April 26, 2021

Apprentices will be trained to meet new standards that reflect contemporary job roles in manufacturing industries as the result of the biggest update in skills qualifications for manufacturing trades in over a decade. Ministers for Skills have approved the new qualifications developed by the Manufacturing and Engineering Industry Reference Committee (IRC) supported by IBSA Manufacturing. For employers, these changes will lead to a more productive workforce in the future.

The changes come at a vital time as critical skills shortages are being felt around the country and having industry relevant training packages are a vital part of the solution.

18 updated qualifications are now available, 13 specifically designed for apprenticeships, giving apprentices more relevant skills for today’s workplaces. This is the first in a series of updates to manufacturing engineering qualifications designed to provide workers with the skills and recognised qualifications needed by industry.

The update to the qualifications has been a complex process of analysis and consultation conducted by the Manufacturing and Engineering Industry Reference Committee. That work has ensured standards within national qualifications align with the way work is undertaken within industry.

The process included consultation with employers, employees, training providers and governments across the country to ensure that the qualifications and the skills they represent provide the most benefit to workers and their employers.
Commenting on the release, Kristian Stratton, Chair Manufacturing and Engineering Industry Reference Committee said, “The qualifications represent some of the critical trades that support Australian industry’s competitiveness and our sovereign capability. Their importance is underlined by the strong engagement shown by interested parties and all levels of governments over the course of several years.”

 “This marks a big step in ensuring our trade apprentices will be better equipped with the skills they need for today’s workforce. We will be releasing further significant updates to manufacturing qualifications over the coming months.”

Kristian Stratton, Chair, Manufacturing and Engineering IRC

The timeliness of finalising these updated trade qualifications and apprenticeships to the Australian economy was reaffirmed by employers through the recent Developing Modern Manufacturing through a Skilled Workforce collaboration series hosted by IBSA. Apprenticeships were described as the bedrock of the Australian economy.

This announcement represents the finalisation of release two of the Manufacturing and Engineering (MEM) Training Package that includes the updates and improvements to13 critical trades qualifications such as boiler making, fitting and machining and blacksmithing.

Additionally, Kristian Stratton has been elected the new chair of the Manufacturing and Engineering Industry Reference Committee. The previous chair, Ian Curry, has been elected to the Deputy Chair role to continue supporting the progress of manufacturing and engineering qualifications.

The Industry Reference Committee and IBSA will be holding a series of online and in person stakeholder engagement activities to support the roll of out the qualifications.

For more information go to training.gov.au or contact IBSA at www.ibsa.org.au

About IBSA Manufacturing
IBSA Manufacturing is the Skills Service Organisation (SSO) for the Manufacturing Industry. Our role is to work with industry to identify and document emerging trends and future workforce needs through consultation and research that in turn shape the standards and qualifications we develop.

Our research, analysis and recommendations provide the background for Industry Reference Committees to develop standards and qualifications for the manufacturing sector. IBSA Manufacturing is part of the IBSA Group of companies.

For more information, contact Nick Hill, Marketing and Stakeholder Relationship Manager, [email protected] or call 03 9815 7004.