Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 12, Issue 45

Friday, 29th November 2019
Hi Reader!

Upcoming Events

6 December - AEN & GAN Australia Annual Awards Dinner
Click here for all upcoming events.

AEN Annual Awards - Finalists

This year we received a record number of 52 nominations for our awards including 17 nominations for apprentice of the year and 14 nominations for trainee of the year.

This highlights the great work many GTOs are doing and the high calibre of our youth.

The 2019 AEN Award finalists are:

Apprentice of the Year - Sponsored by Apprenticeship Support Australia
Ben Farrell - Gforce Employment Solutions
Jessica Scott-Smith - Programmed Skilled Workforce Ltd
Maxwell Mitchell - Gforce Employment Solutions
Ryan Kurray - Westvic Staffing Solutions
Sophia Law - Gforce Employment Solutions
Youssef Batal - AGA Australia

Trainee of the Year - Sponsored by VicSuper
Akhila Nilakantan - Programmed Skilled Workforce Ltd
Ashleigh McCafferty - Westvic Staffing Solutions
Katharine Knapman - WPC Group
Sian Prangnell - AGA Australia
Talei Winning - AGA Australia
Zara Hogan - Kestrel Apprentice Solutions

School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year - Sponsored by Australian Super
Ashcka Woods - Skillinvest
Beau Gibbs - Westvic Staffing Solutions
Heidi Rasmussen - Gforce Employment Solutions

Inspiration Award: Indigenous Student of the Year - Sponsored by Apprenticeship Support Australia
Ashcka Woods - Skillinvest
Danae McDonald - Skillinvest
Jessiah Lymburner - Ai Group Apprentice and Trainee Centre
Joshua Coulson - WPC Group
Kayleigh Gallagher - WPC Group

Inspiration Award: Overcoming Adversity - Sponsored by RMIT University
Annabel Humble - AGA Australia
Hari Acharya - MEGT Australia Ltd.
Jessica Scott-Smith - Programmed Skilled Workforce Ltd
Luke Stephenson - Skillinvest
Shantelle Spiteri - WPC Group
Sian Prangnell - AGA Australia

Inspiration Award: Woman in Trades - Sponsored by AATIS
Caitlin Allsopp - WPC Group
Jessica Scott-Smith - Programmed Skilled Workforce Ltd
Shannon Distefano - MEGT Australia Ltd.
Sheree Leen - Gforce Employment Solutions
Sophia Law - Gforce Employment Solutions

GTO Service Excellence - Sponsored by Bunnings Warehouse
AGA Australia - Supporting Disadvantaged Workers in Major Projects
Programmed Skilled Workforce Ltd - Indigenous Advancements Strategy
Westvic Staffing Solutions - Shaping Futures Pilot Program

Congratulations to all the finalists, and we look forward to showcasing everyone on the 6 December at Victorian Parliament House from 6:00pm - 10:30pm.

Read more about the finalists here.

COAG Skills Council Communiqué November 2019

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Skills Council (the Council) held its second meeting on Friday last week in Brisbane to agree on an ambitious approach to enhancing vocational education and training (VET).

Council congratulated the winners and finalists recognised at the Australian Training Awards on their outstanding achievements. The winners and finalists offer a shining example of the transformational opportunities offered by VET.

Delivering a COAG VET Reform Roadmap for a responsive, dynamic and trusted VET sector.
Council discussed a draft COAG VET Reform Roadmap that will deliver reforms to ensure Australia’s future is one where our people are highly skilled and our businesses are competitive.

Council confirmed the importance of bringing the Commonwealth’s reform agenda into the Roadmap, and tasked skills senior officials with developing a unified reform pathway for inclusion in the next draft.

Council further agreed to immediately fast track four pieces of foundational work:
  • a review of VET Student Loans to ensure parity of access for students across Australia
  • on the use of micro-credentials in the national VET system to better respond to student and job-need while preserving the importance of nationally-recognised full qualifications
  • on quality and reforms to the Standards for Registered Training Organisations to move the system of regulation from its focus on compliance to focus on excellence in training
  • streamlining training packages to deliver more relevant skills for industry and individuals through immediate actions to make the current system faster, simpler and better. This will include immediate action to identify and remove all outdated and unused qualifications to improve the relevance and accessibility of the training system.

Council particularly noted that actions agreed to were in response to feedback from stakeholders about where urgent reform is needed.

Council directed the Australian Industry and Skills Council (AISC) and skills officials to develop criteria for commissioning new or updated training products and to establish clear timeframes for accelerated training product development before the next Council meeting.

This will improve transparency and accountability across the product development lifecycle; improve timeframes for training package development; future proof the system by looking at options for simplifying qualification construct and content; and improve support for registered training organisations to interpret and deliver training to meet industry’s requirements.

Council tasked skills senior officials with progressing these key actions and with further developing the draft Roadmap for consideration at its next meeting. In development of a draft Roadmap, jurisdictions will consult with stakeholders.

Council reaffirmed the shared responsibility for strengthening and modernising the VET system across all jurisdictions.

Council also acknowledged that meaningful change requires structural reform to place the skills agenda front and centre of a concerted effort to develop a world class national VET system with the flexibility to respond to specific regional needs and priorities.

