Bicycle mechanics should be ranked higher than trolley collectors and leaflet deliverers on the nation’s skills training rankings, according to a campaign by Bicycle Industries Australia.
BIA is lobbying to have bike mechanics raised from Skills Level 5, the bottom rung, on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) – a position it also shares with theatre ticket collectors, crossing supervisors and car park attendants.
Association General Manager Peter Bourke said elevation to a higher level would better reflect the growing level of technology in modern bicycles, as well as the bike industry’s growing importance to the Australian economy.
A higher level would also increase the potential for greater government subsidies for mechanics training programs.
“Level 3 is where we would like it to sit. That would be appropriate because it’s taking into account the hydraulics, the electronics and other mechanics on bikes now,” he said.
“We are continuing to lobby the Australian Federal Government and the NZ Federal Government because a change would have to come from both those governments.”
Level 3 currently includes hairdressers, upholsterers and cabinet makers and printers.
Peter said the time is right to secure a higher level for bike mechanics, as developments such as We Ride Australia’s recent Australian Cycling Economy Report boost mainstream appreciation of the industry’s significance.
By highlighting the size of the bike industry and its importance to the Australian economy, the report had “caused government to do a rethink on the bike sector and how it is perceived”.
“Both the Government and the Opposition have acknowledged the impact of the industry and the momentum for change is certainly there,” he said.
“In saying that, there is an election coming up that will put all these conversations on hold but we will certainly pick up on that again after the election.”
He said that increased recognition was starting to overcome a perception that “bikes are toys and anyone can work on them at home”.
Feedback Invited for Classification Review
ANZSCO, which is jointly managed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Stats NZ, is currently updating the classifications and has invited community feedback until 12 April.
“While the ANZSCO has had some minor updates, it still largely reflects the original 2006 version of ANZSCO, based on the 2001 labour market,” according to the organisation.
At the same time, BIA is also pushing for greater consistency in how State’s classify bike mechanic training.
“Some States call it an apprenticeship, while it’s a traineeship in other States, even though the qualifications are identical,” Peter said.
“It’s all a Certificate III in Bicycle Workshop Operations (AUR30220) course.
“Classifying it as an apprenticeship brings access to a great level of subsidies through the State and Federal governments and we’d like to see greater alignment between the States.”
Apprenticeship Subsidy Extended
The Federal Government recently announced enrolments for its Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement wage subsidy, which provides employers with 12 months of wage subsidy support, has been extended to 30th June.
Any business that receives the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement (BAC) wage subsidy will then be eligible for extended support through the Completing Apprenticeship Commencements (CAC) wage subsidy for the second and third years of apprenticeships supported through the program.
Employers who take on an apprentice or trainee before 30 June 2022 can access:
- 50% of the eligible apprentice’s wages in the first year, capped at a maximum payment value of $7,000 per quarter per Australian apprentice
- 10% of the apprentice’s wages in the second year, capped at a maximum payment value of $1,500 per quarter
- 5% of the apprentice’s wages in the third year, capped at a maximum payment value of $750 per quarter
Join the Conversation:
Where do you think bicycle mechanics should sit on ANZSCO?