Many businesses are feeling the pinch of the current labour shortage, but for those in the manufacturing sector, a lack of skilled welders has been an increasing issue for decades. In response to direct feedback from industry, the South East Melbourne Manufacturer’s Alliance (SEMMA) branched out from its advocacy role to directly respond to local members’ needs by launching a Welding Skills Short Course.
After securing a $200,000 Federal grant during the throws of COVID in 2021, local job seekers have had the opportunity to undertake this free 4-week course in Dandenong South with guaranteed employment upon successful completion. The course is designed equip participants to be employment-ready and perform basic welding work, which can in turn free up organisations’ more experienced welding employees for other projects.
A valuable component of the training has been incorporating a welding simulator, allowing participants to not only adjust to the welding helmet but practice in a safe, fun, sustainable manner while receiving a detailed analysis of their attempt. SEMMA has observed a strong, positive correlation between performance with the simulator and the physical MIG welding achieved in the welding bays.
The course would not have been possible without the wonderful support of Hilton Manufacturing, based in Dandenong South, who generously provide both formal classroom training space and valuable production floor space for the student welding bays, giving participants the experience of operating in a real factory environment. Chisholm Institute’s experienced instructors deliver the training for SEMMA.
Peter Angelico, Managing Director of ABECK Group, is thrilled with his new employee and course graduate who is producing jig welded parts, freeing up a higher skilled welder to complete more critical work. Peter said, “the skills course is designed to fill an immediate need which enables us to maintain our customer’s confidence that we can deliver in full and on-time”.
“There are plenty of full-time positions in manufacturing, we need to bring people in with micro credential courses such as this that are specifically designed to suit what our customers need”.