Continuing collaboration for transparent and holistic data collection
Council acknowledged the national collaboration on data through the Performance Information for VET (PIVET).

The three year work program has helped to improve transparency about the structure and funding of the VET system along with a greater understanding of the outcomes and pathways for VET students including employment outcomes for apprentices.

Members noted that continuing collaborative work under the PIVET projects will be central to the delivery of the Roadmap to achieve COAG’s vision for VET.

Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC)
The Council noted an Annual Report from the AISC and welcomed Emeritus Professor Tracey Horton AO as the new Chair of the AISC.

Council also acknowledged the contribution of outgoing Chair Professor John Pollaers OAM who has been in the role since the AISC’s inception.

Quality of the national training system
Council confirmed their commitment to better outcomes for students and industry with a focus on supporting fair, transparent and effective regulation.

Members noted the reforms announced by the Commonwealth to improve the Australian Skills Quality Authority’s (ASQA’s) engagement with the VET sector.

Council emphasised the critical role of ASQA in underpinning confidence in the VET sector and states and territories will engage with the rapid review of the regulator, as a key step in moving towards achieving excellence in training in this sector.

Next meeting
Members committed to meeting again in the first half of 2020 to continue the momentum and leadership of a strong national training system.

To access the full communique’ please visit the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.

GAN Policy Paper on Joyce VET Review Release

Time to Get on With the Job: Australia’s Leading Apprenticeship Network Reveals Pathways for Action

After years of evidence gathering and reviews, GAN Australia’s Executive Director, Gary Workman says, “It is time for Australia to get on with the job.”

“As the Federal Government invests over $525m into vocational education and training through the Skills Package, it is vital that our five recommendations are included in pathways of action, linking funding to sustainable, skilled employment outcomes for Australians and the economy.”
GAN - Time to get on with the Job - Cover
GAN Australia’s recommendations was submitted to the Government’s National Skills Commission co-design process.

“The National Skills Commission will be an important driver for action, and we would like to see a number of issues in the VET sector addressed, including unequal Government funding at state and federal levels, slow delivery of training programs and complex administrative arrangements for providers and job-seekers,” Gary Workman said.

“Work readiness and a thriving economy go hand-in-hand when skills and shortages are matched effectively. From disadvantaged job-seekers to school-leavers, we are working to see Australians equipped with relevant qualifications for industries now and into the future.”

GAN Australia's Key Recommendations

  1. Target government resources to in-school programs for greatest impact
  2. Governments should provide fully funded training only when linked directly to new employment outcomes
  3. Take advantage of the successful Multi-Industry Pre-apprenticeship program to deliver better careers advice and clearer secondary school pathways
  4. Use experienced GTOs to invest early to create the best outcomes for disadvantaged Australians
  5. Utilising the national group training network to support small/medium businesses
GAN Australia’s full Policy Paper can be found here.

Social Procurement - Victorian Government Approach

Social procurement is when organisations use their buying power to generate social value above and beyond the value of the goods, services, or construction being procured.

In the Victorian Government context, social value means the benefits that accrue to all Victorians when the social and sustainable outcomes in this Framework are achieved.

Approaches to social procurement
Social procurement can be grouped into two broad approaches:

Direct – Purchasing of goods, services or construction (by government) from:
  • Victorian social enterprises
  • Victorian Aboriginal businesses
  • other social benefit suppliers, including Victorian Australian Disability Enterprises
Indirect – Using the invitation to supply process and clauses in contracts with the private sector to seek social and sustainable outcomes for Victorians.

Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework will support the expansion and standardisation of social procurement practice across all government procurement activities through both direct and indirect methods.

The Government acknowledges that regional small and medium enterprises play a critical role in the sustainability of regional economies and communities.

In applying this framework, government departments and agencies are encouraged to consider how they can use place-based approaches to address entrenched disadvantage and support regional small and medium enterprises.

Purchasing from social enterprises
Social enterprises are businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment.

They derive most of their income from trade (not donations or grants) and use the majority of their profits (at least 50%) to contribute to their social mission.

Among other benefits, social enterprises play an important role in providing transitional employment for disadvantaged job seekers, including people with disability, as a pathway to employment in mainstream businesses.

Social enterprises can also provide ongoing employment options for disadvantaged job seekers who may not be well placed to sustain mainstream employment over the longer term.

For further information please visit Buying for Victoria.

Gary Workman: Better Connections Key to VET Job Outcomes

Gary Workman - Go the Last Mile for Work
To coincide with the release of the GAN Australia VET policy paper last week the Sydney Morning Herald ran an opinion piece - Go the last mile for work.

This article promoted the invaluable work group training organisations do to ensure we support disadvantaged job seekers and support for small and medium sized employers.

Productivity Commission Review

The issues paper for the Skills and Workforce Development Agreement study has been released.

The Commission has released this issues paper to assist individuals and organisations to prepare submissions to the study.

It contains and outlines:
  • the scope of the study
  • the Commission’s procedures
  • matters about which the Commission is seeking comment and information
  • how to make a submission.
Further information is available from the Productivity Commission.

