Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 13, Issue 36

Friday, 2nd October 2020
Hi Reader!

Upcoming Events

29 Oct - AusSuper Economic Update

10 Nov - OHS Network Meeting

13 Nov - AEN AGM and Mini Conference

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program Banner
Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program
Now into its nineteenth week, the Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program has received over 480 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 has had over 760 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.

October is Safety Awareness Month

WorkSafe Victoria’s Health and Safety Month is going virtual this October with a special online program to answer your coronavirus questions.

Health and Safety Month ‘Navigating through COVID-19’ will run from 6 October to 27 October 2020.

With more than a dozen free webinars and online sessions featuring guest speakers and industry experts covering topics like managing mental health through the pandemic, working remotely, leadership, fatigue, supporting injured workers and the impact on premiums.

All sessions will be interactive with presenters ready to answer your questions.

Some of the sessions include:
  • Surviving COVID-19 - a WorkSafe perspective
  • Leading the way: Industries innovating workplace mental health prevention
  • COVID-19 and Healthcare
  • Managing the risk of COVID-19; what does an inspector look for?
  • How the Building and Construction industry is dealing with COVID-19
  • How does COVID-19 impact your workcover premium
Health & Safety month events are free, but registration is essential.

AEN Industry Awards - Nominations Now Open

AEN Awards Now Open
The AEN Industry Award Nominations opened on the 24 August. The awards celebrate the dedication and achievements of apprentices and trainees, group training organisations and businesses committed to the development of apprentices and trainees.

Nominations can be made in the following categories:
  • Apprentice of the Year
  • Trainee of the Year
  • Overcoming adversity awards
  • GTO service excellence awards
  • OH&S service excellence award
  • STAR awards (apprentice/ trainee)
  • GTO staff service awards
  • Lifetime achievement awards
  • GAN Apprenticeship scholarship
  • GAN apprenticeship development initiative
If you know someone who deserves recognition nominate them here.

Nominations have been extended and now close 23 October 2020
AEn Awards
To access the full list of award categories and online nomination forms please visit AEN - Awards.

Updated Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program Guidelines

On Friday last week the Department of Education, Skills and Employment released the updated Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program (AAIP) Guidelines - all 147 pages.

These guidelines take effect from 1 October 2020 and include the most recent changes to apprentice incentives including the Extension of Supporting Apprentices and Trainees through Group Training Organisations measures.

Victorian Daylight Savings and Public Holidays

Friday before AFL Grand Final - Friday 23 October

Melbourne Cup Day - Tuesday 3 November

Daylight Savings starts - Sunday 4 October 2020
Move your clock forward one hour at 2am (Eastern Standard Time)

Daylight Savings ends - Sunday 4 April 2021
Move your clock backward one hour at 3am (Daylight Saving Time)

For further information please visit Business Victoria.

PM Announces New Era of Australian Manufacturing

On Thursday this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison launched a new era of Australian manufacturing, as part of the JobMaker Plan to Rebuild the economy, create jobs and recover from the COVID-19 recession.

$1.5 billion in new funding will be invested over the next four years in the Modern Manufacturing Strategy to make Australian manufacturers more competitive, resilient and able to scale-up to take on the world.

“We make things in Australia. We do it well. We need to keep making things in Australia. And with this strategy, we will,” Prime Minister Morrison said.

“The COVID crisis opens a new chapter for Australian manufacturing as a revitalised source of high-wage jobs, valuable exports and national income.

“Our Modern Manufacturing Strategy is at the heart of our JobMaker plan. It starts with creating a stable and competitive business environment to grow our all parts of our manufacturing sector, but it does not end there.

“It will play to Australia’s strengths, improve collaboration and commercialisation, and create a sector that is modern, dynamic and highly skilled.

“Through this Strategy, we are determined to ensure government, industry and the research and education sectors are all working in the one direction to build scale in our manufacturing sector.
“Manufacturing is critical to Australia’s economic future, to the prosperity of our regions and to the capabilities that underpin the success of so many other industries.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said this strategy reflects the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as extensive work with industry before that.

“Our manufacturers have risen to the challenge to deliver during COVID-19 and now, we’re unlocking their potential to deliver for our future,” Minister Andrews said.

