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Fire and Other Public Safety

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Fire and Other Public Safety Sector, which is one component of the Corrections and Public Safety industry cluster.

The main occupation in this sector that requires Vocational Education and Training is Fire and Emergency Worker.

Nationally recognised training for Fire and Other Public Safety is delivered under the PUA12 - Public Safety Training Package.

Information sourced from the Public Safety IRC Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Employment numbers in Public Order, Safety and Regulatory Services industry sector have increased between 2000 and 2017 and are expected to increase even further between 2017 and 2022.

Fire and Emergency Workers make up 6% of employment in this industry and employment for this occupation is expected to increase slightly between 2017 and 2022.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Enrolments for Fire and Other Public Safety qualifications have decreased significantly between 2014 and 2016. Over that time, qualification completions have remained relatively stable.

Just more than half of the enrolments were at certificate II level and a little less than one-third were at certificate III level. About three-quarters of the enrolments in this sector were for fire service qualifications, although there were aa number related to aquatic search and rescue. The main intended occupation for the qualifications was Fire and Emergency Worker.

While a majority of the enrolments were with private providers, about a third were with enterprise providers. In terms of funding, about three quarters of the subjects were funded by domestic fee-for-service with most of the remainder government funded. However, it needs to be noted that there are some exemptions from reporting for organisations delivering training for vital services that are not delivered on a fee-for-service basis (as noted in the Public Safety IRC Skills Forecast).

Victoria had the largest proportion of students undertaking vocational education and training in this sector in 2016.

There are few apprenticeships and traineeships in this area. They are aimed at the intended occupation of Fire and Emergency workers. Students mainly came from South Australia and the ACT.

There were also many subject-only enrolments in the following units of competency:

  • Confine small workplace emergencies (approximately 15,300 subject only enrolments in 2016)
  • Provide emergency care (12, 000)
  • Operate as part of an emergency control organisation (11, 000)
  • Administer oxygen in an emergency situation (10,400)
  • Operate an automated external defibrillator in an emergency (6, 300).

The large number of subject enrolments is quite possibly related to training that the large number of volunteers in the sector need to undertake.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry.

For more data specific to your region, visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Public Safety IRC Skills Forecast  identifies that the top five priority skills for the broader public safety workforce in the next three to five years are:

  • emergency/incident management
  • community/volunteer engagement
  • professionalism
  • workplace health and safety
  • interpersonal skills.

Additionally, the top five generic skills are listed as:

  • managerial/leadership
  • design mindset/thinking critically/system thinking/solving problems
  • learning agility/information literacy/intellectual autonomy and self-management
  • technology
  • communication/virtual collaboration/social intelligence.

This industry sector, and in particular, fire and emergency services, is very reliant on volunteers. The skills forecast notes concerns about recruitment and retention of volunteers. Among factors raised by industry stakeholders in relation to these concerns are:

  • Costs of training, or to become a trainer, in both time and money
  • A lack of understanding and recognition of the role of volunteers
  • A lack of motivation to complete personal training
  • A shortage of trainers and unmet demand for training
  • A lack of online and other interactive training
  • Access to training. This includes the distance required to travel to complete compliance training.

The Commonwealth Government’s 2015 Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper announced an investment of $200 million in biosecurity surveillance and analysis. Part of this included a focus on Northern Australia. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources lists several projects and initiatives which are being funded under the white paper; some of which have relevance for skills and training. These include:

  • tropical pest and disease emergency response training
  • aquatic biosecurity surveillance training
  • specialist diagnostic training (and also modern diagnostic equipment)
  • twenty eight more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ranger groups working in biosecurity
  • technical skills training for Rangers in tropical biosecurity
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traineeships in biosecurity.  

 

 

  

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council

Australian Council of State Emergency Services

United Firefighters Union of Australia

 

Relevant reports

Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper - Commonwealth of Australia

 

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2017, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal website.  

  • by ANZSIC 2 digit 77 Public Order, Safety and Regulatory Services, employment projections to May 2022
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2022
    • 4412 Fire and Emergency Workers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), sex, state and territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 September 2017 < http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202017?OpenDocument>

  • Employed total by 2 digit ANZSIC  77 Public Order, Safety and Regulatory Services, 2000 to 2017, May Quarter.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census - Employment, Income and Unpaid Work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 2 digit ANZSIC 77 Public Order, Safety and Regulatory Services, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.                                                                                                                                               

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the Public Safety training package:

  • Fire Services
    • PUA20601 - Certificate II in Public Safety (Firefighting and Emergency Operations)
    • PUA20613 - Certificate II in Public Safety (Firefighting and Emergency Operations)
    • PUA20701 - Certificate II in Public Safety (Firefighting Operations)
    • PUA20713 - Certificate II in Public Safety (Firefighting Operations)
    • PUA30601 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting and Emergency Operations)
    • PUA30613 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting and Emergency Operations)
    • PUA30701 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting Operations)
    • PUA30713 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Firefighting Operations)
    • PUA40301 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Firefighting Supervision)
    • PUA40313 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Firefighting Supervision)
    • PUA50501 - Diploma of Public Safety (Firefighting Management)
    • PUA50513 - Diploma of Public Safety (Firefighting Management)
    • PUA60501 - Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Firefighting Management)
    • PUA60513 - Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Firefighting Management)
    • PUA60909 - Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Fire Investigation)
    • PUA60913 - Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Fire Investigation)
  • Aquatic Search and Rescue 
    • PUA21004 - Certificate II in Public Safety (Aquatic Rescue)
    • PUA21010 - Certificate II in Public Safety (Aquatic Rescue)
    • PUA21012 - Certificate II in Public Safety (Aquatic Rescue)
    • PUA31310 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Aquatic Search and Rescue)
    • PUA31312 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Aquatic Search and Rescue)
    • PUA42612 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Aquatic Search and Rescue Management)
    • PUA50912 - Diploma of Public Safety (Search and Rescue - Coordination)
  • State Emergency Services 
    • PUA20400 - Certificate II in Public Safety (SES Rescue)
    • PUA21310 - Certificate II in Public Safety (SES)
    • PUA21312 - Certificate II in Public Safety (SES)
    • PUA30412 - Certificate III in Public Safety (SES Rescue)
    • PUA30512 - Certificate III in Public Safety (SES Operations)
  • Biosecurity Response 
    • PUA33112 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Biosecurity Response Operations)
    • PUA42912 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Biosecurity Response Leadership)
    • PUA52412 - Diploma of Public Safety (Biosecurity Response Management)
  • Industry Wide 
  • PUA31404 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Community Safety)
  • PUA31412 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Community Safety)
  • PUA33010 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Emergency Communications Centre Operations)
  • PUA33012 - Certificate III in Public Safety (Emergency Communications Centre Operations)
  • PUA41004 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Leadership)
  • PUA41012 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Leadership)
  • PUA41104 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Community Safety)
  • PUA41112 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Community Safety)
  • PUA42712 - Certificate IV in Public Safety (Emergency Communications Centre Operations)
  • PUA51004 - Diploma of Public Safety (Community Safety)
  • PUA51012 - Diploma of Public Safety (Community Safety)
  • PUA52312 - Diploma of Public Safety (Emergency Management)
  • PUA60112 - Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Emergency Management)
  • PUA60704 - Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Community Safety)
  • PUA60712 - Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Community Safety)

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 subject enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions please refer to the Total VET Activity students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.  

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.  This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

PUA Public Safety Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2016 commencements
  • 2010 to 2016 completions 
  • 2016 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2016 collection, by qualification and State and Territory of data submitter.
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