October 30, 2023 Media release News
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Careers for Net Zero calls for government to grow the clean economy workforce

231026 Careers for Net Zero joint statement


Joint statement – 26 October 2023

A broad coalition of leading industry and professional associations, education institutions, local governments and other non-government organisations is calling for the Commonwealth, state and territory governments to take real action to secure Australia’s emissions reduction and workforce goals.

With multi-year lead times, workforce development needs to be considered up front to ensure we have the workforce to deliver our 2030 target of 43 per cent lower emissions, and our 2050 target of net zero emissions.

In support of this, the Clean Energy Council and Energy Efficiency Council launched the Careers for Net Zero campaign.

Careers for Net Zero showcases the many career opportunities that will help deliver an equitable, prosperous and net zero emissions Australia.

The campaign is underpinned by three goals

  • Growing the clean economy workforce
    Ensuring the clean economy workforce is appropriately sized and skilled to enable a rapid transition to an equitable, prosperous and net zero emissions economy.
  • Empowering everyday Aussies to make a difference
    Enabling students, graduates and experienced workers to find their role in Australia’s clean economy.
  • Moving beyond ambition to action
    Supporting government and industry to co-create and deliver an effective workforce development strategy for the clean economy, and education and training systems that can rapidly scale to meet our net zero emissions goal.

Careers for Net Zero is aligned with the findings from the Australian Government’s recent Working Future white paper and The Clean Energy Generation report, which highlights that “Ambitious net zero targets will need to be matched with ambitious workforce and skills policy.”

Signatories to this statement are calling on government to urgently undertake the recommended actions in The Clean Energy Generation report.

We must support the growth of Australia’s renewables, energy efficiency and electrification, carbon removals and circular economy workforces.

Specifically, this joint statement:

  • Reiterates earlier industry calls for government to determine baseline employment figures across the clean economy, including a fully funded, designed
    and delivered Australian Energy Employment Report that includes energy management work across the whole economy, and is repeated periodically;
  • Calls for the National Energy Workforce Strategy to support the wider clean economy workforce following The Clean Energy Generation report’s definition of clean energy, which includes workers across energy supply, energy demand, clean energy enabling, carbon lifecycle, emissions-intensive and transitioning sectors;
  • Urges government to rapidly fund and deploy an implementation plan alongside the National Energy Workforce Strategy that outlines a clear pathway to bridging the gap between the numbers of clean economy workers we have now, and what we need to realise our 2030 and 2050 emissions reduction goals.

As signatories to this joint statement, industry, educational institutions, and civil society organisations are ready to roll up their sleeves and collaborate with government on developing a world-class skilled, safe and resilient clean economy workforce – and the work needs to start now.

Holly Taylor, Head of Strategy and Partnerships, Energy Efficiency Council
0481 346 145

Anita Talberg, Director – Workforce Development, Clean Energy Council
0405 674 702

About Careers for Net Zero
Careers for Net Zero showcases the many career opportunities that will help deliver an equitable, prosperous and net zero emissions Australia.
Careers for Net Zero is a joint initiative of the Clean Energy Council and Energy Efficiency Council, with the support of Ai Group, Australian Power Institute, Boundless Earth and Engineers Australia.

Learn more at careersfornetzero.org.au



July 9, 2023 News
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ESA’s decarbonisation and renewable energy future international tour.

Energy Skills Australia CEO Mark Burgess recently embarked on an international tour to learn what other countries are prioritising as we globally trend towards decarbonisation and a renewable energy future. 

As part of the tour Mark visited six industry owned training centres, a collaboration between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), across San Diego, Los Angeles and Chicago.  

The NetZero Plus Electrical Training Insitute in Los Angeles and the In Tech Technical Institute in Chicago are clear leaders in the field of electrical and renewable energy training. The apprenticeship program is five years as opposed to a nominal four-year duration in Australia.  

“The thing that impressed me the most about the training centres was the ability of industry to be the leaders for creation and adoption of products through technological advancements. Through partnerships with universities and manufacturers, they are able be proactive and versatile in training electricians of the future, whilst still maintaining the core fundamentals of electrical training.” Examples of this include the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program, which provides an avenue to standardised certification for workers and contractors. 

The NetZero Plus Electrical Training Institute is also trialling the use of Direct Current lighting systems, including in the facilities auditorium as a further way to increase energy efficiency throughout the complex. 

Mark also got to visit some worksites such as Universal Studios in Hollywood who are in the process of upgrading their fleet of diesel trams to electric. The trams are charged using large induction pads while passengers embark and disembark. In a little over three minutes, the trams are charged enough to complete another circuit of the studio tour. Given the fast-charging nature of the fleet, the trams are then trickle charged overnight to ensure longevity of the batteries. The program is a step towards decarbonisation, but also provides a far better consumer experience with no diesel fumes or noise confronting passengers on the tour. 

In Chicago, Mark also had the opportunity to tour the research and development facility of global electrical and network infrastructure company Panduit 

After Chicago, Mark headed to Vancouver Canada for the Global Power Trade Union Conference. A common theme throughout the conference was quality training of workers to meet the green transition as well as maintaining licensing systems. Skills shortages were also discussed globally as was skilled migration and ensuring local quality assurance systems are strengthened through partnerships.    

Mark was grateful for the opportunity to attend and present to the conference the Australian perspective on skilling for a clean economy.   

“It was a jam-packed itinerary, but a fantastic opportunity to see how other countries are dealing with the same challenges that Australia is facing through skills shortages, meeting technological advancements of products and training for the renewables industry.”


October 12, 2022 News
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Corangamite Jobs and Skills Roundtable

On Monday 10th October Energy Skills Australia along with other industry stakeholders joined with The Hon. Brendan O’Connor MP – Minister for Training and Skills and the Hon. Member for Corangamite Libby Coker for the Corangamite Jobs and Skills Roundtable. A consultation leading into the employment white paper, which will provide a roadmap for Australia to build a bigger, better-trained and more skilled workforce.

Energy Skills Australia Executive Officer Mark Burgess addressed the roundtable, of the challenges presented to our industry and foremost to the electrotechnology and clean energy sector.

The Powering Australia Plan, led by the Albanese Government will create up to 600,000 jobs by 2030 and reduce carbon emissions by 43% within the same timeframe on a path to Net Zero by 2050. However the workforce challenges associated with the Powering Australia Agenda are also significant.

“Our sector is confronted by technological advancements, increased uptake of small and large-scale renewable energy generation, transmission and distribution networks with ageing infrastructure and the need to rewire the nation as we make progress towards an increasingly electrified nation.” said Mr Burgess.

We need to put industry bodies back in charge of their destiny. Whilst Employer Associations and Unions may not always agree on everything, when it comes to skills and training there is plenty of common ground and what is certain, is that industry must be at the centre of the plan.

“Working together collaboratively to ensure we can deliver outcomes and provide avenues for secure employment, including increased female and indigenous participation and those workers from traditional power generation communities on our way to a recharged economy.”

“Although the challenges seem daunting, the opportunities for workers and business in our industries as we transition to Net Zero are immense.” Said Mr Burgess.

To help achieve the Powering Australia Plan, Energy Skills Australia developed a preliminary paper leading into the Corangamite Jobs and Skills Roundtable with fifteen recommendations on how we can do better as we enter the clean energy revolution.

Energy Skills Australia is committed to supporting industry, business and workers as the nation continues the energy transition.