Western Australians to benefit from battery-powered jobs of future

  • Training prepares Western Australians to support Australia’s growing battery industries
  • Australian-first report reviews skills needed for the jobs of the future
  • Skills in areas such as big data, artificial intelligence and automation will be in demand 
  • The McGowan Labor Government has identified the skills needed for Australia’s growing battery industries, which could create 35,000 jobs and contribute more than $7 billion to the national economy by 2030.

    Prepared by the South Metropolitan TAFE for the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre, the ‘Vocational skills gap assessment and workforce development plan’ identifies what new skills and knowledge are needed.

    The plan found most skills needed by future battery industries are covered by current TAFE packages, but identified some new training units were required to cater for new jobs. These include:

    • skills to maintain automation systems;
    • artificial intelligence and big data;
    • electrical and mechanical skills;
    • first responders, electricians and mechanics trained in electric vehicles and battery energy storage systems; and
    • new skills for recycling facility workers in the safe handling of lithium-ion batteries. 

    South Metropolitan TAFE’s Munster Campus will play a key role in training Western Australians for these future jobs and currently trains electricians in battery energy storage system installation, and in light automotive (mechanics) to de-power and initialise electric vehicles.

    North Metropolitan TAFE is training Western Power and Horizon Power workers to install and maintain stand-alone power systems, and is training mining workers in minerals extraction to process battery minerals.

    With demand for batteries set to increase 10-fold in the next decade, the plan identifies which national training package qualifications cover the vocational skills and knowledge needed in Australia’s future battery industries.

    To view the report, visit https://fbicrc.com.au/publications

    As stated by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

    “As a government, we are committed to ensuring all industries in Western Australia have access to the skilled workers they need to help grow the State’s economy.

    “We are investing a record amount into TAFE and training and I would encourage anyone who wants to become qualified and get a meaningful job in an emerging industry to take a look at this report.

    “South Metropolitan TAFE’s involvement in this six-year Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre research and development program is helping to keep WA’s public training system ahead of the curve in providing industry relevant training adaptable to areas of high future need.

    “We will make sure our training system continues to adapt to innovation such as battery technology.”

    As stated by Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston:

    “Like other places around the world, Western Australia is experiencing a rapid energy transformation with 50 per cent of households expected to have rooftop solar by 2030.

    “Our State is well placed to cater for the rising demand for lithium-ion batteries, which are used in energy storage systems, electric vehicles, laptops and mobile phones.

    “Western Australia’s training system is well placed to help Australia down the next step of the battery value chain.

    “If you want a highly skilled, highly paid job straight out of high school, I’d encourage students to consider these jobs in the plan.”

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