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Welcome to the EPICITB Summer/Autumn Edition 2017
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Welcome to the EPIC Industry Training Board Summer/Autumn Edition!

A New Industry Engagement Framework

In October 2016, Epic ITB was contracted as an agent of the Office of the Victorian Skills Commissioner (OVSC) to deliver on the new Industry Engagement Framework (the Framework) for the Electro-technology, Electricity Generation and Supply, Gas Supply and New Energy Technology sectors.

The Victorian Government launched the Framework on the 10 August 2016; this framework will provide a structured way for industry, unions and employers to inform and engage with the training system in Victoria.The Framework will:

  • gather skills and training needs information across the breadth of Victorian industries via ten Industry Advisory Groups (IAGs)

  • capture regional industry skills and training needs information via Regional Taskforces

  • bring together time-limited and focused Industry Taskforces to examine specific training and system issues

 

By providing a stronger and more effective industry voice and by accessing the best possible insight into industry needs, the new arrangements will:

  • ensure barriers to providing training to meet industry demand can be identified and overcome

  • enable Government to address current and future skill shortages and workforce training needs, including the training needs of emerging industries

  • promote training pathways that lead to qualifications, jobs and skill development in the workforce

  • ensure the unique requirements of regional Victorian for quality training and skills are understood and supported

As an agent of the OVSC, EPIC ITB is looking forward to continuing to engage, and work with industry, unions and employers to provide the Victorian Government with valuable insight regarding the future skill requirements, and training needs of industry. The next IAG meeting is scheduled to be held on the 29th of May 2017.

If you would like more information about the new Industry Engagement Framework please contact Carmel Veenstra, Industry Consultant on 0417 344 455 or visit the OVSC website vsc.vic.gov.au

Tutor Report by Daniel Thomson 

Summer 2017

Since my last report in September, a number of candidates have booked in for an LEA tutorial which has resulted in higher pass rates and these tutored candidates being able to apply for their A-Class Licence with Energy Safe Victoria in Southbank.

The LEA tutorials have been available for nearly two years now and we have had a number of success stories seeing a significant increase in candidates’ marks. Whilst I have the privilege of tutoring these candidates, it is the candidates themselves who have put in the hard work, coming into the tutorial with an open mind, a notepad and a string of questions. They have listened, gone away and achieved success with their exam.

Overall we have seen great success over the past few months with candidates having a number of attempts before seeking any remedial training, I have had the privilege of working with some candidates over a number of sessions and it is these candidates who have seen the greatest success. One particular candidate stands out as previously sitting the exam 5 times and attending 3 sessions. In working with the candidate previously achieving a highest mark of 46% and previously seeking no remedial training they achieved success with a result of 86% and obtained the precious A-Class licence.

Another great success I have seen is candidates that are using this service in conjunction with their RTO teachers. Perhaps attending one or two sessions, taking their knowledge and then going back to their RTO to utilise the facilities and knowledge of the teachers. Sometimes it only takes someone to put something in a different context and the penny drops so to speak.
 

In every instance I suggest they go back to their college and if this is not possible I discuss alternative options with them. I am now finding, as with the above example, more and more teachers are suggesting the EPIC LEA tutorial, which is fantastic and I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be of some benefit to our industry.

With Energy Safe Victoria now requesting notification of every candidate who has sat the exam six times or greater, we here at EPIC strongly suggest some form of remedial training to avoid implications on future attempts. The cost of the EPIC tutorial is $85 for a 60-90 minute session, with no more than four in a group for LEP, two for SWP and eight for LET.

For me it is of the highest privilege to contribute to our industry in this way and help people achieve their goals. With even spending 90 minutes with some candidates you still build a repour with them and get to know their struggles which are all very different. If there is one piece of advice I could give to any candidate out there reading this is if you require any assistance go and get it as it is not myself or your teachers that can achieve your success it is you.

If you are in need of LEA assistance, don't hesitate for a minute - simply call us on (03) 9654 1299. You won't be disappointed and you just might pass that next exam.

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10 super facts from Cbus

1. Super is money – your money

Generally, as soon as you start working, your employer has to contribute an amount equivalent to at least 9.5% of your wages into a super fund for you. Your super might not seem like a lot of money to you right now, but it adds up.
To learn more about how Cbus looks after your super, visit cbussuper.com.au/investments
 

2. Cbus was created for you and your industry

There are many different super funds in Australia. Cbus was created specifically to look after the super needs of workers in the construction, building and allied industries. Cbus even invests back into the industry, by investing in property developments across Australia and creating jobs in building and construction through Cbus Property^.
 

