Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 13, Issue 29

Friday, 14th August 2020
Hi Reader!

Upcoming Events

24-28 Aug
AEN Industry Update Series

9 Sep
GTO Managers Meeting

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program Banner
Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program
Now into its twelfth week, the Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program has received over 260 registrations from apprentices and trainees who have been affected by the current economic crisis.

The top 3 sectors represented are:
  1. Building and Construction
  2. Electrical, Electronics and Utilities
  3. Automotive and Boating
The top 3 occupations are the:
  1. Electrical Trades
  2. Plumbing and Roofing
  3. Carpentry, Joinery and Cabinetmaking
First year apprentices make up over 45 percent of those seeking assistance and while regional Victoria has been affected slightly, the vast majority of participants are located in the Metro Melbourne area.

We have also seen employer confidence in the economy boost with more job vacancies being listed on last month. The register currently has over 600 job vacancies listed.

The program aims to assist apprentices and trainees who have lost their employment complete their training.

For Individuals

Apprentices and trainees who have lost their employment are encouraged to register.

Once on the register, apprentices and trainees will be assisted by one of our program officers until placed with a host employer through a Group Training Organisation (GTO) or directly with an employer.

Program officers will also help direct you to the most appropriate advice and assistance while you remain out of employment.

For Employers

Employers who have job vacancies for apprentices or trainees can submit them on the vacancy register.

Our program officers will match your vacancy with suitable candidates for you to interview.

Employers may also be eligible for Australian Government incentives.

For further information or to register for the program please visit Apprenticeship Employment Network.

VRQA Update on Suspension Process

Under the Victoria’s Stage 4 restrictions, some employers will cease or reduce their operations and may need to stand down their apprentices/trainees temporarily.
  • During this period, employers are not required to submit paperwork to suspend their apprentice/trainees’ training contract. Employers may reconcile the disruption to the apprentice/trainees’ employment once work resumes by contacting their Apprenticeship Network provider.
  • We encourage employers to discuss their stand down arrangements with their apprentice/trainee and support them to continue any prearranged or additional training that may be available through their registered training organisation.
  • In some instances, apprentice/trainee training progress may be impacted by changes to their employment and training. We encourage employers to discuss potential training contract extensions with their registered training organisation and their Apprenticeship Network provider.
For advice about employer obligations to apprentice and trainee wages and conditions during this period, please see the Fair Work Ombudsman’s coronavirus sub-site:

Full details are available at VRQA.

Independent Assessment of Apprentices & Trainees


Employment Labour Force Data for July

On Thursday this week the ABS released its July 2020 employment labour force data. Note this data doesn’t include the Victorian Stage 4 workplace restrictions that commenced in August.

  • Employment increased 114,700 to 12,460,800 people. Full-time employment increased 43,500 to 8,547,100 people and part-time employment increased 71,200 to 3,913,600 people.
  • Unemployment increased 15,700 to 1,009,400 people.
  • Unemployment rate increased less than 0.1 pts to 7.5%.
  • Underemployment rate decreased 0.5 pts to 11.2%.
  • Underutilisation rate decreased 0.4 pts to 18.7%.
  • Participation rate increased by 0.6 pts to 64.7%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 21.7 million hours to 1,681.3 million hours.
For further information please visit Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Commonwealth Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform

The Commonwealth and participating states and territories have signed a Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform.

The Agreement sets out immediate reforms to improve the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector and an approach and priorities for developing a new National Skills Agreement to replace the National Agreement on Skills and Workforce Development.

The priorities in the Agreement are aimed at ensuring the VET system is delivering for students and employers and equipping Australians with the skills they need for emerging jobs.

Participating states and territories also have the opportunity to partner with the Commonwealth to deliver the JobTrainer Fund, which will provide more Australians with access to free, or low cost, training places in areas of identified skills need.

AEN Video Conference Week - 24-28 August

During National Skills Week (21-28 August), the AEN will host a series of free video conference presentations and interactive workshops to provide VET updates to our member network.

