Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 14, Issue 30

Friday, 6th August 2021
Hi Reader!

Upcoming Events


11 Aug - GTO Managers' Meeting
7 Sept - Inspiration in Leadership
15 Sept - IR & FC Network Meeting
21 Sept - Mental Health at Work in a COVID World
6 & 7 Oct - Youth Mental Health First Aid (Accredited)

Founding Chief Executive Officer of the New Victorian Skills Authority

Earlier this week, Minister Gayle Tierney announced the appointment of Craig Robertson as the founding Chief Executive Officer of the new Victorian Skills Authority (VSA).

Craig Robertson brings a wealth of knowledge in the training and skills field to the role, with a significant career in the state and federal public sector and a reputation as a leader in vocational training policy and reform. He has most recently held roles as the Chief Executive Officer for TAFE Directors Australia, as well as a Deputy Secretary for Higher Education and Skills, Department of Education and Training.

Craig and the soon-to-be-announced Advisory Board will be accountable to Minister Tierney for bringing together industry, unions, TAFEs and other training providers, and communities to create an improved skills system.

Craig Robertson will lead the VSA in the achievement of its four key roles:
  • To use data and insights to better plan for the future training needs of Victoria’s economy and provide informed advice to Government.
  • The solving of local and industry skills issues by unblocking and unlocking training where it is needed.
  • Leading an integrated approach to building the quality of teaching and training.
  • Driving innovation across the skills sector.
Critical industry engagement, including the work of the 10 existing Industry Advisory Groups and work on Regional Skills Plans, will continue under the VSA.

The VSA will also oversee the VET Development Centre, Skills and Jobs Centres, the TAFE and Training Phone Line, and the Victorian Skills Gateway.

Under Craig's leadership, the VSA will work closely with the Higher Education and Skills Group, as well as the newly formed Office of TAFE Coordination and Delivery, to drive an integrated and collaborative approach to planning and delivering quality skills outcomes.

Craig Robertson will formally begin his new role on Monday 23 August.

COVID-19 Updates

Seven Day Lockdown

Due to the COVID-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours – suspected to be the highly infectious Delta variant – Victoria will enter a state-wide lockdown for seven days from 8:00pm Thursday 5 August.

This means there are only five reasons to leave home: getting the food and the supplies you need, exercising for up to two hours, care or caregiving, authorised work or education if you can’t do it from home, or to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location. Face masks will remain mandatory indoors (not at home) and outdoors unless an exception applies.

For further information regarding permitted on-site operations, please refer to the Table of Restrictions.

Regulations Renewed to Manage COVID-19 Risks

Critical regulations to ensure the efficient and effective management of COVID-19 risks in Victorian workplaces are being renewed.

The remaking of the regulations for an additional 12 months will ensure employers continue to notify WorkSafe of COVID-19 cases in their workplaces.

Employers are required to notify WorkSafe immediately on becoming aware that an employee or an independent contractor or a contractor's employee has received a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and has attended the workplace during the infectious period.

Self-employed persons are also required to directly inform WorkSafe immediately on receiving a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis if they have attended the workplace during the infectious period.

The new regulations came into force on 27 July 2021.

To notify WorkSafe of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or for more information about the infectious period for the purposes of notification, employers or self-employed persons should visit WorkSafe - Report Confirmed Positive Case or call the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 13 23 60.

COVID-19 Border Restrictions between Victoria and NSW

The Victorian Government has announced a further tightening of border restrictions between Victoria and New South Wales, which came into effect on Tuesday 3 August.

As part of the changes, residents in the Victoria-New South Wales border bubble can only enter Victoria without a permit if they are travelling for essential reasons, including:
  • Education (including childcare, early childhood services, school, and higher education, skills and training services)
  • Necessary goods and services, including medical care and getting a COVID-19 test
  • Care and compassionate reasons
  • Paid or voluntary work (including for charitable and religious purposes)
  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccination
  • Sport and exercise at a sporting club or at a sport or physical recreation facility (excluding alpine resorts).
Border bubble residents can continue to cross the border to enter Victoria without a permit for education or work. This includes for education or work at childcare and early childhood services, schools, and higher education, skills and training services. Students may also continue to attend placements, structured workplace experience and apprenticeships.

People crossing the border to enter Victoria for one of the essential reasons must not travel further than reasonably necessary to undertake that activity.

These changes currently will not apply to the South Australian-Victoria cross-border area. All of New South Wales remains an Extreme Risk Zone under Victoria’s travel permit system.

More details can be found at Information for cross-border communities.

