Technical Training: The Blind Lead The Blind
Talking about the training efforts that take place in other countries might seem irrelevant to Australians but it’s the only meaningful way we can establish just how impactful our local industry’s educational efforts are. It’s a painful comparison. Despite the fact California only has about 10 million more residents than Australia, electronic security training is actually taken seriously there.At home, Box Hill TAFE in Victoria and SouthBank TAFE in Queensland are making contributions there’s not too much else going on. Perhaps most unusual of all, there seems to be no coherent direction at an industry level. As a rule, industry bodies in other countries tie their efforts to driving education and standards but in Australia it’s more about managing and steering government attempts to regulate the industry.Having this sort of focus is fine – especially if your industry’s existence is constantly being threatened by the regulations of successive layers of over government. But if such a focus blinds governing bodies to the needs of large sectors of their market – in this case an electronic security industry worth at least $A1 billion a year – then there’s a problem. Why is it so hard to achieve a common educational standard in Australia’selectronic security industry? Perhaps the lack of uniformity between the statesis the problem. A country made up of independently governed states that hadtrouble agreeing on a standard gauge for railway tracks is unlikely to be ableto deliver standards for its electronic security industry. There’s also competition between private sector training organizations and the government-funded mobs to take into account. A single structured training course that allows competency based licensing and certification nationally? Forget about it. If you want to be an electronic security technician in this country, the only way to get there is to train as something else and then accidentally slide in – like a tar-pit. In Australia’s electronic security industry you can be a sparky, a computer technician, a communications technician, a vacuum cleaner installer, an electrical engineer or a film and TV technician. You can even be some one who likes fiddling about with PCBs and bits of wire or a bloke with the gift of the gab who claims to know everything about CCTV. But whatever else you can be, just forget all about being an electronic security technician. Just as intriguing as the hit-miss nature of our technical training is a strange lack of people under the age of 35 in the electronic security industry. We all know a bulge of qualified people has been going through the electronic security industry – the youngest of them is now in their mid-to-late 40s. These Wormald apprentices pretty much run the local electronic security industry today but unless they wake up and take a look around themthey’ll preside over an industry afflicted by technical decline. Don’t worry, though. If nothing gets done the Australian electronic security industry will survive and it won’t be taken over by computer techs. In case any one else has failed to notice, there’s a sub group of qualified, competent integrators winning serious business in this country. It’s a group with one thing in common – supercharged, tertiary-qualified bosses from the UK.