Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 13, Issue 8

Friday, 13th March 2020
Hi Reader!

Upcoming Events


7 April - OHS Network Meeting
22 April - Alcohol, Drug & Well-being Workshop

18 & 19 June - Mid-Year Conference

Economic Stimulus Package

On Thursday this week the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced an economic stimulus package worth $17.6 billion to keep Australians in jobs, keep businesses in business and support households and the Australian economy as the world deals with the significant challenges posed by the spread of the coronavirus.

The targeted stimulus package is focused on keeping Australians in jobs and helping small and medium sized businesses to stay in business.

The package has four parts:
  • Supporting business investment
  • Providing cash flow assistance to help small and medium sized business to stay in business and keep their employees in jobs
  • Targeted support for the most severely affected sectors, regions and communities;
  • Household stimulus payments that will benefit the wider economy
The measures are all temporary, targeted and proportionate to the challenges we face. This package will ensure we respond to the immediate challenges we face and help Australia bounce back stronger on the other side, without undermining the structural integrity of the Budget.

Delivering support for business investment
  • $700 million to increase the instant asset write off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expand access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020. For example, assets that may be able to be immediately written off are a concrete tank for a builder, a tractor for a farming business, and a truck for a delivery business.
  • $3.2 billion to back business investment by providing a time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct an additional 50 per cent of the asset cost in the year of purchase.
These measures start today and will support over 3.5 million businesses (over 99 per cent of businesses) employing more than 9.7 million employees or 3 in every 4 workers. The measures are designed to support business sticking with investment they had planned, and encouraging them to bring investment forward to support economic growth over the short term.

Cash flow assistance for businesses
  • $6.7 billion to Boost Cash Flow for Employers by up to $25,000 with a minimum payment of $2,000 for eligible small and medium-sized businesses. The payment will provide cash flow support to businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff, between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020. The payment will be tax free. This measure will benefit around 690,000 businesses employing around 7.8 million people. Businesses will receive payments of 50 per cent of their Business Activity Statements or Instalment Activity Statement from 28 April with refunds to then be paid within 14 days.
  • $1.3 billion to support small businesses to support the jobs of around 120,000 apprentices and trainees. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for up to 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice.
Stimulus payments to households to support growth
  • $4.8 billion to provide a one-off $750 stimulus payment to pensioners, social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. Around half of those that will benefit are pensioners. The payment will be tax free and will not count as income for Social Security, Farm Household Allowance and Veteran payments. There will be one payment per eligible recipient. If a person qualifies for the one off payment in multiple ways, they will only receive one payment.
For further information, see the Economic Stimulus Package.

For further details on the specific Business and Apprenticeship programs please see Cash Flow Assistance for Businesses.

Apprenticeship Luncheon

Luncheon 2020
Jeol + Minister
On Thursday this week, the AEN and GAN Australia held their annual apprenticeship luncheon with over 130 guests from Group Training, TAFE and other VET stakeholders at the MCG in Melbourne. Three special guests included;

  • Hon. Steve Irons - Assistance Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships
  • Sandy Pitcher - Deputy Secretary Higher Education and Skills - provided an update on the current Jenny Macklin Victorian VET review
  • Joel Handcock - GAN Australia inaugural international scholarship recipient on what he plans to see later in the year.
As part of the event the AEN also acknowledged Vaz Juchima from Gforce and awarded him a lifetime achievement award for his 26+ years of service to group training.

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the full day of meetings, events and activities.
Luncheon Gforce + Minister

State Control Centre Activated To Oversee COVID-19 Response

The State Control Centre (SCC) has been activated to oversee and coordinate Victoria’s response to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

This week Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews along with Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor, Brett Sutton and Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp to announce the State Control Centre has increased its readiness in recognition that a more coordinated approach is needed to fight this virus.

The likely COVID-19 pandemic will have significant impacts across our economy and across our state, including schools, businesses, and places of mass gatherings, such as sporting and cultural events.

Making the SCC the focal point to our response will help agencies better collaborate and ensure key intelligence, mapping, planning, logistics and public information resources are available as and when they are needed.

EMV will work closely with health authorities, other government agencies, businesses and the wider community to prepare for and respond to the likely pandemic.

Seven screening clinics are now open across the city at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Alfred Hospital, Austin Hospital, Box Hill Hospital, Monash Clayton, Northern Hospital and Sunshine Hospital.

This builds on the launch of the COVID-19 Pandemic Plan for the Victorian Health Sector which outlines actions we are taking to slow the spread of the virus in the community, manage demand on hospital resources, respond to a severe outbreak and recover as quickly as possible.

These measures may be disruptive and wide-ranging, including dedicated coronavirus wards in hospitals, increasing telehealth medical consultations, cancelling large public gatherings or closing schools and universities.

If you are concerned, call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

For more information, visit the Department of Health and Human Services - Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Cultural Diversity Week 21 - 29 March 2020

Cultural Diversity Week is fast approaching, with many events scheduled this year.

This year, Cultural Diversity Week will be held from 21 – 29 March with the theme ‘Curiosity. Conversation. Community.’

We invite you to join the conversation, or attend one of the many events scheduled or to host your own event.

For further details please visit the Victorian Multicultural Commission - Cultural Diversity Week.

Reminder - AUSkey and Manage ABN Connections Retire on 27 March

AUSkey and Manage ABN Connections retire on Friday 27 March 2020.

You will need to use myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM) to access the Business Portal and other government online services after this date.

