Sugar Milling Project

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Case for change

Australia’s sugar milling industry regularly uses the national qualifications to develop training and define skills requirements for various roles. However, they are not formally delivered or assessed by any registered training organisation (RTO) at present. At the same time, technological advancements and new practices adopted from other industries are changing the skills required of workers within the sector. A review and redesign of current sugar milling qualifications and units of competency is proposed, to reflect these changes in industry environment and to encourage use of sugar milling skills standards within the VET system.

The Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) approved this project, out of the 2021 Annual Update IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work.

The Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will oversee this project as part of their responsibility to support engagement with the sector, and to ensure the project meets industry stakeholder needs.

Skills Impact will manage this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

Download Project Proposal (see page 58)

Project Plan

Sugar milling is one of Australia’s largest rural industries, employing 23,000 people and contributing $4 billion to the Australian economy a year, according to the Australian Sugar Milling Council. Employees in this industry draw on a vast array of skills throughout the milling cycle, including expertise for operating machinery, performing complex processes, working compliantly in laboratories, and driving large vehicles. Over recent years the nature of the industry has been evolving, with innovations in bioproducts including producing biofuel. The workforce has also changed over the years, with increasing automation meaning fewer people are required on the ground. As such the skills and training needs of the industry have also changed.

While the sugar milling industry regularly uses the national qualifications and skills standards for workplace training and defining job roles, they are not currently delivered or assessed by any registered training organisation (RTO). Industry feedback to date suggests a lack of support for qualifications offered through the VET system. Consultation will take place throughout this project to examine the implication of the feedback received to date.

Project Scope

The Certificate II in Sugar Milling Support and the Certificate III in Sugar Milling Industry Operations will be reviewed, along with 41 units and one skill set. There is potential to consider including the skills as specialisations associated with sugar milling in certificates II and III in food processing if industry and RTOs believe this will result in improved delivery and outcomes for all.  This would assist to simplify the skills system by deletion of two standalone qualifications and increasing industry’s and workers access to training and career path solutions.

(Note that these two food processing certificates have just completed a review in 2020-21, so would not undergo a full review as part of this project, only the addition of a specialisation for sugar milling if deemed necessary).

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Relevant Occupations
  • Crushing assistant
  • Sugar mill worker
  • Sugar services operator
  • Sugar processing operator
  • Sugar transport operator
  • Refinery operators

 

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

 

Timeline

August 2021
Initial scoping

September 2021
Development of draft qualifications, skill sets and units

September/October 2021*
Drafts available for broad consultation

November 2021*
Validation of final drafts

January/February 2022
Finalisation of Training Package components

February/March 2022
Independent Quality Assurance, and Edit and Equity review of Training Package components

April 2022
IRC consideration for sign-off and submission for endorsement

*To be confirmed with subject matter expert working group

Opportunities for stakeholder input

Experienced sugar 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 set, 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 2021, and again for validation of final drafts in November 2021. 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 sfalk@skillsimpact.com.au

N.B. webinars will be held to replace face-to-face consultation workshops where necessary due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

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 qualifications, skill set 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

Employees in Australia’s sugar milling industry utilise a range of skills throughout the milling cycle, including expertise for operating machinery, performing complex processes, working compliantly in laboratories, and driving large vehicles. It is one of Australia’s largest rural industries, employing 23,000 people and contributing $4 billion to the Australian economy a year, according to the Australian Sugar Milling Council.

While the sugar milling industry regularly undertakes training of their staff in-house, in recent years they have not made use of registered training organisations (RTO) for delivery or assessment. Extensive consultation has taken place with industry experts, during which it was indicated that the national qualifications, units of competency and skill set for sugar milling will not be used for the delivery of formal training in the future. Therefore, there is no need to review and update the qualifications, units and skill set as part of this project.

Development outcomes and next steps

The Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical IRC responsible for this project has informed the Department of Education Skills and Employment about the situation. The DESE is now considering the early conclusion of this project and if this is the case all components within scope of this project will be deleted (archived) from the national training register (training.gov.au).

Qualifications, skill sets and units of competency will remain available on the national training register in their current form for reference only. They will not be updated or available for use by RTOs.

