News & Views

28th June 2016

Inquiry recommendation highlights need for VET reform

28 Jun 2016

The findings of the ACT Legislative Assembly’s Vocational Education review of training standards at the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), further highlights the need for reforms in the Vocational Education and Training Sector, says the CEO of the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA), Mr Suresh Manickam.

The inquiry comes after concerns were raised by NECA and other industry bodies that graduates were given inadequate training and standards were lowered to allow some Electrotechnology apprentices to complete training, following the closure of the Electroskills training organisation in 2013. CIT took over the training of 250-300 apprentices after Electroskills failed a compliance audit.

The final report of the Vocational Education Inquiry called upon the ACT Government to ensure that CIT reviews each former graduate to ensure that course requirements were met.

“At the time, NECA raised concerns about CIT’s ability to deliver the necessary competencies to enable these apprentices to be appropriately skilled for future employment. We agree with the outcomes that reinforce our concerns about training standards within the Electrotechnology sector,” Mr Manickam said.

“Whilst we await the official response of the ACT Government in August, these findings highlight the need for VET sector reform at the Federal level and across our states and territories.”

“Electrotechnology apprenticeship training is critical for the national economy and the Australian Capital Territory. It must be delivered with the highest standards of quality and safety, given its highly technical nature and rigorous need for safety compliance, said Mr Manickam.

“Additionally, NECA calls upon the Federal Government to ensure a greater number of electrical products are batch tested. This action will ensure greater levels of safety for consumers purchasing new electrical products.”




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Notes for editors

  1. NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.
  2. NECA is run by electrical contractors, for electrical contractors.
  3. We have 5,000 contracting companies as members – and they in turn employ over 50,000 people Australia-wide.
  4. NECA employs almost 350 people across its seven chapters (Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia).
  5. The chapters provide NECA members with a range of services including: Industrial Relations, Health & Safety, Legal, Technical, Training, business-support services, product discounts and advocacy representation in Canberra with Government, Industry bodies and Training bodies.
  6. NECA wholly-owns its Legal firm, Group Training and the NECA Colleges (in WA) and EcoSmart Electricians – and has joint ventures with a superannuation company (NSW) and one of the national cabling registrars (ACRS).
  7. NECA also employ around 2,000 apprentice electricians and provides training to a further 2,000.
  8. For further information go to

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