Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 13, Issue 30

Friday, 21st 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 thirteenth week, the Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program has received over 337 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 almost 50 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 almost 610 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.

Employers Must Notify WorkSafe of COVID-19 Cases

Employers are now required to notify WorkSafe immediately when they become aware a worker has received a confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnosis.

The new Regulations, made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and require employers and self-employed persons, with management or control of a workplace to notify WorkSafe immediately after becoming aware that:
  • an employee, independent contractor, employee of the independent contractor or self-employed person has received a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus (COVID-19) and;
  • the employee, independent contractor, employee of the independent contractor or self-employed person has attended the workplace within the relevant infection period.
For information and how to report a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis visit WorkSafe Victoria.

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


Stage 4 Restrictions - Updated Information

Reminder that Stage 4 restrictions and specific information for each industry may be updated at any stage. The DHHS website now has information tailored to different industry sectors, so you can access information for a specific industry.

Key points
  • Stage 4 restrictions now apply across metropolitan Melbourne to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by reducing the number of people leaving their homes and moving around Victoria.
  • Under these restrictions, only permitted workplaces are allowed to operate on-site, and they must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place.
  • Several industries have also been identified as high-risk. The businesses in these sectors must have a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan to complement their COVIDSafe Plan.
  • Stage 4 restrictions apply to metropolitan Melbourne only. Stage 4 restrictions also apply to some high-risk industries such as abattoirs and meat processing businesses that also operate in regional Victoria.
  • Businesses in regional Victoria are also subject to some restrictions and responsibilities.
  • You can download a list of permitted workplaces to see if your business or industry is allowed to operate on-site.
  • Employers that require staff to attend a permitted workplace must issue an individual worker permit to their employees. Visit the Permitted Worker Scheme and worker permits page to find out more information.
It is recommended that you visit the Business Victoria website for detailed guidance about your sector.

National Scams Awareness Week

National Scams Awareness Week
Scamwatch has seen a 55 per cent increase in reports involving loss of personal information this year compared with the same period in 2019, totalling more than 24,000 reports and over $22 million in losses.

This week is Scams Awareness Week and there are a wide range of new podcasts to find out how scammers use new technology to trick you into giving away information they can use to steal your identity for their own gain and ways you can protect yourself.

Scammers often pretend to be from trusted organisations, including from Services Australia. They may pretend to be from any of the following:
  • myGov
  • Services Australia
  • Centrelink
  • Medicare
  • Child Support
  • other government agencies, like the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
Scammers may want your personal information, including your:
  • Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN)
  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • myGov sign in details
  • bank details
  • passwords
  • identity details, such as your Medicare card
  • credit card details.
They may also tell you to:
  • pay fees or transfer money to get a payment or benefit, or pay back a debt
  • upload copies of your identity documents
  • buy gift cards or vouchers, such as an iTunes gift card
  • give them remote access to your computer.
What to do:

If a scammer pretending to work for Services Australia asks you for a payment, you should:
  • contact your financial institutions immediately, if you have given up your bank details
  • call (1800 194 126) or email the Scams and Identity Theft Helpdesk if you've given the scammer money or personal information
For further information please visit Scam Watch.

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.

August is Tradies National Health Month

Tradies National Health Month raises awareness of the health and injury risks affecting those who work in trade occupations-among tradies themselves, their families, employers and the wider community.

With statistics showing almost 3 in 5 serious workplace injuries involving tradies, despite making up only 35 per cent of the workforce, tradies’ health must be everyone’s priority.

Help spread the message and keep Aussie tradies healthy.

There are a range of free tips and resources to encourage tradies to look after their most valuable asset - their health.

For further information please visit the Australian Physiotherapy Association.

Inquiry into Sustainable Employment for Disadvantaged Job Seekers

Inquiry into Sustainable Employment for Disadvantaged Job Seekers
This week the Victorian Legislative Assembly Economy and Infrastructure Committee’s released its final report for the Inquiry into sustainable employment for disadvantaged jobseekers.

AEN thanks all members for their input and support on our submission.

Some Victorian jobseekers face multiple and complex barriers to employment that need to be addressed using a collaborative approach, according to the Victorian Legislative Assembly’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee, which today tabled its report on sustainable employment for disadvantaged jobseekers.
The Committee found jobseekers facing disadvantage lack access to opportunities and resources to improve their employment prospects and enable them to find and retain work.

The Committee made 70 recommendations to alleviate the employment barriers these jobseekers face.

“When a jobseeker’s personal circumstances, such as financial hardship, disability or caring responsibilities, combine with external barriers such as unfair recruitment practices or a weak economy, they create a cycle that is difficult to overcome,” said Committee Chair John Eren.

“There are so many factors that affect joblessness that the solution requires collaboration between jobseekers, employers, support services, training providers and all levels of government,” MrEren said.

The Committee found jobseekers facing disadvantage need tailored, wraparound support and stakeholders agreed the Victorian Government’s employment program, Jobs Victoria Employment Network (JVEN), was delivering a valued service to jobseekers and employers.

Kangan Institute Virtual Open Day - 26 August

Kangan Open Day
Please register here.

NCVER Update

This week, NCVER released the following reports

Statistical report: Total VET students and courses 2019
Statistical report: Government-funded students and courses 2019
Historical time series: Government-funded vocational education and training

The latest annual data shows an increase in students participating in VET, with student numbers (4.2 million) up 3 per cent compared with 2018.

Total VET students and courses 2019 provides an estimate of nationally recognised training activity undertaken on a government-funded, domestic or international fee-for-service basis up until 31 December 2019, as delivered by Australian providers in onshore and offshore locations.

NCVER Managing Director Simon Walker said that it can be a complex picture to grasp, as some students enrol in more than one program, others in subjects that are not part of a nationally recognised program, and many in a combination of both.

“While there’s been an overall increase in enrolments in 2019, including further significant growth in international students, it was also notable that government-funded program enrolments had increased after a period of gradual decline.

“This increase included a sharp rebound in government-funded enrolments in higher-level programs, with an increase of over 7% in enrolments at Certificate IV level and above between 2018 and 2019, compared to a decline of nearly 12% over the preceding four years.”
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