Industry Training Demand Profile

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Note that the information, views and recommendations in this document have been obtained under contract from industry sources as part of Industry Advisory Arrangements; they may include data or information which have not been otherwise verified, and they should not be interpreted as being the views, intentions or policy of OPCET or the Tasmanian Government.

Industry Training Demand Profile



Scope of Aquaculture TDP 2

Part 1 Industry background and directions 4

Part 2 Skill shortages 7

Part 3 Industry demand for training 8


Part 4 Assessment of infrastructure needs 20

Part 5 Information on VET in schools, including school based new apprenticeships 22

Part 6 Industry’s top priorities for the public training system 24

Part 7 Higher education 30

Scope of Aquaculture TDP

Industry sectors and core occupations

ANZIC Classifications

  • 042 Aquaculture

  • 217 Other Food Manufacturing


  • Fish Farm Hand (fish farm attendant)

  • Fish farm Team Leader (supervisor)

  • Site Manager

  • Farm Manager

Seafood Processing

  • Processing attendant

  • Processing supervisor (team leader)

  • Processing Operations Manager

Training Package coverage

SFI04 Seafood Industry Training Package

TDM01 Transport & Distribution (Maritime)

Qualifications and courses within Training Package(s)

Qual 1

SFI10104 Certificate I in the Seafood Industry (Aquaculture)
Qual 2

SFI20104 Certificate II in the Seafood Industry (Aquaculture)
Qual 3

SFI30104 Certificate III in the Seafood Industry (Aquaculture)
Qual 4

SFI40104 Certificate IV in the Seafood Industry (Aquaculture)
Qual 5

SFI50104 Diploma of Seafood Industry (Aquaculture)

Qual 6

SFI10504 Certificate I in the Seafood Industry (Seafood Processing).

Qual 7

SFI20504 Certificate II in the Seafood Industry (Seafood Processing).
Qual 8

SFI30504 Certificate III in the Seafood Industry (Seafood Processing).
Qual 9

SFI40504 Certificate IV in the Seafood Industry (Seafood Processing).
Qual 10

SFI50504 Diploma of Seafood Industry (Seafood Processing).

Qual 11

TDM10101Certificate I in Transport & Distribution (Maritime Operations)

Qual 12

TDM20101 Certificate II in Transport & Distribution (Maritime Operations)
Qual 13

TDM30101 Certificate III in Transport & Distribution (Maritime Operations)
Qual 14

TDM40101 Certificate IV in Transport & Distribution (Maritime Operations)
Qual 15

TDM20201 Certificate II in Transport & Distribution (Marine Engine Driving)
Qual 16

TDM30201 Certificate III in Transport & Distribution (Marine Engine Driving)
Qual 17

TDM 40201 Certificate IV in Transport & Distribution (Marine Engine Driving)

Part 1 Industry background and directions

Industry trends

Over the last 3 years the Tasmanian seafood Industry has grown in volume produced and in value. The majority of this growth comes from Aquaculture. The farm gate value of Tasmanian Aquaculture grew 75% from 04/05 to 05/06.

Aquaculture now accounts for about 60% of Tasmanian seafood production.

Every species grew in value comparing 04/05 with 05/06 but the most significant was for Salmonoids where the farm gate value increased by about 90%, a value increase of over $100m.

The main drivers in this increase have been;

  • a significant increase in farm gate values,

  • increased production of about 30% due mainly to better FCR(feed conversion ratio) resulting in bigger fish,

  • improved efficiencies in farming practices,

  • greater demand created by better consumer awareness of the health values of seafood.

The future for our major aquaculture species, Salmonoids, is much more positive than it has been in recent years. The trends for the next 3 years are very positive in terms of volume and value. The cautious optimism of yesterday has been replaced with a real enthusiasm that the industry will not only survive but prosper.

The current value of Tasmanian Aquaculture production is approximately $250.m. (2005/06 DPIW stats)

The phase of consolidation for the industry is over, with growth expected to continue although not as dramatically as in the last 18 months.

