ESITO board commits extra funding for training
7 April 2009
ESITO board commits extra funding for training in the electricity supply industry
The Electricity Supply Industry Training Organisation’s (ESITO) board has committed an extra $1 million this year to help employers in the electricity supply industry continue to invest in work-based training for their staff.
ESITO chief executive officer Tim Densem said the board believed it was important to encourage and support industry training through these tight financial times and could act now because of its financial prudence in good times.
“Almost 50 per cent of our member companies are contracting companies that employ less than 100 people, and like many other businesses they’re finding they have to make some fairly tough decisions about their expenditure,” Dr Densem said.
“Although these employers acknowledge the importance of training, many have indicated to us that they may be unable to continue supporting their staff through training.
“This is a real concern to us because workers with nationally recognised skills are absolutely critical to keeping the power flowing to households and businesses, and to maintaining the highest standards of safety and quality.”
The electricity supply industry also has an aging infrastructure that needs to be upgraded to avoid impacts on the economy through outages. Skilled technical workers will be needed for this.
“The Government’s commitment to upgrading the electricity infrastructure and its drive to ensure more electricity is generated, improving security of supply, means we can’t afford the reduction in trainees that occurred in our industry during the last economic downturn,” Dr Densem said.
The $1 million, which will be funded from ESITO’s reserves, will be paid to employers registering new trainees for selected qualifications. These include six new qualifications recently developed to meet the industry’s changing needs – Transmission Line Mechanic, National Diploma in Engineering, Metering Technician, Retail Operator, Project Management and Mechanical Engineering.
Nine existing qualifications designed to upskill staff in areas like health and safety, cable jointing, electrical fitting and thermal operation, are also included in the package.
Employers can expect to receive an additional $1,000 to $3,000 per trainee. The exact amount, however, is dependent on the qualification and will only be paid after the trainee has completed their qualification.