Vocational skills gap assessment and workforce development plan officially launched

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The Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) in conjunction with the South Metropolitan TAFE, has released its “Vocational skills gap assessment and workforce development plan”.

An Australian first, the plan funded by the FBICRC, analyzed the extent to which current National Training Package qualifications are aligned with the skills and knowledge needed in the emerging battery industry.

With a diversified battery industry said to contribute more than $7 billion annually to Australia’s economy and support more than 34,000 jobs by 2030, ensuring the workforce of the future is equipped with the appropriate skills and knowledge is critical.

The FBICRC’s new Chief Executive Officer Shannon O’Rourke expressed his passion for the battery industry and the economic and employment opportunities it offers, at one of his first official events as CEO.

“As a cooperative research centre, ‘cooperation’ is fundamental to how we do business. We are fortunate to work with 70 participants across government, industry, and research who are committed to the success of the battery industry and its future workforce.

This plan represents an important foundational step to creating employment pathways to deliver financial prosperity for our young people,” said Shannon.

The plan identified key skills that will be needed including those related to the operation of precision refining, mechatronics and automation, artificial intelligence and big data, electrical and mechanical skills, first responders, electricians and mechanics trained in electric vehicles and battery energy systems, as well as new skills for recycling facility workers in the safe handling of lithium-ion batteries. 

“The plan clearly identified that current training packages already cover most of the core skills that will be needed, but also highlighted that as demand for battery energy systems grow, some adjustments to the current curriculum will be required,” said Shannon.

The FBICRC’s portfolio of 15 research projects span the battery value chain and brings together 70 industry participants, the federal government, four state governments in WA, QLD, SA and NT and eight universities who represent a collective investment worth more than $120 million over six years.

The full report is available for download here and a copy of the joint media statement by Education Minister Sue Ellery and the Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston can be found here.

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