The growth in Salmonids has been achieved with minimal growth in employment. Improved farming practices and good growing conditions (climate) have resulted in better feed conversion and a dramatic improvement in efficiency.

Employment demand will be mainly driven by attrition and growth.

Any change to the recent weather pattern could result in more demand for skilled labour as warmer water increases the need for net changes, bathing and can reduce stocking density necessitating more infrastructures to grow a given quantity.

The value of our shellfish production has grown by about 20% in the last 12 months. The oyster volume has remained roughly the same (+4%) with significant increases in farmed abalone (+60%) and mussels (+40%).

Given the recent history and levels of competition from other states, in particular South Australia, growth in oysters is still expected to be modest but the trend for mussels and abalone to increase will continue. Attrition will continue to be relatively high and account for most of the skilled worker demand from oyster farms while the emerging farmed abalone sector will provide some demand driven by increased production.

Whilst demand for formal qualifications remains strong from the shellfish sector demand has decreased from Salmonid. We expect the demand for salmonid traineeships to increase over the next few years driven by attrition and increased production. The trend to less formal training in this sector is especially noticeable in the processing of farmed products, driven by the employment of more casuals and reluctance to invest in formal qualifications.

The new Food Safety Act should be enforced by May 2007. This will require all handlers of food to have appropriate training. This will apply to all workers, including farm hands

The prospect for any new significant aquaculture development is not obvious. The opportunities for new products utilising existing species are more promising. The emphasis for more efficient growing of fish will continue whilst the demand for higher quality and more varied value added production will lead to an increased demand for skilled labour.

The model in 2006 is for Traineeships to be funded equally by User Choice and employers. Training to meet regulatory requirements is now almost all State subsidised. The Tasmanian Skills Investment Program now provides funding for 10 courses and is greatly appreciated by industry.

The use of the Seafood Industry Training Package will be reduced by the almost exclusive use of the Maritime Training Package for all qualifications requiring a vessel licence from Aquaculture, Fishing or Maritime.

Demand for user choice funding will be concentrated on Certificates III in Seafood Industry (Aquaculture). The Industry is optimistic that there will be some demand for Certificate III in the Seafood Industry (Seafood Processing) for the first time in 3 years when a southern aquaculture processor takes over an existing facility.

There is some variation in the values (value of production, volume of production and numbers employed) between the sources used to prepare this document. We have in general terms used the more conservative estimates and attempted to offer a balanced position rather than the occasionally optimistic opinion of industry members. Despite the variations in the predictions of volume and value the predictions for training demand are less contentious and are tempered by information from providers and direct input from individuals and enterprises.

New businesses

The growth in Salmonids is from enterprises of long standing being the Tassal Group and Huon Aquaculture. There are no new entrants although Huon Aquaculture has grown significantly with the purchase of Springs Seafoods in South Australia and Huon Valley Seafoods in Port Huon.

Spring Bay Seafoods are an increasingly important scallop and mussel producer and there has been significant growth in the output of abalone farms.

New technology

New technology on Salmonid farms has increased the demand for operators to be proficient in a range of equipment from pumps, oxygen panels, harvesting lines, underwater cameras, remote operated vehicles, feed delivery systems, fish monitoring software and larger vessels for more exposed leases.

Strategic priorities/directions

Although 70% of Australia’s total fish production is exported only a small but increasing percentage of Tasmania’s aquaculture production now goes overseas. Estimates for 2007/08 are that exports of Salmonids will account for 10-15% of total production. (Abalone exports exceed 90%)

The desire to meet the market demand for price whilst maintaining or even increasing quality and volume has been made easier in recent times especially with Salmonids where farm gate prices have risen by about 50% in 18 months.

Reducing and or capping production costs whilst maintaining or increasing the volume grown is seen as a priority by many fish harvesters and farmers both large and small. The Aquaculture industry has been very successful in this area in the last 18 months.

The accessibility of training given the number of licences required to operate in Aquaculture is of great importance.

Diminishing areas/skills

There is a reduced demand for all diving qualifications for aquaculture divers mainly due to use of contractors and more efficient farm practices.

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