Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 14, Issue 12

Thursday, 1st April 2021
Hi Reader!

Upcoming Events

2 Apr - Public Holiday: Good Friday

4 Apr - Public Holiday: Easter Monday

21-22 Jun - Mid Year Conference

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program Banner
Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program
This program has now supported over 730 participants since May 2020 and over 260 apprentices and trainees have commenced with a new employer.

Currently, there are almost 130 participants on our active caseload.
Top 6 Occupations

  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Carpentry
  • Hair & Beauty
  • Chefs
  • General Mechanic
For Individuals

Apprentices and trainees who have lost 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, whilst also directing you to the most appropriate advice and assistance while you remain out of employment.
If you have an apprenticeship or traineeship position you would like to fill, please contact the AEN Office so we can forward potential candidates that meet your criteria.

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

Acting Premier and Minister Tierney Officially Launch Apprenticeships Victoria

On Tuesday morning at the metro tunnel major project site in Kensington, the acting Premier James Merlino and Minister for training and Skills the Hon. Gayle Tierney officially launched Apprenticeship Victoria with 12 GTO apprentices that will become ambassadors for major project sites across the State.

Thousands of apprentices and trainees will be better connected with real learning and job opportunities through the Victorian Labor Government’s new Apprenticeships Victoria.

Apprenticeships Victoria (AV) will coordinate and oversee all aspects of the delivery of apprenticeships and forms a key part of the Labor Government’s unprecedented investment in the training and skills sector.

It will provide a point of contact for Victorians as they complete their apprenticeship and provide support by removing barriers for students and workers looking to upskill, creating better pathways to the workforce, fostering connections for employers and industry, and overseeing programs like Big Build Apprenticeships.

A walk-in AV hub will open mid-2021 in the CBD with dedicated staff to help foster the next generation of highly skilled workers.

James Merlino said, “This new body, and our unprecedented investment in major projects, will deliver a pipeline of opportunities for workers starting their career, or reskilling from another industry.”

“A strong skills and training sector is vital to our economy and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic – that’s why we’re backing it with initiatives like this.”
Apprenticeships Victoria Launch
The $33 million Big Build Apprenticeships will provide 1,500 opportunities to Victorian apprentices and trainees each year for four years to kickstart their careers on some of the state’s largest projects, including the new Footscray Hospital, North East Link and Warrnambool Learning and Library Hub.

At least 10 per cent of the construction hours on these projects will be completed by apprentices and trainees, strengthening pathways from the classroom to the workforce and supporting employers by increasing the pool of highly skilled workers in Victoria.

School leavers and young people are encouraged to get involved, with priority given to workers who were affected by the coronavirus pandemic, disadvantaged Victorians and those under-represented in the construction industry.

Minister Tierney said, “These projects are about giving Victorian apprentices and trainees real-life learning opportunities – so if you are interested in working in the construction industry, I encourage you to sign-up today.”

A big thank you to all the apprentices and members that were able to attend.

Local Jobs Program

AEN has been contracted to deliver the Local Jobs Program for the Inner Metropolitan Melbourne Employment Region (IMMER). Carmel Veenstra and Melissa Kalemis have been appointed as Employment Facilitators in a job-share capacity to deliver this program for the region.
Local Jobs Program
The Local Jobs Program (LJP) is funded by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment and supports tailored approaches to accelerate reskilling, upskilling and employment in regions where COVID-19 has had the highest level of impact on the labour market. Between March and December 2020, the IMMER has seen an increase 61,000 job seekers, the largest increase in any employment region in Victoria.

Carmel and Melissa bring together key stakeholders including employers, employment services providers, higher education and training organisations to work collaboratively to address the priorities identified in the Local Jobs Plan for the region through the facilitation of projects and activities that will help transition job seekers into employment . They also chair the recently established Local Jobs Taskforce.

There is a local recovery fund attached to the program to support projects where a funding gap is identified. Access to the recovery fund is through a separate procurement process and requires partnership with an eligible employment service provider (Jobactive, Transition to Work or Parents Next).

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment are currently seeking project ideas that align to the five key priorities in the Inner Melbourne Region which are:

  1. Creating employment and training pathways into growth industries.
  2. Creating skill development and employment opportunities, across all sectors including filling apprenticeship and traineeship positions.
  3. Ensuring local job seekers gain the skills required by employers to fill local positions.
  4. Reducing the labour market disadvantage of Youth, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Mature Aged and Indigenous Australians in the region.
  5. Strengthening existing micro businesses and supporting pathways to self-employment.
We encourage you to contact Carmel (0417 344 455) and Melissa (0409 258 478) should you have a project idea or are undertaking activities that align to the priorities in the region.