“By playing to our strengths, strategically investing and boosting the role of science and technology in industry, we can open up new markets and take more of our quality products to the world.

“This Strategy sends a clear signal that not only is Australia open for business, but we mean business.”

The centrepiece of the Strategy is the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI), which will see the Government strategically invest in projects that help manufacturers to scale up and create jobs.

The MMI will support projects within six National Manufacturing Priorities which reflect Australia’s established competitive advantages or emerging areas of priority:
  • Resources technology and critical minerals processing
  • Food and beverage
  • Medical products
  • Recycling and clean energy
  • Defence
  • Space
“This is about Australia playing to its strengths and the Government strategically investing in areas of manufacturing where we know we have an edge and that can deliver the jobs we need,” Minister Andrews said.

Industry will be engaged to co-design tailored road maps for each of the priority sectors to set clear goals over the next two, five and 10 years, and identify the barriers and opportunities that will guide action and investment.

National Skills Commission - Your Career Website

Your Career
This week the National Skills Commission launched the YourCareer website.

The new website features information on
  • Career ideas that match your skills, interest and goals.
  • Learning and training options available to gain new skills, upskill or re-skill
  • How to improve your job readiness
  • How to access services and information to support you through your career
To access the new website please visit YourCareer.

Free Infection Control Training

Free Infection Control Training is now available to Victorian workers in priority sectors.

These courses will help Victorian businesses to reopen safely as we emerge from coronavirus (COVID-19) settings.

The training is free, takes 25-30 hours to complete and is a mix of online and workplace-based learning.

We encourage you to promote this opportunity to your members and contacts.

For further background and the latest list of participating training providers, see Infection Control Training.

Ingrid Stitt Joins The Victorian Government Ministry

Growing up in the United Kingdom and arriving in Melbourne aged eight, one of the first things that struck Ingrid Stitt was the unique opportunities Australia afforded – that with a good, steady and safe job, you could build a life for yourself and your family.

As we set about getting more Victorians safely back to work, and making sure that we continue to support businesses and workers as we do, Member for Western Metropolitan Region Ingrid Stitt will bring that commitment and experience as our state’s new Minister for Workplace Safety.

Reflecting her passion for education as the great leveller, she will also take on the role of Minister for Early Childhood, overseeing the rollout of three-year-old kinder across the state.

The work of rebuilding our mental health system matters more than ever. It’s why the Deputy Premier James Merlino will take the lead in one of the Government’s signature reforms as Minister for Mental Health, in addition to his responsibilities in Education.

The findings of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System will be delivered early next year. We understand the profound importance of getting this reform right – and what it will mean for millions of Victorians.

The Deputy Premier will lead this work, delivering each and every one of the Commission’s recommendations.

Our creative sector has been hard hit by the pandemic, but its revival will be a key part of our state’s economic recovery.

As Minister for Creative Industries, Danny Pearson’s great drive and energy will ensure that our reputation as the nation’s cultural capital is not only maintained – but stronger than ever.

Gayle Tierney will bring her extensive parliamentary experience and knowledge, serving in the role of Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.

Supporting Students To Complete VCAL And VET Studies

This has been a challenging year for every Victorian student. But that’s particularly true for VCAL and VET school students – many of whom have missed out on practical hands-on learning.

As part of an assistance package announced by the Victorian Government last week, students will be able to access special consideration to support them to achieve their VCAL certificates, and those school students who were unable to complete their VET qualifications will be guaranteed enrolment at TAFE or dual sector providers to complete their studies in 2021.

There are more than 10,000 students in their final year of schooling completing VCAL.

Where students are unable to complete units, the VCAA will grant students credit which ensures every student will be supported to gain their VCAL certificate regardless of the impact of the pandemic. Schools will consider the impact of remote learning including:
  • School closures and remote learning impacting on practical parts of their studies
  • Long absences
  • Dealing with substantial extra responsibilities at home
  • Impacts on student health and wellbeing and/or immediate family
  • Mental health challenges
Students undertaking applied learning through VET have also faced a unique set of challenges this year with many unable to participate in essential practical learning.

More than 15,000 VCAL and VCE students are undertaking studies for nationally recognised VET qualifications.

