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Is this done through CPD, illustrating that there are many facets to the industry and many career pathways, or do you approach potential tradies while still at school to educate them properly about the benefits of joining the trade industry?
After lunch Tom Vassallo, the executive officer, curriculum maintenance building and construction at Holmesglen Institute, spoke about competency based completions project and pre-apprenticeship training.
Other topics during the course of the day included Victorian registration assessment process, Australian quality framework (which aligns high school learning with Certificate 2), qualification levels, development and moderation of question banks for Certificate 3 training and moderation and resource development for Certificate IV training. Certificate V in plumbing, blended delivery of apprenticeship training, NSW moderation of training, assessing overseas qualifications, Northern Territory Licensing, E-Learning in the ACT and resource development using Google and SketchUp.
Day one was summarised on the following day by Gary Bath, manager practitioner development for the Plumbing Industry Commission (PIC). Gary raised the issues of competency based completions, where all apprentices must be deemed as competent by the training provider and employer. He also spoke about specific training models, including flexible content and more thorough training systems that reflect strengths and weaknesses.
License to drive change
Once MC Andrew Klein and Shayne La Combre saw proceedings underway on day two, it was Senator Nick Sherry who began presentations. He spoke about State licensing and cost, pointing out that it will now cost a plumber $2,600 for a nationally relevant license which allows for work across the country. The broader license scheme to come into effect under the new National Construction Code should improve skills across the country; however there will be bumps in the road as certain practices from State to State require different skill sets to what some plumbers may have acquired. Having said that, the room for CPD is enormous.
Senator Sherry also spoke about an interim plumbing and gasfitting advisory, regulatory issues surrounding environmental plumbing , a national business name registry (which some plumbers pointed out may cause problems among businesses with similar names in different States) and safety versus regulatory efficiencies.
Julie Yeend of the COAG (Council of Australian Governments) Skills Task Force updated participants about its developments. COAG has been in charge of the National Occupational Licensing system, what the license will be, what it covers and what skills eligibility requirements will be. She mentioned that all licensing will be based on training packages and that licensing must follow training.
There will be three types of licenses: Supervised (incorporates Cert 3), Certifier (signs off on work and has Cert 3 and Cert IV competencies) and Contractor who must possess financial and probity requirements. If a tradie is trained in five competencies, he can work under those five work categories, meaning whatever you are trained in, you can be licensed in.
Some restrictions will be looked at to try to tailor to national consistencies. There will be a register that will record all licenses showing compliance and enforcement information. Julie did stress the point that even with national licensing there is still a need to understand local laws and regulations.
Finally, COAG is looking at the possibility for mandated training, but this will not spill into CPD requirements.
Leading into lunch Tasman Twyman, manager of the Australian Building Codes Board gave a National Construction Code update and explained that minimum standards will be set for design, construction and performance.