Industry Training Demand Profile

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Characteristics of the existing workforce

In 2005 there were 3 major processors of Salmonids and over 100 shellfish processors. (As every shellfish farmer undertakes at a minimum some basic processing of their product).

This sector has a rough balance between genders. Employment distribution is concentrated in the South East (Margate, the Huon Valley, and Dover) due to the presence of two of the major Salmon processors. Other areas of significance for Salmonids are Strahan and Devonport. The areas of importance for Shellfish processing are the North West, North East, East and South East of Tasmania.

Employment is mainly on a casual and or seasonal basis.

The percentage of employees of Salmonid processors holding formal qualifications has decreased in recent years with training falling well behind attrition. For other processors formal qualifications are uncommon.

There has been a significant increase in the value of production over the last year due to the higher value of our Salmonids. The total farm gate value of all Tasmanian Aquaculture Production in 2005/06 was approximately $250m consisting of;

Value of Tasmanian Salmonids $221m

Value of Tasmanian Oysters $18m

Value of Tasmanian Mussels $3.7m

Value of Tasmanian farmed Abalone $5.7m

* Based on DPIW stats for 2005/06

Normal drivers of training demand in this industry group

As the farming sector has more control over production than the wild catch in terms of timing of harvest and volume there is greater opportunity for fulltime and part time employment than with the processors of wild caught fish. Most aquaculture enterprises attempt to supply the market year round whereas most wild catch operators are restricted by defined seasons or the availability of quota. There is some likelihood that there will be an increase in part and full time employment over the next few years.

This sectors reluctance to engage in formal training for its staff continues. Whole qualifications and even skill sets have not proved attractive to this sector. Enterprises now have put less emphasis on training, formal training is seen a difficult to manage, costly in administration and wages and, not suitable to this sectors demand for flexibility in employment conditions. This perception has resulted in a huge decreased demand for formal qualifications.

What remain are a significant demand for informal training at the entry level and a reduced demand at the Certificate III level for existing employees for Salmonid processors.

Licensing will become a factor in May 2007 when food safety legislation is enforced. Enterprises will have to prove staff competence in this area. This will especially effect shellfish farmers who will be “actively managed” due to the increased risks.

Changes occurring in demand for training

The demand for the Certificate III in Seafood Industry (Seafood Processing) continues to be of little interest to Aquaculture processors. The previous emphasis on training is no longer apparent. We are optimistic that this downward trend has bottomed out and we will see a steady increase in traineeships over the next few years. We do not expect to achieve the high enrolment numbers of 5 years ago.

Large aquaculture processors no longer require that the majority of their workforce should have a Certificate III. The demand will be from supervisors and or team leaders, some of which will require Certificates III and some Certificate IV qualifications. There will be demand for a supervisory and or management “skill set” where the undertaking of a full qualification proves too onerous.

There will be increased demand for units from Certificate I in Seafood Industry (Seafood Processing) to meet the new food laws.

The availability of State funding, at all Certificate levels will ultimately determine demand.

Changes required to the nature of training

The demand for Certificate I qualifications (inc. skill sets) will be influenced by the availability of state subsidies. The reduction in demand for Certificate III and to a lesser extent Certificate IV qualifications should be mitigated by providing better access to formal qualifications especially through funding existing trainees.

There will be a demand for skill sets of units from both Certificate III & IV in Seafood Industry (Seafood Processing) for those who cannot or do not wish to take up the full qualification.

The target market for training

Existing workers will make up the bulk of the demand for Certificate III in the Seafood Industry (Seafood Processing). For Certificate I the emphasis will be on new entrants and some existing seasonal & casual workers.

The type of work offered by almost all seafood processors is not seen as desirable to school leavers.

Numbers of people that need to be trained -Seafood Processing



Annual demand by region 2007-09





Seafood Processors

Cert I in the SFI Seafood Processing SFI10504





Seafood Processors

Cert III in the SFI

Seafood Processing SFI30504



Seafood Processors Team Leaders

Cert IV in the SFI Seafood Processing SFI40504 (skills set SFIPROC404B & SFIPROC405B)



Fork Lift

TDTD1097B Operate a Forklift





Workplace Employee Safety Rep

Non accredited WPS Tas requirement



Workplace Trainer & Assessor

Units from the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAA40104)



Comments on any government funded training provision in excess of local industry needs

As indicated earlier there is a much diminished demand for User Choice funded qualifications, especially Certificate III in Seafood Industry (Seafood Processing).

Recommendations for the appropriate response by the training system

Fund the delivery of both Certificate I in Seafood Industry (Seafood Processing) and select units from this and Certificate III.

This will meet the needs of the vast numbers of new and existing employees who do not meet the current funding criteria.

Maintain funding for Certificate III in the Seafood Industry (Seafood Processing) and encourage participation through funding existing employees via User Choice.

Encourage greater participation in formal training through industry liaison groups. Invest in promotion of careers at school and workplace level.

Information on training demand being met outside the Tasmanian public system

A high percentage of qualifications are currently funded from sources other than state funds.

Certificate I can be funded by employment recruitment agencies. When taken up, Certificate III is often funded by the trainee’s enterprise using Commonwealth incentive payments.

There is and will continue to be a huge amount of informal non-accredited in house delivery especially in the smaller enterprises.

There is a large amount of specialist technical and management training in the Aquaculture processing sector delivered outside the training package framework.

Farmbis has been used to subsidise up to 60% of the training costs of food safety training (inc. HACCP).

Additional industry advice not directly related to industry demand for training

The need for language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) training is more obvious in this sub-group then any other. In recent years the employment of non English speaking background (NESB) employees has increased.

Fund the review and upgrading of the training resource “Seafood Training Tasmania the First Steps”

The Seafood industry Australia wide, and especially in Tasmania, use a learning resource called “Seafood Training, The First Steps” to deliver & assess core units from the SFI training package especially to LLN clients. This resource was developed in Tasmania and over 3,000 copies have been sold to date. With the review of the SFI training package nearly complete this resource requires updating to align with the changes implemented.

Management training is always in demand especially with the larger enterprises.

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