AEN Virtual Professional Development Series

The Field Officers’ Conference has been replaced with a series of virtual professional development courses which is open to all AEN members over the months of September and October 2021.
virtual training 4

Inspiration in Leadership

7 September
10.00am – 12.00pm
Cost (incl. GST)

Member: $55
Non-Member: $110
Registrations close: 31 Aug
Mental Health at Work in a COVID-19 World
21 September
10.00am – 12.00pm
Member: $55
Non-Member: $110
Registrations close: 14 Sept
Youth Mental Health First Aid (Accredited)
Self-paced interactive eLearning (7 hours) –completed before 6 October

Instructor-led delivered virtual workshops on 6 & 7 October, 9.30am – 1.00pm both days
Member: $242
Non-Member: $292
Registrations close: 31 Aug
For further information on course content and to register, please go to AEN events page and select the course of interest.

AEN Members: Login to Member's area prior to purchasing tickets to access the member rate.

Enquiries: Anna Bejanoff, or 03 9639 3955.

Current AEN Apprenticeship/Traineeship Candidate Lists

The Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program currently has 50 apprentices registered, including a breakdown of 3rd and 4th year apprentices:
  • Electrical - 21 Candidates (4 x 3rd year apprentices)
  • Plumbers - 9 Candidates (2 x 4th year apprentices)
  • Carpentry - 10 Candidates (2 x 3rd year apprentices)
  • Engineering - 4 Candidates
  • Mix of trades - 6 Candidates
The Big Build EOI list consists of 92 candidates with 60 candidates ready to go, with the most sought after trade being Electrical followed by Carpentry, Civil Construction and Plumbing.

A reminder that if you are looking to fill a current apprenticeship/traineeship vacancy, please email and AEN will be able to forward through some possible candidates that match your needs.

Rent Relief Guaranteed for Commercial Tenants

The Victorian Government is ensuring eligible tenants are provided with rent relief, with legislation to reintroduce the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme passing in Parliament this week.

Businesses that have experienced a loss in turnover of more than 30 per cent during the pandemic are now guaranteed to receive rent reductions, while separate support will be provided to landlords.

As part of the scheme, landlords will be required to provide proportional rent relief in line with a business’ reduction in turnover. Tenants and landlords are encouraged to enter negotiations directly, with the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) available to provide mediation if parties can’t reach an agreement.

The protections are backdated to start from when the scheme was announced last Wednesday and mean that commercial landlords can’t issue an eviction notice for eligible tenants without obtaining a direction from the VSBC. Tenants’ percentage drop in turnover will determine the amount of initial rent relief available to the tenant. For example, a business with a turnover of 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels can only be charged 40 per cent of its rent. Of the balance, at least half must be waived, with the remainder to be deferred. Rent relief for eligible tenants will be calculated by comparing their turnover for the final quarter of the 2020/21 financial year with turnover from the final quarter of 2018/19.

The Government is also ensuring new businesses don’t miss out on the assistance. Special arrangements will be in place to assess the turnover impacts for new businesses which were not operating in 2019.

To help landlords that are doing the right thing by eligible tenants, the Government will provide land tax relief of up to 25 per cent, in addition to any previous relief, at an estimated cost of $100 million.

Small landlords who can demonstrate acute hardship will be eligible to apply for payments as part of a $20 million hardship fund.

Tenants and landlords can contact the VSBC for further information on 13 87 22 or visit Victorian Small Business Commission.

National Skills Week: 23 - 29 August

National skills week
Now moving into its eleventh year, National Skills Week 2021 is inviting Australians to 'RETHINK' their ideas of what vocational education and training (VET) is all about and the role it can have in preparing people for the future of work, especially in a post-pandemic economy.

This comes with the 2021 Federal Budget that emphasises the necessity for training in high demand sectors as well as new careers as the Australian Government and State Governments attempt to drive down unemployment and rebuild the economy.
Held annually, the vision of National Skills Week is to raise awareness on the diversity of careers which can be realised through vocational education and training, the skills for an economically viable future, and the incredible range of new jobs and skills in demand for the future.

For further information, please visit National Skills Week.

Victorian Training Awards Gala - 16 October

Celebrating its 67th year, the prestigious Victorian Training Awards brings together apprentices, trainees, students, teachers, training providers, employers, and industry representatives, sharing in a high-quality training system that meets the needs of all Victorians.

There has been an excellent response to nominations for the Victorian Training Awards. The judging process is currently taking place and the finalists will be introduced in August.

SAVE THE DATE for the Victorian Training Awards Gala: Saturday 16 October at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

August is Tradie Health Month!

tradie health month
Now more than ever, workers' physical and mental safety should be top of mind.

Get the right tools for the job by taking advantage of free WorkSafe programs designed to help small and medium businesses build physically and mentally safe workplaces.

The tools available for trade based industries include:
  • Workwell Toolkit - For creating a mentally healthy workplace
  • OHS Essentials Program - For free and confidential safety advice from an OHS consultant
  • Advice to Prevent Physical Injury - To reduce injuries in your workplace.

For further information, please visit WorkSafe - Supporting Leaders in Trade Based Industries.
Do you want to be kept up to date with everything that’s happening with GAN Australia and the wider VET sector?

Head on over to GAN Australia and subscribe now.

Thanks to our Industry Partners

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