NWDF Case Study: Ausgrid

Ausgrid – Engineering Officer Project 2012

Ausgrid is not anticipating growth in its technical workforce, however the forecast for the para-professional group in the organisation predicts an increased separation rate, mostly retirements.

Ausgrid has forecast a need to train other staff to replace those technical/ project management/ planning skills for our Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) network

In previous years Ausgrid has recruited 7-12 external trainees to participate in such training over a 3-5 year program.

Through this NWDF project, Ausgrid is developing 10 existing employees to the para-professional level from trades level to para-professional level over a 2-3 year program.

The change in approach arises from Ausgrid’s workforce planning processes that have identified,

1) a predicted surplus output of trades staff from Ausgrid’s apprenticeship programs

2) large numbers of current para-professional staff nearing retirement age (64 or 11% 55 – 60 yo, 39 or 6.4% > 60 yo)

The traineeship program provides a system whereby the trainee completes knowledge components of the qualification with TAFE, and demonstrates competencies in the industry through work undertaken in a number of continuous 6 month placements. The traineeship program compliments the other development programs in use such as study assistance programs and post trade in house training.

The traineeship program has been in place at Ausgrid (formerly EnergyAustralia) since 2004 with the vast majority of the former participants retained in the business or industry. The competency elements gained via demonstrable experience in the 6 month placements underpin the knowledge gained in the classroom delivery for the qualification. Participants completing the program are then well prepared to take up a variety of para-professional roles in the industry.

Ausgrid is also participating in the development of learning and assessment materials for the industry based units of competency with the trainees, in many cases, being the first to participate in the assessments. The intent is to use those elements to support other post trade training for specific technician roles.

Project Statistics:
Australian Government        $34,000
Ausgrid                                   $66,000
Total NWDF Investment      $100,000