Further information regarding the Local Jobs Program can be found here.

New Morrison Cabinet

On Monday 29 March, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his new look cabinet.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has been promoted to Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has moved to Defence and has been replaced by Industry, Science and Technology Minister Minister Karen Andrews.

Government Services and NDIS Minister Stuart Robert has replaced Ms Cash as Minister for Employment workforce Skills, Small and Family Business. “He will be a key participant in the government‘s economic recovery strategy,” Mr Morrison said.

“Workforce is a big piece of our economic puzzle that we must get firmly in place.”

We congratulate Mr Robert on his new role as Minister for Employment workforce Skills, Small and Family Business, and look forward to working with him and his office.

Victorian Construction Skill Sets

The Victorian Government is offering free short accredited training courses to help people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic re-skill and find work in the construction industry.

This training will be available immediately to people who wish to transition into the construction industry or those already in the industry who are seeking to re-skill.

These courses are fee free and will be exempt from the usual Government-subsidised eligibility criteria. To manage demand, participants can only undertake one course.

The courses will be delivered in partnership with key employers and industry bodies to deliver the skills required for Victoria’s major infrastructure projects and will be available up to 30th June 2021.

Victorian Jobs Fund Opens

Jobs Victoria Fund
On Friday last week the Jobs Victoria Fund opened and is providing $250 million in wage subsidies to assist Victorian businesses to employ at least 10,000 people who are looking for work.

The Fund will support employers to grow and recover while helping Victorians looking for work into steady jobs.

If you are a Victorian employer ready to take on new staff, the Jobs Victoria Fund can financially support you to employ people who have been most affected by the economic impacts of the pandemic.

What are the basics of the Jobs Victoria Fund?

Jobs Victoria wage subsidies of up to $20,000 are available for eligible employers who hire eligible jobseekers and can be used to meet the costs of taking on new employees for the first 12 months of employment.

You can apply for a wage subsidy for up to 20 full time equivalent employees depending on the size of your business.

At least 60 per cent of jobs supported by the Jobs Victoria Fund will be for women, reflecting the significant impact the pandemic has had on their employment opportunities.

To qualify for the subsidy you must employ someone from at least one of the priority groups outlined below. These groups are being supported because the pandemic has particularly impacted their employment.

The Jobs Victoria Fund financially supports these priority jobseekers into work:
  • women aged over 45 years
  • jobseekers who are long-term unemployed (unemployed for six months or more)
  • jobseekers registered with a Jobs Victoria partner
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people
  • people with disability
  • people seeking asylum/refugees
  • newly arrived migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds
  • young people aged under 25
  • people over 45 years
  • veterans
  • people previously employed under the Working for Victoria initiative.
If you are an employer interested in applying to the Jobs Victoria Fund, you must hire employees from these priority groups before you apply to the Fund.

If you meet all the eligibility criteria and supply the necessary information, you will receive funding, subject to availability of funds and conditions.

If you are an employer able to create larger numbers of jobs for priority groups please contact Jobs Victoria by emailing

For more information, please visit Jobs Victoria Fund.

Nominations Open for Victorian Training Awards

Outstanding individuals and organisations in the TAFE and training sector can now be nominated for a Victorian Training Award.

The prestigious event is now in its 67th year and recognises the achievements of apprentices, students, teachers and employers.

Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney today opened nominations while visiting Rose City Vets in Benalla to present the VTA Trophy to 2020 Trainee of the Year winner Nicole Barrow.

There are six award categories for individuals, four for employers and four for training organisations as well as the Industry Collaboration Award and the Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Winners will receive $5000 prize money and winners in some categories will have the opportunity to represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards.

Applications close at midnight on Friday 4 June 2021 and winners will be announced at a gala ceremony in Melbourne on Friday 10 September.

The event is supported by principal partner Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) and the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN Australia).

Last year’s winners included South West Institute of TAFE (SWTAFE) which was named the Large Training Provider of the Year in both the Victorian and Australian Training Awards for its innovative learning approach, smart classrooms and leadership in supporting students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

National Careers Week

National Careers Week is an initiative of the Career Industry Council of Australia which aims to celebrate careers, career development, its services and development practitioners as well as promoting the economic, social and personal benefits of career development.
National Careers Week 2021
Career development is the process of managing learning, work and leisure to progress through life.

It includes gaining and ustilising the skills and knowledge required to plan and make informed decisions about education, training, and work.

Everyday decisions and priorities affect career development. Ultimately, career development is about much more than jobs – it is about how to live your life.

Check out the ideas and resources to assist you in planning and running your own National Careers Week Events!

The website has included resources such as NCW logos & branding assets, social media templates, posters, and information sheets on a wide range of career development topics.

