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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Jobs for the next 5 years

A quick look in the job section in the Saturday papers will reveal that every employer seeking electrician to work in heavy industry has a preference for a Certificate III in instrumentation. Just this week two major companies one in Queensland and one in the Northern Territory are calling for these dual traded people.

According to various statistics there are over 20,000 electrical personnel working within Queensland. The statistics also indicate that the state will need an additional 15,000 more within the next five years.

If this is the case then it seems imperative that current electrical people working in construction and other aligned industrial employment should be up skilled in emerging industries.

Instrumentation was always a niche trade. Having been trained in 1979 and maintained industry currency ever since, I have seen an increasing need for people working in the electrical industry to understand the complexity and automation of instrumentation. Why? Because more and more equipment is becoming an Ethernet reporting device, offering more diagnostics and more control over processes than ever before. Building management systems, automation, gas and oil refineries’ all support the use instrumentation and process control in their plants. I have also noticed a huge increase in instrumentation in appliances in homes, mining industries and water a sewage works.  The high product quality environmental requirements and impacts on our society, and the need to ensure we minimise energy usage in our homes and industries.

Instrumentation is a trade in its own right and with it comes the knowledge of pressure, flow, level, density, temperature scientific analysis, automation, and digital technologies involving PLC, SCADA and Distributed Control Systems (DCS), which is not taught in any other trade to the depth required to fault find and maintain these modern control systems.

On another note I have also seen an increase on solar and security technologies especially in the new eco-smart buildings, gas plant and water works being built.  All GTP (Gas Transmission Pipeline) MLV’s (Main Line Valves) have solar panels arrays and huge deep cycle battery backup.  These areas will be growth areas and a person having knowledge in these areas along with instrumentation will be in high demand in the years to come.

Another area which fits in with this new technology being used throughout Australia is data and telecommunications. In recent years I have seen a very definite cross pollination between instrumentation data and telecommunication, security technologies and automation.

The final area which instrumentation has a another role is the electronic areas. Component repair may be in decline but there are some areas of electronics which will be a growth area years to come: Medical electronics

SkillsTech Australia has been gearing up for this technology advancement since 2006. The instrumentation telecommunications security technologies and renewable energies were all part so other institutes prior to SkillsTech being formed. For example the current instrumentation, electronics and telecommunication sections resided at Southbank TAFE since 1980, and although some teacher have since retired the section have never stopped developing these new course to keep up with emerging technologies

People can no longer hope that the construction, manufacturing and mining will have a steady state as seen in the last couple of years. Constantly cycling these industries will continually have peaks and troughs. So I believe that people will need to constantly upgrade their skills. SkillsTech Australia has identified this with many unique niche course to aid people maintaining steady work

Mal Garrick 0407590901


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