New Industry Training Centres and boosting the Teacher Workforce 

In this year’s Federal Budget, the Government has committed $50 million capital and equipment investment fund for facility upgrades for clean energy training capacity across wind, solar, pumped hydro, grid battery storage. Recognising that industry training centres   – like Electrogroup in Brisbane and PEER in Adelaide – deliver great apprenticeships, industry not-for-profit RTOs have been included in the eligibility.   

Existing RTOs offering electrical trade training across the country are at capacity – if we are going to train the workforce of the future, we need to expand and build more centres.    

We know that industry RTOs work better, with completion rates above sitting over 90% – some reaching as high as 97%.  When apprentices are taught and mentored by Industry experts with the relevant knowledge and work experience the quality of the training and the rates of success and completion is always higher.  

  In 2022, Electro Group Training (EGT) in Queensland opened the doors to Australia’s first and only Energy Renewable Training Centre. Development of this centre was supported by the Queensland Government as part of the Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs Plan to lead and future-proof the State.   

EGT, itself created by the ETU and Master Electricians Australians, presents the model of a whole-of-industry approach to driving innovation and efficiency across the sector and the economy.

The Federal Government has $30 million for initiatives to expand the clean energy teacher, trainer and assessor workforce  

Jobs and Skills Australia has estimated that – on current trends – there will be a shortfall of 32,000 electricians by 2030, increasing to 117,000 by 2050: directly jeopardising Australia’s net zero transformation. The electrification of everything needs electricians. Meeting this challenge requires investment to incentivise more trainers to deliver the quality, high paying electrical jobs of the future.  

An enormous attraction of the energy industry for apprentices is the good, secure wages many electrical workers draw. Workers are faced with taking a significant pay cut when shifting to training roles in the VET sector.  

This article was publised on 15 May 2024.