Australia’s electricity transmission market will experience a boom during the next 10 years. This presents enormous opportunities for companies and workers in this industry. Already, several large-scale projects are booked in, designed to improve and secure the nation’s transmission infrastructure. Of particular note is the electricity interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales. Planned for delivery between 2022 and 2024, this $1.5 billion project will create 800 regional construction jobs and 700 continuing jobs.
Additionally, existing transmission interconnectors across Victoria, Queensland to New South Wales will be strengthened to increase capacity. Project Snowy 2.0 will require transmission network upgrades to support the expanded Snowy Hydro generation capability.
The Federal and State governments have identified a current and future skills shortage of qualified transmission lineworkers. The UET30519 Certificate III in ESI - Power Systems – Transmission Overhead qualification is listed on most state-based “skill shortage lists” and attracts additional funding to encourage training providers to offer the qualification. However, there is a lack of TAFE and private training options available to industry
Thomson Bridge has combined our ESI learning design expertise with industry collaboration to provide an innovative, practical and sustainable Apprenticeship programs for young workers seeking to enter the Transmission sector.
The program is delivered via a Collaboration Agreement with TransGrid, NSW’s transmission network owner. The first of the Thomson Bridge-TransGrid apprenticeship programs commenced in February 2020, with twelve apprentices. The group represents a diverse workforce, with a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, ages and the inclusion of a female apprentice.
This is a collaborative model that involved using TransGrid’s excellent training facilities to ensure that apprentices develop their skills using the facilities and tools of the industry. The program also draws on trainers from both organisations who contribute their depth of industry skills and experience.
While the Apprenticeship program is focused on technical skills, this format gives apprentices the opportunity develop skills essential for the modern workplace environment, such as building relationships, developing self-management and communication skills. When they return to their own roles, apprentices will be supported by industry mentors who guide them through a range of on-the-job activities as well as social learning tools that foster collaboration.
An easily accessible logbook app will capture and validate work experiences and evidence, providing both the apprentice and their supervisors immediate visibility of course progress via their smart devices. This concept is designed to improve learner engagement, support social connections and enable mentor support. It will also make it easier for students to organise their own learning and develop self-directed learning skills that are essential for progressing in their career.
Thomson Bridge will continue to engage with industry to build a learning evidence base that will inform future policy developments in education within the ESI industry.
The objective of our program is to offer high-quality training that students and industry can trust, with resources aligned to sector and workforce needs. We seek to:
- provide a modern approach to the gaining of Qualifications in the ESI sector so that it is effective and flexible for today’s learners and their employing organisation;
- create a range of Qualification pathways for Apprentices and experienced workers that increase the choice of training and can be tailored to their individual needs
- maintain a completion rate above 85% for apprenticeships;
- build capability through mentoring and quality on-the-job experiences into the programs;
- drive quality and consistency in training delivery with clear, measurable outcomes; and
- continue to engage with industry bodies and improve the validation of training and learning outcomes.