and introduce control measures on site if required.


Registered Training Organisations have also jumped on board using the look up and live app to assist with training ensuring adequate planning is completed before working near powerlines.


The app has also increased the popularity of a new innovative powerline marker known as a ‘Rotamarka’. This red and white spinning marker ensures workers onsite have the powerline hazard front of mind due to the spinning movement drawing their attention to the powerlines.


There has been 95,000 uses of in 12 months and 8,000 downloads of the app and continues to rise in both fields.


Since the release there has been many reductions in incidents.

  • Overall reduction of 25% total accidental contacts
  • 52% reduction in Agricultural contacts
  • 48% reduction in Road Transport contacts
  • 29% reduction in Civil Construction incidents
  • 75% reduction of local government related incidents


“The app is a behaviour changing tool and is saving lives. The team and I started out looking at ways of improving safety around power lines and the adoption of this app is on an upward trajectory,” added Cookie.


Visit for more information about this app.



The Power of Women in Trades - Training Award Winners

Females in non-traditional trades for women in the air-conditioning and refrigeration, and electrical industries have won the prestigious Apprentice of the Year title at State and Territory Training Awards announced in recent weeks.


The awards recognize and celebrate outstanding achievement in the vocational education and training sector.  Winners will go on to the Australian Training Awards to be held from Perth on 18 November.


Lauren Campbell, an air-conditioning and refrigeration tradeswoman from Brisbane has taken out the top state award for Apprentice of the Year at the 2021 Queensland Training Awards at a virtual awards ceremony.


Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer congratulated Lauren Campbell along with the other state winners and finalists.


“Lauren’s interest in refrigeration started in Year 12 when she secured work experience with AG Coombs Queensland and went on to become their first female apprentice,” Minister Farmer said.


“As a fully qualified tradesperson with the company, Lauren is recognised as a future industry leader, who has already promoted careers in heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration to other young women.


Two female electricians also took out the Apprentice of the Year awards after completing the Certificate III in Electrotechnology, with Morgan Sutton winning in the ACT, and Savanne Canobie in the Northern Territory.


Morgan completed her Certificate III in Electrotechnology with Canberra Institute of Technology. She began working in aged care as a nurse, but then made the decision to change careers and start an electrical apprenticeship with P&T All Trades Pty Ltd. Morgan saw the opportunity to gain an electrical license as an essential condition to create her own business.


In NSW, Althea Kruizinga, another young female electrician, took out the Special Award for a Woman in a Non-Traditional Trade or Vocation.


Althea loved the idea of becoming an electrician but feared a mature-aged female wouldn’t be accepted in a male-dominated trade. When she met two female electricians working at Sydney’s Equinix SY3 data centre, it changed her life. After a discouraging string of rejections, Althea secured an apprenticeship at BlueScope Steel’s Port Kembla plant.


Exposed to a huge variety of electrical concepts and equipment, Althea rotated between departments constantly expanding her skill base. Adapting to an all-male workplace was daunting, but Althea’s tenacity paid off. Althea won the BlueScope Apprentice of the Year in her very first year.


Now a full-time electrical tradesperson at BlueScope with plans to commence a Diploma of Electrical Engineering, Althea is a passionate advocate for women in non-traditional trades.


A partnership between the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), Neoen, and Vestas won the ACT industry collaboration award, recognising its exemplary skills development.


The 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. 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.