Flour Milling Project

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Case for change

The flour and grain milling industry has been adapting its operations to meet high demand for its products and growing consumer preferences for healthier options. The necessary skills for the workforce are evolving to include more automated machinery, supply chain and traceability systems management, and food safety regulations compliance. This project will review the Certificate IV in Flour Milling, to meet the current skills requirements of technical millers in Australia.

The Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) approved this project, out of the Annual Update IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work.

Skills Impact and the Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will oversee this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

Download Project Proposal (see page 47)

 

Project Plan

Flour millers possesses highly technical and sought-after skills and are of critical importance to any milling company. As demand for flour, oats, maize and other milled products continues to grow, industry has introduced ever more sophisticated automated systems and processes, meaning the skills required of millers have also changed.

Flour millers are expected to be technologically savvy, with critical thinking skills and a strong grasp of how systems work. As the machinery used in mills becomes more complex and the workforce becomes more concentrated, individual millers need to be across a larger part of the process. Shifting consumer tastes for more local and specialised products, and growing interest in the origins and ingredients contained in food have also had an impact on skills needs, with more kinds of flour and grains in demand and increased focus on traceability. According to the Australian Technical Millers Association, there are approximately 400 millers employed across 39 main grain milling plants in Australia.

The Certificate IV in Flour Milling which supports the skills required for this work has not been updated in some time and industry feedback has indicated that it no longer meets the current skills requirements of millers in Australia. A review of the qualification is needed to help equip the next generation of millers with the technical expertise required. This will give future learners the chance to access skills standards which best reflect the job role.

Project Scope

This project will review the Certificate IV in Flour Milling and six grain-specific units of competency within this qualification, and identify how the skills for this sector can be best defined and supported. The five grain specific units of competency previously listed in the Food and Beverage Processing Project will also be reviewed. Initial discussions with the flour milling industry indicate that the Certificate IV in Flour Milling has not kept pace with innovations in technology.

 

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Relevant Occupations
  • Leading hand
  • Technical miller
  • Grain mill worker
  • Flour miller
  • Flour mill operator
  • Flour blending operator

 

Project Team
Susie FalkIndustry Skills Standards Specialist, Skills Impactsfalk@skillsimpact.com.au
Julie StratfordIndustry Engagement Manager, Skills Impactjstratford@skillsimpact.com.au
Jenni OldfieldIndustry Skills Standard Contractor

Timeline

August 2020
Initial scoping

September 2020
Development of draft qualifications, skill sets and units

September/October 2020
Drafts available for broad consultation

November 2020
Validation of final drafts (concurrent with the Food & Beverage Processing project validation)

January/February 2021
Finalisation of Training Package components

February/March 2021
Independent Quality Assurance, and Edit and Equity review of Training Package components

April 2021
IRC consideration for sign-off and submission for endorsement

Opportunities for stakeholder input

Experienced flour millers and others with knowledge in this field who are able to describe the skills needed for this industry are invited to engage with this project.

It is important that training provides a skilled and flexible workforce for the future. The qualifications, skill sets, and units need to reflect real work experience. So, if you work in the sector, Skills Impact welcomes your input and assistance.

The skills standards will be drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts and their networks. Opportunities to provide targeted feedback will occur when the draft skills standards are made available in September/October 2020, and again for validation of final drafts in November 2020. However, your feedback is welcomed at any time, and will help us in drafting the qualifications, skill set and units.

Please register your interest in project updates and consultation opportunities by following the newsletter subscription link. Alternatively, contact the project manager, Susie Falk on 03 9321 3526 or sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au.

N.B. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Webinars will be held to replace the face-to-face consultation workshops Skills Impact would usually host around Australia.

Stakeholder Consultation Process

A list of key stakeholder organisations has been identified for this project based on their industry role, size or specialty. Skills Impact will ensure contact is made with each of these organisations to seek their involvement and views on all draft skill sets and units. Consultation is not limited to the organisations on this list, they have simply been identified as the most, likely to have a key interest in the development and outcomes of this project

If you are aware of an organisation that you think should be involved, please contact the project team to ensure they are contacted by us.

Development

The flour milling industry has been undergoing transformation over the last decade. There is a growing demand for a range of different varieties of flour, as Australian consumers buy more artisan and premium grain products. At the same time, technological developments have led to a concentrated workforce, with millers working across a larger part of the process. More complex machinery has led to the need for new digital and technological skills.

Subject matter experts met at the beginning of September 2020 to commence the process of reviewing the Certificate IV in Flour Milling. This qualification has not been updated in some time and the workshop participants clearly indicated that the qualification does not match current industry skills requirements. This is supported by evidence showing there has been little usage of the qualification for some years. The workshop participants indicated that there is a skills gap that could be filled by adding milling units, and potentially a specialisation, to the Certificate III in Food Processing. Feedback from these subject matter experts and from others consulted in the development of the project has indicated that the level of upskilling required beyond Certificate III level would not justify the continuation of a Certificate IV qualification. Instead, there are industry-supported options available outside of the VET system that appropriately meet any upskilling requirements.

The recommendation from this group of experts is to develop a milling specialisation in the Certificate III in Food Processing, which is currently under development as part of the Food & Beverage Processing Project. This will not only address the current skills gap; it should also assist in delivery and could be used as a pathway to support the current industry training available for upskilling. In doing this, several units of competency for grain processing will be reviewed and updated. This will be the foundation for the next stage of development work prior to drafts going out for public consultation.

Development outcomes and next steps

Broad stakeholder consultation is scheduled to commence early October, 2020, when draft units will be made available for comment on this webpage. Your input is welcome, please feel free to register your interest to keep informed of project updates and when draft materials are available for feedback.

 

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Food, Beverage & Pharmaceutical’ as your industry of interest.

 

 

Drafts Available

This stage has not yet commenced

Validation

This stage has not yet commenced

Finalisation

This stage has not yet commenced