3. Cbus is run only to benefit you

Cbus is an industry super fund that is run only to benefit members. We have low fees and all the benefits go back to you – our members.
 

4. You can take Cbus with you

When you switch jobs, your employer might have another super fund they automatically pay their employees’ super into. You should let your employer know if you want your super paid into Cbus instead – unless your EBA or Award says otherwise, it’s your choice: visit cbussuper.com.au/changingjobs
 

5. You could get a boost in your super money

The government co-contribution is an extra payment of up to $500 from the government if you make a personal after-tax contribution within the financial year to super (and meet eligibility criteria). The government will contribute 50¢ for every dollar you put in, up to a maximum of $500. Read the Boost your super - Government co-contribution (PDF) brochure at cbussuper.com.au/forms for more information.

6. Access to financial advice services

We offer members access to a broad range of financial advice~ – over the phone, in person or via free seminars. If you have a question about your super or financial situation, visit cbussuper.com.au/advice-services
 

7. Watch your super grow online

You can manage your super account online and on your mobile phone. Visit cbussuper.com.au/login and provide your Cbus member number along with a few personal details. Follow the prompts to set yourself up and note the online access details. You’ll then be able to check your estimated account balance, see your insurance cover, change how your account is invested and update your personal details.
 

8. Insurance to protect you

Cbus offers Death and Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance cover# to help you pay your expenses if you can no longer work and you meet the policy terms.
 

9. Talk to a Cbus coordinator

Cbus has coordinators throughout Australia who are there to help you. They have worked in the construction and building industry and now they can work for you. Their contact details are available at cbussuper.com.au/coordinators or by calling us.
 

10. It’s easy to join Cbus

To join Cbus visit cbussuper.com.au/join or give us a call on 1300 361 784.

~ Advice you receive may be provided by another AFSL holder.
^ Cbus Property Pty Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cbus and has responsibility for the strategic performance and management of all Cbus direct property developments and investments.
#insurance benefits are subject to eligibility criteria.
This information is about Cbus. It does not take your specific needs, objectives and requirements into consideration so you should look at your own financial position, objectives and requirements before making any financial decisions. Read the relevant Cbus Product Disclosure Statement to decide whether Cbus is right for you.
Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262.

2015-2016 horror period for electrical workers

The previous 12 month period has seen the death of 4 electrical workers in Victoria. This is the worst result for electrical worker fatalities for any state or territory in either Australia or New Zealand.

All of these workers were young men in their early to mid-twenties and have died whilst performing quite typical electrical work. All of these young men were loved members of their families, community groups, work networks and circle of friends.

These fatalities have to ring alarm bells to all of us as electrical workers that we need to be working safely, taking all necessary precautions and setting an example to all of those around us.

These fatalities and the serious electrical injuries that we continually investigate show to us time and again that we are not taking adequate precautions, not isolating, not testing, and taking short cuts at work. Remember that the difference between an electrical incident or injury and a fatality is usually very minor.

We have to change our safety culture in the electrical industry.

It may seem like a pain in the arse to wear LV gloves whilst testing, but if you are in the proximity of live parts, using LV gloves whilst testing can be all that is necessary to prevent injury or death.

It may seem like a pain in the arse to get out of a roof space, or disrupt a working facility to isolate a circuit, but that is what is required of you and may save a life.

It may seem like a pain in the arse to teach our young electrical workers to take all necessary precautions each and every time whilst carrying out electrical work, but that is what is required of all of us.

If you wouldn’t expect or want a loved one, such as your brother or daughter, to take short cuts or work unsafely, then don’t accept it from those around you at work.

Remember that apprentices are trying to please, gain acceptance, fit in and don’t know any better than what you, as their supervisor or peer, are prepared to teach them.

ESV cannot implore you strongly enough to train the apprentices you are supervising to keep themselves safe, test the installation you are working on, isolate circuits to be worked on and lock them off. Encourage apprentices to ask questions and allow them to feel confident to say ‘No’ if they don’t feel safe or are unsure.

Refer to Australian Standard AS/NZS 4836 Safe working on or near low-voltage electrical installation and equipment. If you don’t already have and work to this standard, change that ASAP.

