Meeting Australia’s Skill Shortages in Electrotechnology


The Australian electrotechnology industry involves the design, maintenance, installation and repair of electrical equipment. Many industries, including the mining, manufacturing, ICT and communication, construction, and refrigeration industries, rely on these specific skill sets to meet the demands of an ever-modernising world.

In this article, we’re exploring the skill shortages in electrotechnology in Australia and how we can combat this problem with high-quality educational services.

The Main Industry Sectors in Electrotechnology

The electrotechnology industry is made up of six main subsectors, including electrical services (electricians), electrical engineering, industrial control, electronics and computers, refrigeration and air-conditioning, and renewable and sustainable energy (solar).

The electrical services subsector is responsible for electrical wiring and fittings in construction projects. Electricians also repair and maintain electrical equipment and fixtures that are already in place.

The top-five occupations in electrotechnology that currently have a skills shortage and are in high demand are:

  • Electricians
  • Electronics trade workers
  • Air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics
  • Electrical engineering draftspersons and technicians
  • Telecommunications trades workers

Another area of concern for this industry is the number of qualified people who are working as educators, trainers and assessors for the future generation of electrotechnology workers.

Why Are We Experiencing a Skills Shortage?

The reasoning behind this skills shortage comes down to an ageing workforce where many of the current staff members are retiring. The cost and time required to achieve the necessary qualifications seem to be turning away future students; however, the changes to the cost of TAFE programs in Australia are solving these issues. Victoria now benefits from free TAFE courses in high-demand sectors, so there’s never been a better time to study.

Challenges and Opportunities in the Industry

Technological advancements, empowered consumers, the focus on solar energy and sustainability, and hazard awareness is creating newfound challenges and opportunities for the future skilling of the electrotechnology workforce.

Key areas of the industry that are currently experiencing change include the growing reliance on automation and smart systems in security, lighting, heating and cooling, and camera systems. These integrated technologies are allowing consumers to control and reduce their energy costs and consumption with more efficient systems. The demand for new skills on electrotechnology workers is changing how we educate the future workforce.

Another aspect of the industry under high demand is solar and renewable energy. Nearly two million homes in Australia already have solar panels installed and that number is expected to double in the next decade. There is a shortage of electricians with the necessary skills to install and maintain solar systems, and the number of jobs in this subsector is increasing rapidly.

As per the Paris Climate Agreement, Australia has committed to reducing emissions and phasing-out the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). This presents new skilling challenges to the refrigeration and air conditioning subsectors, requiring additional training and upskilling of future and current employees.

Combating the Skills Shortage with Education

There are three courses available at TAFE Gippsland that are dedicated to training and upskilling workers in the electrotechnology industry:

Regardless of your current skill level, these qualifications are designed to meet the needs of the changing electrotechnology industry in the future. You’ll also master in-demand skills such as communication, problem-solving, preventative maintenance, troubleshooting, and attention to detail. Find out more by contacting TAFE Gippsland on 1300 133 717 or sending us a message online.

TAFE Gippsland

Education - TAFE Gippsland

As your local TAFE, we’re passionate about giving everyone in the Gippsland region the opportunity to undertake quality and reliable pre-vocational training. We have campuses throughout eastern Victoria, from Warragul to Lakes Entrance, and we offer a diverse range of programs.

Our teaching methods and learning environments are specially designed to give students the chance to get hands-on, develop real skills and gain the experience they need to transform their future.

Studying at TAFE

Whatever stage of life you’re at, TAFE Gippsland has a variety of courses to help you achieve your goals – from preapprenticeships and accredited short courses to certificates and advanced diplomas.

Our courses are developed to give you the qualifications, skills and experience you need to work within your industry of choice and thrive in the modern workplace.

Best of all, our flexible study options mean you can complete your course in a way that suits your lifestyle – whether that’s full time, part time or online. And throughout your time with TAFE, the Student Support Services Team will be there to assist you with any study challenges, issues or questions you might have.

Tailored workplace training

TAFE Gippsland offers tailored workplace training to help Gippsland businesses upskill their staff and succeed in achieving their goals. So far, we’ve partnered with community, business and government organisations, delivering training in everything from first aid and customer service to automotive and aviation.

Whether you’re a large organisation or a small local business, we can provide your team with bespoke, high-quality and cost-effective education and training – delivered on-the job, in our purpose-built facilities or online.

Helping Gippsland thrive

For 85 years, we have been helping Gippsland communities thrive by empowering local students and supporting local businesses. But our influence in the region goes beyond our programs. It extends to a wide range of social initiatives that underpin an integral part of our mission as an educational institute – to participate in the social and cultural development of Gippsland.

Through projects including our Community Cafés, Pamper Days and Community Forums – where we invite anyone to share ideas on TAFE’s role in shaping the region – we’re continually enhancing our contribution to the wider community.

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