Dig in and start planning for your next event!

Victorian Government - Education Week

Victoria’s annual Education Week is returning this May, with the theme for 2021 ‘Building Connections’.

Education Week 2021 explores the importance of community in a child’s journey through school and is an opportunity to build on the connections within schools and local communities.

We hope to hear from organisations that can incorporate the theme into a fun activity for school students.

Activities you could consider include (but are not limited to) interactive workshops, exhibitions, tours, online/digital education programs, outreach programs, presentations, or demonstrations.

Small grants are also available to assist eligible not-for-profit organisations to host an activity.

Organisations are encouraged to read the eligibility guidlines, information pack and application forms before submitting proposals.

Activities must be COVIDSafe and run during 23 - 29 May 2021.

Your free event will be promoted through a calendar published on the Department’s website.

Victorian VET Champions – Nominations Closing Soon

VET Champions
The VET Champions initiative showcases high-achieving Victorians who have risen to success through a vocational education and training (VET) pathway.

VET Champions inspire secondary school students to broaden their understanding of VET pathways and the opportunities they provide.

The inaugural VET Champions initiative helps to demystify VET opportunities for secondary school students, teachers and parents, and demonstrate the breadth of careers that are available through hands-on, practical training including VET qualifications, traineeships and apprenticeships.

The initiative celebrates the success of our VET Champions as well as inspires young Victorians in every corner of the state.

VET Champions come from a diverse range of backgrounds, and a broad range of exciting and emerging industries in Victoria.

VET Champions will attend local school and industry events throughout 2021 to talk about their experiences.

A small group of VET Champions will be asked to speak at high-profile statewide events and all VET Champions will have a digital case study published on the Department's website which highlights their career path.

Nominations are now open to put forward an outstanding VET graduate to become a VET Champion so they can share their story and inspire secondary school students.

National Youth Commission – New Report

National Youth Commission
This week the National Youth Commission released a new report, the Youth Income Guarantee reveals that young people are struggling to afford basic necessities such as rent, food, bills and medicine, and often having to choose between them.

Chair of the NYCA Maj. David Eldridge from the Salvation Army says that “the low rate of income support for young people living away from home falls well short of the costs of daily living.

High housing costs force students and young jobseekers into poverty and sub-standard accommodation, compromising their education and employment outcomes, physical and mental health.

The report proposes an overhaul of the current income support system for young people through Federal Government implementation of nine recommendations, including instituting a Youth Income Guarantee as a single income support model for young people.

If implemented, the Youth Income Guarantee will create a pathway to ensure young people are better prepared for employment, encourage greater use of incentives for work or study, reduce youth poverty, reduce youth homelessness and lower debt amongst young people.

AEN Office Closure

CLOSE: 5pm - Thursday 1 April 2021

OPEN: 8am - Tuesday 6 April 2021

AEN Board and Staff wish you a safe and happy Easter break.

Easter 2021

NSW Skills Conference

Apprentice Employment Network 2021 Skills Conference

The 2021 Skills Conference is back!

2020 has been a year we would all like to forget. The coronavirus has impacted our lives and the industry we work in.

The Vocational Education and Training industry has seen significant declines in commencements with governments at all levels throwing financial resources to stimulate the industry.

2021 will be a critical year for the long-term viability of VET. The NSW Skills Conference will look at the recovery strategies being put in place to establish the next generation of nation builders.

Wednesday 16 June 2021

Dockside Darling Harbour
Cockle Bay Wharf, Wheat Road

AEN NSW & ACT have provided a special offer all Victorian members of AEN - a discounted rate if they wish to purchase tickets. Email to register.

We understand there is still a fear of travelling around covid-19 so we are going to provide an online/virtual option for interstate GTOs should they wish to participate but don't want to travel.

This is not on the conference website as an option at the moment as we want as many to attend face to face where possible.

The virtual option will be the same cost as attending face to face. This is currently for AEN Victorian Members $434.50 until 17th April.

NCVER Update

Report: Apprentices and Trainees 2020 - September Quarter

This week NCVER released the latest national data shows apprentice and trainee commencements were down 23.0 percent in September 2020 when compared with the same quarter in 2019.

Commencements and completions both decreased significantly in this quarter. In particular, trade commencements decreased by 28.2 percent and non-trade completions decreased by 20.4 percent when compared with the same quarter 2019.

Overall in-training figures showed a 4.2 percent decrease with a 9.2 percent decrease for non-trade occupations, compared with 1.7 percent for trades.

These numbers are prior to the introduction of the Australian Government’s Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy in October 2020.
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Head on over to GAN Australia and subscribe now.

Thanks to our Industry Partners

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