CICA, West Australia

A better crane traineeship option now on offer in Western Australia

The efforts of the WA branch of The Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA WA), under the guidance of Anthony Grosser, paid off last month when the State Training Board approved and gazetted the Certificate III + skillset for mobile crane operations.

“This was a longer process than we anticipated,” said Anthony Grosser, CICA WA chair, “but in the end, I am very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve. This is a big step forward for our industry and crane safety in Western Australia.”

CICA CEO Brandon Hitch agreed: “Crane operators are front-and-centre of major construction projects, and proper skill development for mobile crane operators underpins productivity and safety. The approval of the Certificate III traineeship ensures that new entrants to the crane industry have a clear
training pathway that provides a positive experience.”

This Mobile Crane Traineeship is considered vital in Western Australia for several reasons, one being that a high-risk work licence (HRWL) is currently the only requirement for a crane operator to commence operating cranes, irrespective
of experience. 

“Current high-risk work licensing requirements are outdated and do not provide new industry entrants with the level of training required to operate mobile cranes safely,” said Hitch.

There is also a growing need for competent and employable trainees to replace the number of crane operators retiring over the next five years.

To train crane operators necessary for replacing an ageing workforce and to ‘future-proof’ the crane industry, the Certificate III + skillset is beneficial because it provides a responsive training program without sacrificing education quality.  

By combining the Certificate III in Mobile Crane Operations with hands-on training on worksites and in the yard, the trainee is equipped with skills in
lift planning, business operations, Chain of Responsibility and other skills that they can leverage off to forge an exceptional career.

“This will be a foundational qualification that operators can then build on,” said Grosser. “We also hope to introduce a mechanism for the recognition of prior learning.”

An exciting prospect for today’s trainees is that they will see technology embed itself into the construction industry in ways that are inconceivable to many in the industry today. 

“The demand is there,” said Grosser. “There are many mining and infrastructure projects earmarked for this state and, if workers are skilled, they are safer, more efficient and can mentor others.”

Forging ahead with this new training path also requires buy-in from those already in the industry.  

“We have a great industry, and I am confident our men and women here in WA will get right behind this initiative to support newcomers,” stated Grosser.

CICA WA had the opportunity to spruik this new training opportunity at the Careers + VET Expo 2022 hosted at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC) mid-May. Also on display was a new crane simulator, the culmination of a lot of time and effort from Allan McPherson, CICA Life Member. The crane simulator attracted a lot of positive attention and gave expo attendees a
hands-on experience of what it is like to operate a crane.

Some had natural ability and coordination, and some were “this is harder than it looks” participants.

CICA and CICA WA thank everyone who contributed to getting the training accreditation over the line, and those who volunteered their time to the Careers Expo.

The RTO partner delivering the Cert III is ATM (Australian Training Management) and the financial administration and signup of trainees is being managed by Apprenticeship Support Australia. This is the first time in decades that logbooks have been mandated, ensuring that competency is attained by doing as well as learning.

Anyone interested in more information on the new training pathway can contact Dave Adams (cicawa@casm.com.au).

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