We all have a duty of care to our apprentices and those we may influence, to make sure they have long and bright futures in our industry, and to go home safely to their families and loved ones at the end of every day. 

Energy Safe Victoria is launching a new campaign in 2017 in an effort to improve safety outcomes for electrical workers. We will start by presenting to first year apprentices and then we will be targeting the employers and supervisors of apprentices. This campaign will be ongoing and we need all electrical workers to get on board. 

Get industry ready

Since its inception, Futuretech has delivered training with the overall aim of producing skilled and confident electrical workers.

As a collaborative venture between Holmesglen and Electrical Trades Union (Victoria branch), Futuretech’s courses, which range from pre-vocational, apprenticeship and post trade electrotechnology qualifications, have been developed to deepen the skills and knowledge of electrical workers at an important part of their career.

With emerging technologies ensuring our industry continues to evolve, the North Melbourne based training provider is supporting and re-training workers to ensure the industry maintains a current base of skilled professionals. Through the use of specialist case managers, Futuretech has also ensured a wide range of support that extends beyond just the classroom or workshop.

"I work with electrical workers that are not always feeling very good about themselves. I love to assist workers to identify their strengths and then help them to formulate a plan to move forward. It is fulfilling to see tradespeople leaving and feeling more positive than they were when they arrived,” Futuretech Case Manager Pam McCaughey explains.

From providing help looking for work to preparing a résumé, or looking for a new training pathway, Futuretech takes on a larger education role. The provider runs the New Horizons Back to Work program, which assists unemployed workers to find new job openings.

"As a social worker, I have developed a strength-based, solution focus practice where I assist clients to identify where their strengths lie and how we can best apply these strengths to a career pathway.”

"The Vocational Assessment is one of the tools I use that matches a worker’s skills and interests with a career path. For those that want to remain electricians, we look at the new skills that would be beneficial with career advancement. At Futuretech, we are lucky enough to have not only first class training, but an industry liaison worker who has established networks within this industry," Pam says.

This support network has helped A Grade electricians, who have been out of work for numerous months, move into new employment following extensive job-search activities conducted by a case manager.

Additionally, Futuretech has offered a pathway for workers through building and maintaining industry partnerships. The training provider’s working relationship with group training companies serves as a fitting example. Upon the opening of Futuretech, group training companies encouraged by the new teaching opportunities, transferred their city based apprentices to the North Melbourne campus. Today, up to 45 apprentices are attending the campus, using the successful training model already in place at Holmesglen’s Moorabbin campus.

Broadly, an emphasis on skilled workers is reflected in an electrical industry that is seeing increased opportunities for those with a qualification. Initiatives like the NBN have helped create more job openings, while the State Government has shown a commitment to the field when investing in projects like the aforementioned Back to Work. Futuretech continues to embrace these initiatives to provide a unique service to the industry. 

For further information about Futuretech, please visit futuretech.edu.au.

Futuretech is collaborative venture between the ETU Victoria and Holmesglen Institute.

Retro fitting solutions RCBO solutions compliant with AS/NZ standards

Now more than ever, it is critical to ensure your existing panelboards are installed with Residual Current Circuit Breakers that are compliant with AS/NZ standards. 

With that in mind, NHP are proud to offer the SAFE-T SRCB, a perfect retro fit RCBO solution suitable for use in single phase general light and power distribution boards. In addition to being suited to NHP SAFE-T panelboards, NHP also provide two versions available to suit Eaton and Heinemann panelboards ensuring quick replacement of MCBs without modification to the busbar chassis system.

The convenient size of the SAFE-T SRCB unit makes it possible to easily replace an MCB without taking up any extra space on busbar chassis. This makes the SRCB ideal for retro fits into existing boards minimising downtime and maximising turn-around time.

SRCB units offer overload, short-circuit and earth leakage protection in a single pole units.

Features of the SAFE-T SRCB from NHP include:

  • 6kA short circuit protection

  • 10-20A overload protection

  • 10mA or 30mA earth leakage protection

  • Easy retro fit with NEMA style MCBs

  • Black pigtail for easy/ fast neutral connection

  • 25mm width

With many organisations already in the process of upgrading panelboards, now is the perfect time upgrade your existing circuit breaker. For peace of mind safety that ensures the protection of staff, the public and assets, choose the NHP SAFE-T SRCB.

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