The requirements of completing VET qualifications are regulated by the Federal Government and students must demonstrate competency against a national framework.

This provides employers with certainty in employing individuals with qualifications. For example, students who complete a Certificate II in Plumbing (Pre-Apprenticeship) would have demonstrated the skills that employers are looking for when recruiting apprentice plumbers.

Students who do not complete their VET qualifications in 2020 as intended, will be guaranteed enrolment at a TAFE or dual sector provider and have their 2021 VET fees waived in order to complete their course, or an equivalent course where it is not provided.

Not only will this support students to continue their studies, it’ll save families hundreds of dollars in tuition fees.

Ensuring a seamless continuation of VET studies, students will receive a Statement of Attainment for completed VET units of competency in 2020, recognised at all RTOs and TAFEs.

Students will also be able to continue their VET studies until December 18, providing an additional month to complete their VET studies and have these recognised on their VCAL certificate.

To support VET students to catch-up in Term 4, the Government is providing a $4.6 million boost to cover extra costs for Year 12 students to complete VET studies that cannot be met within the school’s current VET budget.

This funding will help cover items such as additional fees, materials, and staff supervision costs, along with costs associated with changed enrolments in VET Units, or transport costs associated with additional training – ensuring no student is left behind.

Schools are also working closely with VET providers to enable students to undertake essential assessments on-site and to get them back into training and workplaces as soon as it is safe to do so.

National Skills Commissioner

Last week, the Federal Government formally announced the appointment of Adam Boyton as National Skills Commissioner for a 5 year term staring 13 October.

Mr Boyton was appointed Interim National Skills Commissioner last October to oversee the early design work around the new body, leading up to its formation.
National Skills Commissioner Adam Boyton

Commission for Children and Young People

Commission for Children and Young People
This month, the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) released three snapshots detailing what was heard during consultations on the impact of COVID-19 on Victorian children and young people.

The CCYP heard from 644 children and young people, and 172 staff from 70 organisations providing services and supports to children and young people.

The insights we gathered have informed our advocacy and oversight work during the pandemic. Hearing from and listening to children and young people will be vital in the weeks and months ahead.

Earlier this year, the Commission released tips for keeping children and young people safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with a list of helpful resources and organisations that support the safety of children.

The commission also has the guidelines - Guide for Creating a Child Safe Organisation which provides practical ways you can meet the legal obligation of your organisation to comply with Victoria’s compulsory Child Safe Standards. This also includes an Implementation and Action Plan Tool to help you embed the Standards in your organisation.

White Paper Outlines the Potential HOW for an Operating Framework for Industry Skills Development

Last week Actouse Consulting released a white paper defining an Operating Framework for Industry Skills Development focused on HOW to effect lasting and beneficial change.

The white paper does not attempt to predict future policy direction. This paper focuses on defining an implementable framework for RTO's, that addresses HOW to realise effective, sustainable and affordable change.

Within the above context and scope based around the Joyce review, there are four core challenges, and finding the balance between these often competing needs within the boundaries of the relevant state funding model, is what this framework aims to address:
  • Modernisation of Delivery and Assessment
  • Being Truly Student‑Centred
  • Employer and Industry engagement
  • Business Management
A white paper is an in-depth report or guide about a specific topic and the problems that surround it. It is meant to educate readers and help them to understand and solve an issue. ... White papers are no less editorial than other forms of content, but the depth of research lends them an authoritative tone.

NCVER Update

An internationally preferred approach to rationalising high numbers of VET qualifications could also produce benefits in Australia, making the VET system simpler to navigate and qualifications more responsive to industry needs.

A new report adds international evidence to claims that reorganising qualifications into occupational or vocational clusters will also provide extra benefits, including more career mobility for learners and more workers for industry in times of demand.

NCVER Managing Director Simon Walker said that internationally, qualification structures have been changed to comprise sets of core capabilities, such as language, literacy and numeracy, technical skills relevant to related clusters of occupations, and further specialisation through optional units.

“This approach not only significantly reduces the number of VET qualifications in the system, it allows them to be broader, more flexible, and much more responsive to the changing needs of learners and industry,” Mr Walker said.
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