Victorian Workplace Manslaughter Laws Pass

This week the Victorian Government passed legislation to make workplace manslaughter a criminal offence, because no person deserves to die at work.

As many as 30 people are killed in workplaces across the state every year, with 19 people having already lost their lives so far in 2019.

Under the new laws, employers who negligently cause a workplace death will face fines of up to $16.5 million and individuals will face up to 20 years in jail.

The offence will fall under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and will apply to employers, self-employed people and ‘officers’ of the employers.

The legislation will also apply when an employer’s negligent conduct causes the death of a member of the public – ensuring that all Victorians are safe in, and around, our workplaces.

WorkSafe Victoria will investigate the new offence using their powers under the OHS Act to ensure employers can be prosecuted – making clear that putting people’s lives at risk in the workplace will not be tolerated.

Earlier this year, the government announced a Workplace Manslaughter Implementation Taskforce to help develop the tough new laws.

For further information please see the article Workplace Manslaughter to be Enshrined in Law.

SVA Launch New Report - Future Fair - Securing Better Quality Jobs for Young People in Australia.

This week Social Ventures Australia released a new report - Future Fair - securing better quality jobs for young people in Australia.

This report sets out to describe major trends in the Australian labour market that are shaping the future prospects of young people, particularly young people from less advantaged backgrounds.

It considers current labour market program settings as well as the findings from a review of a number of smaller scale workforce-readiness programs.
SVA Future Fair
The goal of this report is to stimulate discussion about what can be done to improve the opportunities young people have to move into jobs that provide economic mobility and the opportunity to continue to learn.

It identifies actions for employers, governments and those who develop or invest in workforce-readiness programs.

Its pleasing to see one of the key recommendations included government support for group training.

“Group Training Organisations have proven their ability to engage and support young people into and through apprenticeships and traineeships both in their ordinary operations and through programs like the Multi-Industry Pre-apprenticeship program. Additional, ongoing support should be offered to GTOs to allow them to extend their work to new employers and to increase engagement with young people experiencing disadvantage.”

National Asbestos Awareness Week 25 November - 1 December 2019

Did you know asbestos was used in more than 3000 common building materials before it was banned in 2003?

And it’s still found in 1 in 3 Australian homes, lurking in things like cement roofing, water pipe insulation and vinyl tiles.

Worksafe Victoria have developed a new interactive tool to help you identify where asbestos might lurk. You’ll also discover how to safely dispose of asbestos.

During National Asbestos Awareness Week, WorkSafe is joining organisations across Australia to educate tradies about the prevalence of asbestos, and how to identify and remove it safely.

It's estimated 4000 Australians die from asbestos-related diseases every year and tradies are among the most at risk for asbestos exposure.

What’s more, no amount of exposure is safe.

Even if you’ve been in the game a long time, you might be surprised to know what materials contain asbestos.

You may also be surprised to know Australia was one of the highest users of asbestos worldwide.

Knowing what to look for might not be as easy as you think.

Visit Worksafe Victoria's Asbestos website to find out everything you need to know about asbestos before asbestos finds you.

AUSkey is Changing

AUSkey will be replaced by a new whole of government digital identity service and all Registered Training Organisations (RTO) accessing the USI Registry system will be affected. From 1 April 2020, myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) will replace AUSkey.

If you access the USI Registry via the Organisation Portal or have a Student Management System (SMS), the current AUSkey will not function after the end of March 2020:

  • Organisation Portal users will need to acquire their own digital identity. Business associates of an RTO’s ABN must also acquire a digital identity and can authorise another person with a digital identity to connect to the USI Registry Organisation Portal (on behalf of the RTO). This is similar to how a Standard/Personal AUSkey is set up, however, new mechanisms are used and the replacement file is not stored on a computer or USB. A connection can then be made using any device, anywhere, anytime.
  • Student Management Systems will need a new Machine-to-Machine (M2M) credential to replace a Device AUSkey in order to interact with USI Registry via an SMS.
There are a few steps you can take to get yourself ready for the change such as updating and cleaning-up your information in the Australian Business Register (ABR), AUSkey Manager and Access Manager.

You can also get ready for the change by obtaining a digital identity using the myGovID app. It’s easy, just download and install the app from the Apple App or Google Play store and set up your myGovID.
GAN Subscribe to Newsletter
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.

NCVER Update

The dynamics of qualifications: implications for VET
The decade from 2006 to 2016 saw a big increase in the numbers of Australian workers holding tertiary qualifications, with a far greater share holding higher education qualifications and a more modest increase for those whose highest credential was a VET qualification.

The dynamics of qualifications: implications for VET also reveals that the dynamics of this change are more pronounced for younger workers, and that it has occurred across all major occupational groups, with a corresponding decline in the number and proportion of workers without post-school qualifications.

The report uses the Australian Census of Population and Housing to show how tertiary qualification profiles in occupations changed between 2006 and 2016.

It reveals an emerging mismatch in terms of the skill level and relevance of qualifications held by workers and the skills required for the occupation, with many workers holding qualifications that notionally exceed the skill requirements for their job.

Thanks to our Industry Partners


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