Territory Stories

Debates Day 5 - 31 October 2018



Debates Day 5 - 31 October 2018

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Parliamentary Record 15


Debates for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2018; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES Wednesday 31 October 2018 4783 When I first came to Darwin, Power and Waters training regimes were not as systematic as what I had experienced elsewhere. I had a vested interest in it since they had recently changed their pay structure. When I asked someone with 10 years experience in the electrical industry how I could get off the bottom pay levelnobody could tell me. I had an interest in ensuring their training and progression systems were improved. I spent a fair amount of time over the next 10 years helping to implement competency-based progression. It was aligned to pay progression but it was more about career progressionwhere someone was at when they finished an apprenticeship, where you needed them to be in 12 months time, at what stage would they be capable of running projects on their own, when would they be able to move into supervision and coordination roles if they wanted, or at what stage would they be able to branch into higher-skill level or diploma-type training such as live line if that was their passion and they had the opportunity. Through my involvement in training at Power and Water, I was able to sit on the MiTAC capstone board. I will explain why this is important and gave me an understanding of what is happening today. MiTAC is the Major Industry Training Advisory Council. They had a capstone board underneath them. When electricians in the Territory finished their training college and had their physical work and competencies ticked off, they did an extensive physical test of the knowledge the apprentices retained. The test is quite gruelling, but people speak highly of it as it puts them through their paces. Once they are through CDU and finish their capstone testing, they would go back to MiTAC to the capstone board to be signed off. This made sure they had done all of the necessary competencies and elective units and could then be signed off by an independent body. If a tradesman or a business owner had a definitive need to sign off an apprentice, perhaps they were not in the best position to make independent decisions. If the training body did not want to see one of its students struggle, maybe it was not in the best position to make an independent assessment. The beauty of this capstone board was that it was completely independent from the RTOs and the employer. It took advice from both. If someone was slightly short on the technical capacity they needed to be signed off as a tradesman, it could recommend that they perform some more training. We had some great outcomes. That model is not replicated in many other states around Australia. It is the envy of a lot of other states that do not have the opportunity for an independent board or committee. That committee is made up of industry representatives, union comradeswhich Gerry was fondly referring to beforeworkers in the industry and employers. It is a well-respected committee of people who help the wheels go around. It helps people get through their apprenticeships and makes sure the quality of tradespeople turned out in the Territory is as good as possible. Through the MiTAC capstone committee I had the opportunity to get on the MiTAC board when there was a vacancy. That board functioned until the legislation we are debating today came into place and put all those industry skills councils into one overarching body. Shortly after that, the MiTAC board was eloquently ceased. Archie Wright from MiTAC was very well-known and respected by everybody in the Northern Territory that we worked with and through the nation. If there was anything going on nationally, if there was funding available that he could access to help people in the Northern Territory, he was like a bloodhound sorting through that and getting access to funding. He had a unique ability to speak with tradespeople, employers, RTOs and national training people. He was held in very high regard. Unfortunately, through the changes in the last few frenetic days and weeks of the previous administration, Archie is now lost from the training sector in the Northern Territory, which is a great shame. The competency-based models in play at Power and Water gave me the opportunity to get involved in some national training bodies for live-line work, which is where people work on the live high-voltage lines. I am sure people can understand this is very demanding. It requires a very high skill level and a high-level training and auditing regime. It is a massive advantage if you are able to work on our network without cutting peoples power. We did a lot of work to make sure that once people finished their trade they had the best opportunity to get through post-trade training at the Certificate IV and V level. It was a very interesting process for me to sit on some of the training bodies. E-Oz was the national training body that looked after national training packages.

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