Government committed to 1 July for automatic mutual recognition

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet have advised that their expectation is that automatic mutual recognition (AMR) will go ahead on 1 July 2021.

The Mutual Recognition Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced and passed the House of Representatives in mid-March. Last week, the bill passed the Senate, with some technical amendments proposed by the Government, and it now returns to the House of Representatives in June.

In addition, the NSW Parliament is considering legislation that will refer power to the Commonwealth to provide for AMR. A committee is due to report in early June.

AMR would commence in NSW, the ACT and NT from the 1 July 2021, with other states adopting the Commonwealth legislation shortly after.

ASQA moves on better training for VET

Australian Skills Quality (ASQA) ‘Standards for VET Accredited Courses 2021' came into effect on 23 March 2021. These updated standards now include course monitoring and evaluation processes within the course standards, as well as updates to the course document and the unit of competency template. A move that will boost standards across the VET training sector.

Course owners and developers who have commenced development of a course are encouraged to refer to the updated standards, application form and templates to ensure the courses are developed against the new Standards.

Interested stakeholders can visit the ASQA website for further information and to access the updated forms and templates. Stakeholders are also encouraged to read ASQA’s Regulatory Risk Framework as managing risk well is a cornerstone to supporting quality vocational education and training.

Female fridgies, the 'fresh food' people

In the news recently was a story about 19-year-old Katie Hammill-Lovett who is one of 4 female applicants chosen from a pool of 500, undertaking a refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) trade with the Woolworths Group.

Woolworths is aiming to lead the way in employing a gender-balanced workforce, with 4 out of 15 new apprentices securing employment at Woolworths in the past year being female.

Katie began her RAC career by first undertaking a Certificate II in Electrotechnology at TAFE Queensland. After completion, Katie wanted to pursue a trade and, after looking at the RAC facilities available at TAFE, she fell in love with it.

To read more, click here

Great opportunity for QLD RAC Members

QBuild is a commercialised business unit of the Department of Energy and Public Works. They are managing the majority of building trade works completed in various government owned and managed buildings such as housing, schools, hospitals, police and fire stations, correctional facilities and general commercial buildings through engaging local contractors.

From 17 May 2021, QBuild will be progressively advertising tender opportunities to establish Standing Offer Arrangements (SOA) for 15 trade contractor sub-categories in QBuild locations across metropolitan, regional and remote areas of Queensland.

Air conditioning services are included in the proposed SOAs.

For more information, click here

US to Phase Down HFCs

The Biden administration has proposed a rule that would phase down the use of HFCs.

The new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will require the United States (US) to decrease both the production and import of HFCs by 85% over the next 15 years.

This move is the first new regulation proposed by the Biden administration to curb pollutants blamed for global warming and aims to help the US meet their current goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions at least in half by 2035.

Phasing in more energy-efficient and less harmful alternatives to HFCs is a step which aims to avert up to 0.5 degrees celsius of global warming by the end of the century.

The EPA intends to finalise the new rule later this year.

Read more here