The AEN has scheduled 10 speakers from State and Federal Government and other industry stakeholders to provide updates via video conference.
Monday 24 August

10.00am - 11.30am

1.00pm - 2.00pm

Tuesday 25 August

10.00am - 11.00am

Wednesday 26 August

10.00am - 11.00am

1.00pm - 2.00pm

Thursday 27 August

10.00am - 11.00am

1.00pm - 2.00pm

Friday 28 August

10.00am - 11.00am

Carl Walsh - Manager, Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Engagement Participation & Inclusion Division - HESG
Department of Education and Training Victoria

Simon Smith & Diana McGowan

Gary Workman - Executive Director
Apprenticeship Employment Network
AEN Industry Update (Including OH&S update)

Linda White - Assistant Secretary
Workforce and Apprenticeships Industry Branch
Australian Govt Department of Education, Skills and Employment

Peta Skujins - Director

Gina Chinnery
(Youth Mental Health in a COVID-19 Environment)

Grant Lovelock - Assistant Secretary
Tiffany Blight - Executive Director
National Careers Institute
Department of Education, Skills & Employment

Janet Nicholson
(IR / Awards Update)

Prof. John Buchanan
Dr. Lisa Fowkes
(The impacts of COVID-19 and a way forward)
Registrations are now open.

New Infection Control Training is Now able to be Delivered to Victorian Workers

Stop the Spread
The Infection Control Training is a mixture of 25 hours of online learning and workplace-based assessment and is available to customer-facing workers in critical industries.

There is also specific training available for retail, hospitality, and logistics and transport sectors.

The Victorian and Commonwealth Governments are jointly funding delivery of the training to Victorian workers, which will enable more than 20,000 workers in critical industries to receive training.
After completion of the training, they will be able to confidently:
  • follow standard and additional precautions for infection prevention and control
  • identify infection hazards and assess risks
  • follow procedures for managing risks associated with specific hazards.
Participants will learn a range of skills, including:
  • Hand hygiene practices
  • Effective surface cleaning
  • Use of personal protective equipment
  • Disposal of contaminated waste
  • Hazard identification, control and reporting
  • Appropriate protocols and responses in the event of an incident
  • Knowledge regarding the basis of infection and transmission
Both the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments want everyone to know that infection control training, so vital right now, is available to employees and businesses. The aim is to have a safe and resilient workforce, ready to keep our businesses and community healthy as we move towards a COVID-safe environment.

Victorian Training Awards - Download the APP

Victorian Training Awards
Download the app to stay informed about key activities in the program, including the judging process, announcement of finalists, gala schedule, voting dates for the People’s Choice Award, and much more.

You can also read about the VTA’s history and success stories of past winners and finalists.

Follow these easy steps to download the app:
Key upcoming dates
  • 22 July-15 August: Shortlisting
  • 17 August: All nominees notified
  • 17-28 August: Finalist interviews
For further information please visit Victorian State Government - Victorian Training Awards.

International Youth Day - 12 August

Youth Day 2020
The theme of International Youth Day 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.

COVID19 Disrupts Education of more than 70 per cent of Youth

The disproportionate effect of the pandemic on young people has exacerbated inequalities and risks reducing the productive potential of an entire generation, according to the International Labour Organization that released a new report this week.

Since the outset of the pandemic more than 70 per cent of youth who study or combine study with work have been adversely affected by the closing of schools, universities and training centres, according to an analysis by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

According to the report, Youth and COVID-19: impacts on jobs, education, rights and mental well-being , 65 per cent of young people reported having learned less since the beginning of the pandemic because of the transition from classroom to online and distance learning during lockdown. Despite their efforts to continue studying and training, half of them believed their studies would be delayed and nine per cent thought that they might fail.

The situation has been even worse for youth living in lower-income countries, who have less access to the internet, a lack of equipment and sometimes a lack of space at home.

Kangan Institute Virtual Open Day - 26 August

Kangan Open Day
Please register here.

NCVER Update

VET in Schools students increase

The number of students taking VET subjects as part of their secondary schooling increased 2.2% in 2019 to 235,800.

NCVER released a new report this week - VET in Schools 2019 that shows there were 17,100 school-based apprentices and trainees, and 218,700 students undertaking other VET in Schools programs.

In trend terms, the relative mix and levels of enrolments by industry training package has remained fairly stable over the past 5 years. It is notable however that enrolments in the ICT training package have halved between 2015 and 2019.

ASQA’s Regulatory Strategy Announces Online Learning Focus

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) this week released its 2020-22 ASQA Regulatory Strategy, outlining its regulatory priorities to support improved training outcomes for VET and VET delivery for secondary school students across Australia.

ASQA Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Saxon Rice, said the regulatory priorities reflect the ongoing disruption for providers, students and employers caused by the recent bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic and sit against ASQA’s implementation of regulatory reform arising from its recent Rapid Review.

Particular areas of focus for the 2020 to 2022 period, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic include:
  • Online learning in the VET sector
  • VET in schools.
Online learning has been identified as a priority area, following the widespread transition to online training in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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