An innovative new training program commenced in Adelaide this week, designed to help the long-term unemployed gain foundational skills in one of Australia’s most in-demand careers.
Weld Australia has partnered with Workskil Australia and TAFE SA to deliver a training program that is upskilling a cohort of long-term unemployed people. Students will walk away with foundational skills in welding, opening doors to opportunities to gain employment as a welder.
With little to no prior welding experience, the students start by using augmented reality welding simulators to learn the skills and techniques needed to perform welds in a safe, stimulating and confidence-building environment. Students then move onto real-world welding machines to hone their skills.
According to Weld Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Crittenden, “This exciting program has huge potential to make a real difference in the lives of long-term unemployed.”
“The welding industry is facing a looming skills crisis—the skills required to complete complex infrastructure, defence and construction projects are already in short supply. In South Australia alone, the continuous naval shipbuilding program will require around 1,300 welders between now and 2027. And yet, ABS statistic show that the number of welders in Australia is on the decline—from around 75,800 in 2014, to 69,600 in 2019.”
“Grass roots programs like the one we’ve kicked off this week with Workskil in Adelaide are essential. These sorts of programs are sparking an interest in welding in a whole new audience, helping to pave the way towards closing the ever widening skills shortage.”
“Most importantly, the Workskil training program is helping long-term unemployed people to get ahead, linking them to real opportunities in the workforce, and providing them with foundational welding skills on which to build a secure, successful career,” said Crittenden.
As result, nine students passed all tests required to qualify to ISO 9606 Qualification testing of welders — Fusion welding for MIG welding. This welding ticket can help the students gain employment as a welder.
Joseph Sandor (Welding Technology Trainer, Weld Australia) facilitated the training course. He was thrilled to be involved in this exciting new program that has huge potential to make a difference in the lives of long-term unemployed.
“All of the students were really engaged and worked exceptionally hard throughout the training. They really put in 100%. The attendance rate was near perfect, which was fantastic—attendance can be a real challenge for these kinds of programs,” said Sandor.
“All of the students were long-term unemployed. Most were in their early 20s and some have never had the opportunity to work at all. It was great to see their enthusiasm for welding and a possible new career path.”
According to Weld Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Crittenden, “With nine students qualified to ISO 9096—the golden standard for welding internationally—the program has clearly sparked an interest in welding in a whole new audience,” said Crittenden.
“The Workskil Australia training program is helping long-term unemployed people to get ahead, linking them to real opportunities in the workforce, and providing them with foundational welding skills on which to build a secure, successful career. The real benefit of the ISO 9606 welding ticket is that it’s not specific to any one sector—welders can work across industries as diverse as defence, infrastructure and manufacturing, all without requalifying.”