Engineering skills initiative a success: MP Gary Hardgrave

A milestone meeting between broadcast engineers, educators and other industry heavyweights has succeeded in mapping a way forward to redress the impending technical skills shortage that is looming in the radio and television industries.

More than a hundred industry participants shed their network rivalries and gathered at the Australian Film Television and Radio School under the chairmanship of SMPTE head John Maizels to face a looming skills crisis. The crisis will hit in the next few years as current studio, broadcast and transmission engineers retire and new people are not being taught those skills.

As the industry has turned to IT based hardware over the past twenty years, the original courses that taught transmission and technical skills (BOCP, TVOCP and others) were considered out of date and eventually were not attracting new engineers and technicians to the profession.

Seeing a shortage looming, SMPTE and AFTRS held the industry day to unite educators and industry so that new courses focusing on current skills requirements can be redeveloped and an accreditation system administered by SMPTE could be introduced.

The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister Gary Hardgrave, who is also the minister for vocational training and technical education, congratulated the forum for doing what the government is trying to encourage all industries to do: tell the educators what they need and give them assistance to teach it.

Hardgrave, who was a radio and tv presenter before he went into politics, spoke about his teenage years in Brisbane where an inspiring teacher set up a campus radio station and encouraged him to get into the media. He said the link between student needs, industry skills requirements and good teachers is essential for the development of successful courses.

A steering committee will push the next steps of the SMPTE industry initiative, develop a set of certification questions, and continue the dialog between industry and educators.


Tags: |