IRC Update: The year ahead

With Christmas and New Year break now well behind us, it’s time to look forward to what’s ahead in 2020.

There are many exciting projects underway, led by the Industry Reference Committees (IRCs), and supported by thousands of industry experts across the various stages of skills identification, development and implementation from right across Australia.

There is a total of 38 projects currently in the development phase across the industry’s supported by all eleven IRCs. New skills have been identified to respond to new and evolving technologies and changing work practices.

Across the energy sector, the four IRCs are leading skills development projects in Generation, Transmission & Distribution, Electrotechnology and Gas. Electrical, refrigeration & air conditioning, electrical engineering, gas operations, gas processing and control, renewables, wind power and remote area services are among the projects underway.

The Corrections IRC has commenced projects covering Management, Dog Handling and Offender Engagement. Projects for Youth Justice, Cultural Competency, Immigration Detention and Technical Skills have now been approved and endorsed by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) and COAG Skills Council.

The Transport & Logistics IRC is leading projects to address the changing skills needs for heavy vehicles drivers, fuel, operations, stevedoring, freight forwarding and traffic operations. For the Rail IRC, it’s skills in infrastructure, network operations, train guards, human factors and autonomous rail vehicles. The Maritime IRC lead work including Maritime operations, engineering operations, Masters and leadership skills. The Aviation IRC is leading projects in security skills along with supervisory skills for ground and cabin roles.

The Water IRC is leading industry operations and treatment skills projects, updating skills standards to meet the demands of changing technologies and certification requirements. This follows the completion of projects covering Water Industry operations qualifications at the Cert II, III, IV and Diploma levels, which were recently approved and endorsed by the AISC and COAG Skills Council.

The Public Safety IRC is leading projects across the critical areas of Defence, Fire, Emergency Services and Police. These projects include skills in Community Safety, Emergency Management, Fire and Emergency Aviation, Crash Investigations and Defence. Recent events have shown the importance of having high skilled people in all the areas covered by the Public Safety IRC.

Supply chains are the connection of various industries working together to deliver goods and services, locally and globally. The advent of new technologies has seen the rise of the need for new, broadly applicable skills including traceability, blockchain, mass customisation and ethical practices. The Cross Sector Supply Chain Skills Project has seen the development of Units of Competency and Skill Sets common to a range of industry sectors which will enable the many individuals working in a supply chain to be skilled to the same world class standards and as a consequence, increase industry efficiency and productivity.

Cases for Endorsement for Cross Sector Supply Chain, six Transport and Logistics projects and two Rail projects have been submitted for AISC consideration at its 25 February meeting.

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

Thank you to the over 800 stakeholders who completed the annual skills survey or provided a submission which helped identify the skills needs of your industry. The input from industry stakeholders is invaluable in informing the IRCs on priority areas for skills development in their industry based on identified trends, challenges and opportunities.

The AISC has changed the annual requirements for Industry Skills Forecasts to a three-year schedule with a brief annual update in the intervening years. The Skills Forecast update will continue to be submitted annually on behalf of the IRC to the AISC for approval, focusing only on proposed work for the year.

AIS will continue to support the needs of IRCs and the industry’s they represent through the provision of high-quality industry intelligence. This includes an Industry Outlook to provide an annual update on key trends and information relevant to skills development for the industry sectors that each IRC has responsibility for.

The work led by the IRC’s relies on the input and expertise of subject matter experts who join project based Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) or provide feedback throughout each project to review and develop Training Package materials. The input received throughout the life of a project is invaluable.

We appreciate the ongoing support and industry expertise of our IRC Chairs, IRC Committee Members, Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) members and broader stakeholders and we particularly welcome new members of these groups for 2020. Your valued contribution helps to ensure Training Packages meet the skills needs of your industry.

There’s much to be done to ensure the occupational skills standards are developed in a timely manner to a high-quality standard. A skilled workforce supports career opportunities for individuals, along with productivity benefits for businesses and ultimately drives global competitiveness for the national economy. AIS looks forward to working with all stakeholders during 2020 and beyond.