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Madeline Chamberlin. Photo courtesy TAFE Queensland.

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TAFE Queensland — Leaving A Better Planet For Future Generations

By TAFE Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mary Campbell in response to questions submitted by David Waterworth:

For 140 years, TAFE Queensland has evolved with our economy and local communities to deliver the people, knowledge and expertise needed in industry, and the future ahead is no different.

Every year we work closely with both commonwealth and state governments, industries, and communities to develop and deliver new training for emerging priority industries to ensure Queenslanders are ready for the jobs of the future. In the coming years, this work will span a number of industry sectors, including manufacturing, agribusiness, screen and digital, and energy/renewables — like battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

According to projections by Rystad Energy, BEVs will make up 50 per cent of car sales worldwide by 2033 and will account for almost every new car sold by 2050. Additionally, BEV sales last year accounted for 4.6 per cent of all car sales, and Rystad predicts this figure will quadruple by 2026.

With more and more battery electric vehicles set to hit Australian roads, TAFE Queensland is leading the “charge” for BEV training in Australia by working to integrate clean energy technologies into our range of automotive and electrical qualifications.

We aim to be one of the first training providers in Australia to be registered to offer the Certificate III in Automotive Electric Vehicle Technology (AUR32721); a qualification which will enable technicians who service, diagnose and repair BEVs and components in the automotive service and repair industry to carry out work according to Australian Standards 5732 Electric Vehicle Operations — Maintenance and Repair.

This means apprentices will soon have the opportunity to gain newfound skills in electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicle training using industry-standard equipment and practises. This will ensure our apprentices gain the skill sets and practical training needed to prepare them for emerging technologies and the ever changing automotive industry.

Additionally, to ensure qualified automotive technicians (both light and heavy commercial vehicles) have suitable training to operate on and around battery electric and hybrid vehicles, TAFE Queensland offers the Safely Depower and Reinitialise Hybrid Vehicles Skill Set as an elective unit in our Light Vehicle Automotive apprenticeships and as a standalone skill set — with more skill sets on scope for development.

TAFE Queensland is also set to launch a Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicle Training Pilot Program at our Acacia Ridge campus in Brisbane (Queensland) at the end of October. The program will provide existing technicians with nationally recognised units in hybrid and battery electric vehicles, and is a taste of what is to come in this emerging training space, with these units to be included in future apprenticeships across the state.

In the electrical space, TAFE Queensland is not only delivering units that teach electricians about the inner workings of different electric motors, but also about the infrastructure required for their charging stations — for example, the wiring, switchboards and designing the environment to accommodate charging a vehicle.

TAFE Queensland will also be introducing a new skill set in 2023 offering additional units to support current curriculum in photovoltaic install and design, which will ensure apprentices are better prepared for the emerging needs of industry. This skill set will be offered as part of a range of apprentice elective courses to ensure apprentices gain a greater awareness and understanding of emerging technologies and the role that electricians will play in the future.

This year, TAFE Queensland also inked a memorandum of understanding with Ark Energy (Townsville) to deliver training for one of Australia’s fastest growing industry workforces. TAFE Queensland will deliver training to upskill and reskill Ark Energy’s workforce along with its affiliated companies, and we are proud to be able to play such an important role in shaping Queensland’s future in hydrogen.

At TAFE Queensland, we believe that vocational education and training has a key role to play in the achievement of the United Nations’ Global Goals, and to make sure we leave a better planet for future generations.

Our Social and Environmental Sustainability Action Plan outlines this commitment, detailing a broad range of initiatives that we are working to deliver from 2020 to 2024 — many of which are already in motion.

For example, TAFE Queensland’s campus infrastructure is a large focus of the plan and we are upgrading many of our campuses with sustainable and energy-saving equipment and technology — from the installation of solar power systems, energy efficient lighting, and motion detectors on air-conditioning units, to the reduction of waste through increased recycling efforts.

Our new Robina campus is another great demonstration of our commitment to developing greener and more innovative infrastructure, with the facility being the first vocational education and training campus in Australia designed from the ground up to be sustainable in its building, fitout, procurement, curriculum, operations and culture. The campus has 250 solar panels providing renewable energy, and maximises the use of performance solar glass, in addition to sensor-activated lighting, among other features.

For over 140 years, we have helped our communities recover through times of great upheaval and uncertainty, including the Great Depression, two world wars, and now a global pandemic, and we are proud to be able to play such an important role in shaping Queensland’s future in emerging energy/renewables industries.

We have proven to Queensland that we can keep up with changes in industry, technology, and culture and we are incredibly proud of the part TAFE Queensland has played, and will continue to play, in making our state great.

TAFE Queensland is committed to delivering practical and industry-relevant training to provide students with the skills and experience they need to build lifelong careers.

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Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].


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