Construction training programmes get $2.2-million boost from industry

by Adelle Chua18 Oct 2017
Australia’s Registered Training Organisations will get a $2.2-million boost from the construction industry to reduce deaths and serious injuries on construction sites, especially given projections that thousands of jobs will be created in the sector in the next five years.

A report by the Australian Skills Quality Authority that said 80 percent of RTOs fail their initial audit, and noncompliance was mostly in areas relating to Learning and Assessment practices and resources.

Worksafe also said that there occur more than 600 serious injuries per month and a death every two weeks on construction sites across Asutralia.

Skills Oz, owned and operated by the construction and property services sector, is funding the development of education material to improve training in the sector.

CEO Phillip Charlton said the program includes 160 units of competency developed in partnership with construction companies, industry experts, regulators, trainers and curriculum designers to ensure it reflected exactly what the industry needed to improve workplace safety records.

“With the construction and property industry forecasted to create an additional 80,000 jobs over the next five years, employers and stakeholders in the construction and property services sectors are rightly concerned about the current industry standards, productivity and workplace health and safety,” Mr Charlton said.

Skills Oz, which represents 1.8 million Australian workers, is a subsidiary of the Construction and Property Services Industry Council (CPSISC). It will offer the industry-led resources at no cost to TAFE, RTOs, colleges and high schools and trainers delivering courses and qualifications in the construction and property services sector.

“Public perception and industry’s trust of our RTO system has been undermined in recent years due to misuse of public funding by some organisations and inconsistencies across courses and qualifications and skills,” Charlton said.

“Today’s RTOs are under continued pressure to deliver relevant, industry-focussed and affordable training for the jobs of tomorrow.”

“We feel the best people to assist with updating the training platforms are the people working at the coalface of the sector – the construction companies and the industry experts. We worked with them to develop this platform,” he said.

He added the program envisioned skilled workers who returned safe to their families every night.

In developing the program, Skills Oz consulted with members such as Housing Industry Association (HIA), Consulting Surveyors National, Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia, CFMEU, Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union, First National Real Estate, Australian Security Industry Association Limited and Surveying and Spatial Science Institute.

Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia CEO Ken Gardner believes the  whole industry must work together to update the sector’s training resources.

“There is an ongoing need for quality training resources to support mobility of labour in Australia and to underpin mutual recognition of qualifications and licensed occupations,” he said.

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