Please note that there are four units of competency that will not to be deleted, as they out of scope of this project and sit within both current food and beverage processing (FBP) and meat processing (AMP) qualifications and need to be retained:
• FBPSUG2022 Operate a waste water treatment system
• FBPSUG2024 Perform standard tests on cane samples
• FBPSUG3007 Perform factory control tests
• FBPSUG3008 Analyse and convey workplace information.

 

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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 and Pharmaceutical’ as your industry of interest.

Drafts Available

The project did not proceed to this stage. Industry has determined that the qualifications, skill set and units did not require review as they were not going to be used for VET sector training delivery in the future.

Validation

The project did not proceed to this stage. Industry has determined that the qualifications, skill set and units did not require review as they were not going to be used for VET sector training delivery in the future.

Finalisation

Sugar milling is one of Australia’s largest rural industries, employing 23,000 people and contributing $4 billion to the Australian economy each year, according to the Australian Sugar Milling Council. Employees in this workforce possess a range of skills throughout the milling cycle, including expertise for operating machinery, performing complex processes, working compliantly in laboratories, and driving large vehicles.

The sugar milling industry regularly undertakes training of their staff in-house, negating the need for registered training organisations (RTOs) to be utilised for delivery or assessment. Consultation took place at the commencement of this project to consider how the current skills standards for sugar milling could be reconfigured to reflect industry requirements and be more accessible for training providers to deliver. As the project moved into the development stage, feedback from industry indicated that delivery of formal training using the national qualifications, skill set and units of competency was not likely in the future. Industry determined that the review should not continue.

The Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical IRC responsible for this project informed the Department of Education Skills and Employment (DESE) about the feedback received. The DESE confirmed the early cessation of the project and that the qualifications, skill set and units should be deleted (archived) from the national training register (training.gov.au).

The qualifications, skill set and units were archived from the national training register on 20 April 2022. They will remain available on the national training register in their current form for reference only. They will not be subject to future reviews or updates or available for the delivery of nationally recognised sugar milling training by RTOs.

There are four units of competency that will not to be deleted as they sit within both current food and beverage processing (FBP) and meat processing (AMP) qualifications and need to be retained:
FBPSUG2022 Operate a waste water treatment system
FBPSUG2024 Perform standard tests on cane samples
FBPSUG3007 Perform factory control tests
FBPSUG3008 Analyse and convey workplace information

Please find links to the archived qualifications, skill set and units below. 

Unit code and name
FBPSUG1001 Install pre-ballast
FBPSUG1002 Undertake shunting operations
FBPSUG1003 Move cane bins in a marshalling yard
FBPSUG1004 Check a cane sample for extraneous matter
FBPSUG1005 Manually clean and maintain housekeeping standards
FBPSUG2001 Lay sleepers for cane rail systems
FBPSUG2002 Lay rails for cane rail systems
FBPSUG2003 Lay skeleton track for cane rail system
FBPSUG2004 Operate tamping equipment
FBPSUG2005 Construct turnouts
FBPSUG2006 Collect and prepare samples
FBPSUG2007 Conduct cane weighbridge operations
FBPSUG2008 Operate a tipping station
FBPSUG2009 Operate an extraction station
FBPSUG2010 Operate a juice clarification process
FBPSUG2011 Operate a mud filtration process
FBPSUG2012 Chemically clean equipment
FBPSUG2013 Operate a pan station
FBPSUG2014 Operate a low grade fugal station
FBPSUG2015 Operate a high grade fugal station
FBPSUG2016 Operate a crystalliser station process
FBPSUG2017 Undertake simple fabrication
FBPSUG2018 Undertake forming, bending and shaping
FBPSUG2019 Operate a bagasse fuel supply system
FBPSUG2020 Operate a coal fuel supply system
FBPSUG2021 Operate an ash separation system
FBPSUG2023 Operate a cooling water system
FBPSUG2025 Perform general planing and shaping operations
FBPSUG2026 Perform general drilling operations
FBPSUG2027 Perform general lathe operations
FBPSUG2028 Perform general milling operations
FBPSUG3001 Drive a cane locomotive
FBPSUG3002 Control cane traffic movements
FBPSUG3003 Adjust cane delivery schedules to meet daily milling requirements
FBPSUG3004 Drive a master-slave locomotive
FBPSUG3005 Operate a sugar system
FBPSUG3006 Monitor a sugar mill powerhouse

Subscribe to updates about 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 and Pharmaceutical’ as your industry of interest.