Abbott’s Direct Action Plan will boost skills, says Industry Skills Council

The energy sector’s Industry Skills Council, E-Oz Energy Skills Australia, has welcomed the Abbott government’s Direct Action Plan and its potential to boost much-needed training in the energy sector.

E-Oz chief executive officer Bob Taylor said the Abbott-led Coalition had frequently flagged its commitment to energy sector skills and its flagship Direct Action Plan to reduce carbon emissions had huge potential.

“Managing a direct action program efficiently requires working closely with businesses and industry more broadly to identify opportunities for carbon abatement,” Mr Taylor said.

“This engagement should very naturally extend to bolstering industry’s role in the training industry to ensure that apprentices and trainees have the right skills, developed to the right standard to be productive from day one. This will be particularly important in energy brokerage, performance auditing and management, as well as renewable energy installation.”

Mr Taylor also nominated a number of Coalition policy initiatives in which skills and training would need to play a pivotal role.

“Installing mid-scale renewable generation facilities in remote schools and communities will minimise transmission losses for those living far from large generators. It will also require individuals in those communities to be trained appropriately,” Mr Taylor said.

“Establishing Clean Energy Employment Hubs in the La Trobe, Hunter and Central Queensland will also obviously require a significant investment in skills to make them work.”

Mr Taylor also pointed to additional rebates for solar PV and hot water installations, $100 million to a solar towns and schools initiative and the introduction of a high voltage DC transmission network as key initiatives that E-Oz was looking forward to playing a major supporting role in.

“We are greatly looking forward to further consultations about the scope of this work and how it can best be implemented,” Mr Taylor said.