Apprenticeship training

Update to Painting Qualification Course

Daniel Wurm | 08 Jan 2019

The national qualification for painters and decorators is currently under review and is due for a major update. Artibus Innovation, in consultation with the Technical Advisory Group for Painting and Decorating are working together to bring the course up-to-date. This important work happens about once every 12 years and it sets the curriculum for apprentices for the next decade.

On behalf of the Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC, Artibus Innovation is seeking stakeholder feedback on the Certificate III in Painting and Decorating. Certificate III Painting and Decorating is the nationally recognised qualification for painters and required for licensing in SA, NSW, and QLD, and can be used for registration in WA and Victoria. It is the certificate issued to apprentices on completion of training.

Proposed changes include:

1. Creating a new elective for rope access work. This subject would not be compulsory, but would allow employers who do industrial rope access painting to obtain nationally recognised and funded training for their staff.
2. Include marbling and woodgraining as part of the advanced decorative finishes unit and remove it from the compulsory core decorative finishes unit.
3. Improved training in colour matching, spray-painting, estimating and surface preparation.
4. Protective Coatings to become a core compulsory subject. All apprentices to recieve training in mixing two-pack epoxies, working to specifications, quality control, preparation of metal and concrete.

Why is this important?

Only 28% of employers say they are happy with the training their apprentices receive at TAFE or colleges and 73% say that apprentices require more training in preparation of surfaces.

All apprentices and painting students around Australia currently spend many hours learning traditional marbling and woodgraining, even though it is only used by a very small percentage of the industry. This is costing employers and the government money that could be better spent on training skills that are currently lacking. Currently TAFE teachers spend many hours teaching marbling and woodgraining but not enough time teaching surface preparation, spray-painting and protective coatings. This has led to employer dissatisfaction with training outcomes and poor technical skills in the industry.

Will decorative finishes still continue to be taught?

Yes, decorative finishes will remain a core compulsory subject, meaning that apprentices and painters wanting a licence will still have to learn modern decorative finishes such as mirror finish, stenciling, sponging, ragging, lining and other modern effects. The trade will still be for Painters and Decorators.

What if I still want my apprentices to learn woodgraining and marbling?

Employers who want their apprentices to learn traditional woodgraining and marbling will still be able to do so by asking their training provider (TAFE or RTO) to enrol their apprentice in advanced decorative finishes as part of their apprenticeship.

Why would industrial rope access be taught to painters?

Rope access has been part of the trade for over 130 years and was traditionally known as a 'bosun's chair'. It has been taught at several TAFEs around Australia for many years. Many painters are learning this skill again so as to be able to do painting maintenance on multi-story buildings. Currently it is only taught at non-accredited colleges with un-recognised qualifications, which is dangerous for such a high risk activity. It is important that this part of trade training is subject to the Australian Quality Training Framework.

The proposal is for the subject to be an elective. This means it does not have to be part of the course and would only be chosen by employers who do industrial rope access work.

Is the trade being watered down?

No, in fact there are two new units that have been proposed to be introduced as core units to address the issues of poor trade skills in the industry. These units are on protective coatings and an additional unit on surface preparation. In addition, more training will be provided in spray-painting. This means that apprentices will recieve additional training in the skills that really make the difference between a handyman and tradesman.

Why aren't apprentices required to learn everything related to the trade?

There are currently 23 compulsory subjects and 8 electives. This allows employers and students to choose subjects that they feel would be valuable to them and that they can specialise in. Employers and students choose up to 4 subjects as electives. Therefore, no apprentices are learning everything related to the trade. The electives include protective coatings, anti-graffiti coatings, intumescent coatings, financial management, business legal requirements, glazing, advanced wallpapering and advanced decorative finishes (such as murals, gilding and traditional finishes). This allows painters to specialise in certain skills. It is not possible to do all 31 subjects within the time for the apprenticeship.

Will there be any changes to length of time it takes to complete an apprenticeship?

No. This has nothing to do with the duration of apprenticeships. In fact, we hope we can fit in all the additions to the course!

The National Painting and Decorating Institute urges all employers and painters to support the proposed changes so that we can bring the trade into the 21st century and provide the industry with the skills they need for the modern building industry.

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1 | Mike King

Hi Guys.

Having Rope Access as a recognised unit in the Painting Qualification will be a definite game changer.
We are setting up for our first rope training courses this year and will be doing so with the purpose of rope access. To gain work position and carry out professional trade application.
Lucas, you are absolutely right. We need to bring the standard back into the industry.

Posted on 10th January 2019, 3:32pm

2 | Lucas Cavuoto

As a painting Lecturer at Tafe, I believe the specialised skills are necessary to nurture as the trade is being dumbed down to glorified brush hands not craftsman. We need decorative painting all forms taught, wall papering ,timber finishing, murals, colour knowledge, historical restoration- Lead abatement, window glazing & most importantly skills & knowledge of preparation of all surfaces. More face time is also require to teach these subjects. I am against onsite training as it just dumb downs the trade.

Posted on 8th January 2019, 11:15am

3 | Michael Campbell

Old style finishes are seldom used today, more time should be spent on the modern finishes such as metalics, pearl finishes and even distemper and lime washes.
More time is required on paint technology, surface preperation and understanding why a coating doesn't preform as it should.

Posted on 9th January 2019, 12:03pm

4 | Mavuku Tokona

I totally agree with what said above we face thin in Fiji to.

Posted on 11th January 2019, 5:45pm

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