AIS Newsletter September 2020


CEO Update

As a leading, independent advisor within the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, we are passionate about ensuring qualifications are relevant and that industry can trust they meet the needs of a dynamic, changing workforce.


This work is led by Industry Reference Committees (IRCs), with 11 of those IRCs supported by AIS. Over the last five weeks all 11 IRCs have held meetings to prioritise future skill needs of their industry sectors and discuss possible Training Package development activity. AIS Chief Operating Officer, Paul Walsh, and I presented each IRC with an overview on VET reform, our research into digital skills, the work of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) emergency sub-committee, as well as progress of projects underway or scheduled to commence.


I am pleased to report that the AISC has approved nine new projects to develop skills standards. These projects fall across a range of important sectors, including Gas, Maritime, Aviation, Transport and Logistics, and Public Safety. This Training Package development work was proposed in the 2020 Skills Forecasts updates and Cases for Change submitted by the IRCs. I thank all IRC members for their continued leadership during these unique times.


Over the last year, AIS has had the privilege of working with a large number of IRCs to develop cutting-edge cross sector Skill Sets in supply chains.  Most of us are already in awe of how our supply chain workforce operates, particularly through the bushfire season and now the pandemic.  Newly endorsed and ready for delivery, these 10 new Skill Sets enable our fantastic workforce to upskill in response to rapidly changing technologies and supply chain models.  A massive thank you to everyone who participated in their development.  This 2-minute video explains just why these Skill Sets are so important to Australia.


We continue to engage with stakeholders across the national VET system as it undergoes ongoing reform. All government jurisdictions have recently signed a new National Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform. The new agreement charts a reform pathway on issues including funding and quality and is aimed at ensuring the VET system is delivering for students and employers and equipping Australians with the skills they need for emerging jobs. We remain committed to playing our key role in ensuring VET is relevant, has the highest quality standards and is accessible to learners and employers across the workforce.


Robert Adams



Supply Chain Skills to tackle some of our biggest challenges

Building the circular economy and combatting modern slavery are just some of the world’s most pressing challenges that 10 new cross sector supply chain Skill Sets will now help tackle.  Traceability, blockchain, digital supply chains and ethical practice are just some of the skills in-demand that are now captured in the Skill Sets.


Developed by experts from across a range of industries, the Skill Sets cross sector focus will help successful learners move between sectors, into different parts of the supply chain or take their skills across the globe.


High quality RTOs are encouraged to deliver the new Skill Sets and are being supported through a ‘live’ compendium of resources which AIS will continually update so that practitioners are up-to-date with the latest practices.  Reports, videos, blogs, websites and social media channels are curated for relevance with industry and RTOs encouraged to suggest new sources.  Head over to the supply chain website and careers hub or watch the 2 minute video.


Digital Transformation Expert Panel

Digital technologies are rapidly transforming whole industries, job roles and individual tasks.  With the global pandemic only serving to accelerate these trends, how we work, when we work and where we work are all being disrupted.  Developed economies are all facing the same challenge – with every step forward enabled by technology, they risk leaving behind those workers without the requisite skills to engage in our digital future.


The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) has established the Digital Transformation Expert Panel to:

 ‘… provide advice on how Australia’s VET system can most effectively respond to digital change underway across industry and its impact on the nation’s workforce’.


The work of the Panel is being supported by AIS and is divided into two phases.  The first involved a suite of research and analysis activities.  The second phase is currently underway and involves consultation and engagement with a wide range of bodies in Australia and circulation of a discussion paper for public comment.


The discussion paper will be released over coming weeks.  If you’d like to find out more about the Panel’s work or be notified of the paper’s release, head over to the Expert Panel’s website and register for project updates.


Building skills for the Gas industry

The AISC has approved several projects to develop skills standards in the gas industry. Led by the Gas Industry Reference Committee (IRC) which is supported by AIS, the Hydrogen Technology project will involve the review and development of up to three Skill Sets and 16 Units of Competency relating to the skills needs of gas technicians in handling hydrogen gas. Australia’s target to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 will see the energy sector collectively facing significant challenges to achieve this target. Hydrogen trials are already underway in Australia and overseas to produce hydrogen using renewable energy and inject it into the gas networks. Ensuring that the workforce has the necessary skills is a critical part of reaching Australia’s targets.


The Gas IRC will also oversee the Storage and Reinjection of Gas project. Advancements in gas storage technology, specifically around the reinjection of gas for storage, potentially pose increased safety risks. The Gas IRC will review and develop five Units of Competency to address the skills needs of gas technicians undertaking storage and reinjection of gas work to ensure the required industry skills are ‘fit for purpose’ and meet industry regulatory requirements.


With the operating platform for data recording technology being standardised across utilities, there is growing need for data loggers being appropriately qualified to install, disconnect and reconnect these systems. The Gas IRC will develop five new Units of Competency to install, operate, disconnect, and reconnect fixed and portable data logger systems for use by gas technicians as part of the Data Loggers project.


Skilling the Maritime industry - new Training Package revision and development projects

The Maritime IRC, with the support of AIS, will commence two new projects recently approved by the AISC to address priority skills needs in dredging and linesperson operations.


Dredging operations is a vital part of operating safe and efficient ports and channels. Avoiding damage to sensitive and protected areas of Australia’s marine environment is key for long-term sustainability of Australia’s tourism industries. The Dredging Operations project will develop a new Skill Set and four new Units of Competency to incorporate new dredging technologies and maritime industry best practices and applicable AMSA regulatory requirements.


The Maritime Operations (Linesperson) project will review the skills needs of vessel mooring and unmooring operations in response to new technology demands. These include applying knowledge of maritime terminology and port procedures, transmitting and receiving information by marine radio, and performing mooring and unmooring activities.


Survey about employer readiness to employ an apprentice or trainee

What do employers need to know about apprenticeships, but don’t? When taking on a new apprentice, are employers fully aware of processes, procedures and legal requirements of both them and the apprentice?


To help answer these and other questions, Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service (AATIS) is carrying out a stakeholder survey to determine the most important information that employers need when considering taking on an apprentice or trainee.


Information from the survey will be used by AATIS to improve the information and communications it provides to potential employers of Australian Apprentices.


To complete the survey, please visit


The website provides up-to-date information about Australian apprenticeships (including latest support initiatives prompted by COVID-19). It contains a variety of free resources to help employers, jobseekers, career advisors, and service providers to navigate apprenticeships and traineeships pathways.