ETU warns of skills shortfall in nation’s climate goals
Electrical Trades Union (ETU) has warned of a skills shortfall that poses a major threat to the nation’s climate goals unless the federal government aggressively trains more electricians.
A report points to the immense scale of the challenge, showing an additional 32,000 electricians needed by 2030 and another 85,000 by 2050, according to Jobs and Skills Australia.
“The global shift towards renewable energy means that electricians worldwide are already in high demand, from California to Germany,” ETU national secretary Michael Wright says.
“With the federal government’s neglect of training over the past decade there’s now an urgent need for a renewed focus on vocational training, expansion of TAFE and making teaching careers in the industry more attractive.”
With the Rewiring The Nation initiative requiring 10,000kms of transmission lines to be built, there are just 32 apprentice transmission line workers in training.
Australia needs an extra 20,000 electrical apprentices each year for the next three years, based on current completion rates which represents a 240% increase.
“The silver lining is the incredible opportunity this presents. Training the energy workforce not only addresses the current gap but promises fulfilling, lucrative careers to hundreds of thousands of Australians,” Michael says.
“Instead of sinking taxpayer dollars into ineffective programs, the Government must work hand in hand with those on the ground, doing the actual work. Reviving a culture of training is our ticket to becoming the renewables superpower we should be. We need more sparkies to keep our future bright.”