NECA WA recently met with the new minister for Commerce, the Hon. Amber-Jade Sanderson MLA. As the Minister responsible for Building and Energy, we had a frank discussion regarding the blow-out in licensing processing times.
Applications for Electrician's Training Licences are taking between 4-6 weeks to process. This is simply unacceptable. Businesses cannot be expected to carry the cost of employing an apprentice and yet being unable to have them perform any electrical work, while government bureaucracy takes up to 30 working days to process a licence application.
The Minister was genuinely shocked when presented with this information and assured us that she would take action to rectify this unnecessary delay.
There is also a similar problem with the lengthy processing times for Electrical Worker Licence applications. These are also taking up to 6 weeks to process, which is absurd in an environment where there is a chronic shortage of electricians in the Western Australian workforce.
NECA WA will continue to pressure the government to remedy this situation, however members are advised that under S26(2) of the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991:
an electrician’s training licence held by a person who successfully completes the apprenticeship or course of training relevant to that licence continues to have effect until —
a) the person is granted an electrician’s licence; or
b) the period of 3 months expires from the time that the apprenticeship or course of training was completed
whichever occurs first
So, for three months following the successful completion of their studies, an apprentice’s training licence continues to have effect and they can continue to work as an electrical worker under that training licence provided their application for an Electrical Worker Licence is approved within that three months. However, they cannot work unsupervised and they cannot sign off a job.