If you use the Business Portal, get your organisation ready with myGovID and RAM now.

For further details please see the ATO's article, Make the move: Get a myGovID before 27 March.

Australian Training Awards

The Australian Training Awards will be hosted by National Careers Ambassador, Scott Cam, in November this year.

The Awards showcase excellence in vocational education and training (VET) through the amazing talents of individuals, businesses and registered training organisations — all who make such a valuable impact through their achievements in VET.

Reminder that the award nominations are currently open and that the awards will be presented in Melbourne on Friday 20 November 2020.

For further details please visit the Australian Training Awards.

Review on the NSW Vocational Education and Training Sector

The VET sector in NSW needs to do better for the future:
  1. From 2001 to 2017, participation in VET declined steadily. Those students who do participate are failing to complete their course at a rate of 47.5%.
  2. NSW has a higher overall skills shortage compared to Victoria and Queensland, with 30 identified skills shortage areas in NSW.
Other challenges faced by the NSW VET system include quality and efficiency, public perception and system complexity. Many of these challenges are also faced by other Australian jurisdictions and have been the subject of a number of recent, comprehensive reviews.

Over the last five years, major reforms and initiatives have been implemented to improve the quality and efficiency of the NSW VET sector. These include the introduction of Smart and Skilled in 2015, modernising TAFE NSW, and providing 100,000 fee-free apprenticeships.

Reform to the VET system is needed if NSW is to remain nationally and internationally competitive, and VET is to be regarded as a genuine and desirable option for school leavers.

The review will submit recommendations for how the NSW Government and TAFE can:
  • Transition school leavers into in-demand skills training opportunities that equip them to secure and create the jobs of the future.
  • Provide better information to students so they can make informed decisions and improved career advice to support lifelong learning.
  • Better integrate secondary, vocational and tertiary learning opportunities, including consideration of micro-credentialing and university and VET training products.
  • Deliver opportunities for resolving current skills shortages to benefit the State's economy, with consideration given to ensuring the NSW Skills List is forward looking, the speed of design and delivery of courses, and flexibility.
The review may also consider how findings can be implemented through exemplar projects, such as the Meadowbank Precinct and the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.

To view the full terms of reference of the review please see Review on the NSW vocational education and training sector.

National Bully Zero Conference

BullyZero Conference 2020
The 8th Annual No More Harm National Conference in 2020 will be held at The Langham, Melbourne on Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 June 2020.

Highlighting bullying, harassment and discriminating behaviour, this annual conference continues to successfully facilitate discussion surrounding the cause, effect, challenges and opportunities surrounding harmful behaviours in schools, the workplace and wider community.

Featuring a selection of renowned keynote speeches, oral presentations, panel discussions, workshops and networking opportunities, this conference highlights the cause of and solutions to bullying, harassment and discrimination.

Historically, the No More Harm National Conference brings together 200+ delegates from all over Australia to review current bullying, harassment and discrimination issues in schools, workplaces and social environments.

Shining the light on a major issues of concern throughout the nation, the two-day No More Harm Conference will encompass presentations, discussions and interactive dialogues leading the way to prevent harmful behaviours.

Renowned keynote speeches, professional presentations, interactive workshops and a variety of visual poster presentations will highlight the challenges and opportunities we face in eliminating bullying, harassment and discrimination.

For further details please visitor to register, visit No More Harm Conference 2020.

2020 Skills Conference Sydney

NSW 2020 Skills Conference
The Apprentice Employment Network NSW & ACT invites you to attend the 2020 Skills Conference.

With the theme of “Making VET great again” the conference promises to stimulate discussion and thinking around what can we do better collectively as an industry to improve apprenticeship and traineeship numbers in Australia.

AEN NSW & ACT would like to offer Victorian GTOs the member rates should you wish to attend.

You will need to use the code SKILLS2020EB at the point of registration (during the early bird period). This will reduce the price to member rates.

For further information and to access the full program, speaker list and accommodation options please visit the Skills Conference website.

Victorian TAFE Association announce New CEO

The Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) Board announced on Thursday this week that Jeremy Irvine has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the Victorian TAFE Association.

Jeremy has led or held a range of senior roles in industry associations and peak bodies in Australia and New Zealand over the last 15 years.

He joins the VTA from the Australian Dental Prosthetists Association, which he has led as CEO since March 2016, including through the unification of its state/territory and national component associations. In this role, he has successfully worked with TAFEs and universities across Australia, state governments and national regulators.

Jeremy commenced his career in the-then Commonwealth Employment Service and then moved to Canberra where he worked as a policy analyst, public affairs manager and adviser in portfolios including employment services.

Moving to New Zealand, he ran a national peak body in the social services sector before transitioning to the public service as the ministerial and executive speechwriter for the Ministry of Education.

Upon his return to Australia, he led the independent schools’ association of the ACT, and then the International Specialised Skills Institute, which provides scholarships to VET teachers to enhance and share skills.

He has also held government relations executive positions in the health and employment sectors.

National Skills Week 24 - 30 August 2020

National Skills Week 2020
National Skills Week is dedicated to raising the profile and status of vocational learning dispelling outdated myths and showcasing the attractive career opportunities for all Australians.

Now moving into its tenth year, National Skills Week will again set out to bring to life the positive messages, highlighting the talents, the skills, the career pathways and the value of apprentices and trainees across Australia to the wider public and employers.

The week is dedicated to raising the status of practical and vocational learning.

For more information, visit National Skills Week 2020.

NCVER Update

NCVER this week have released two reports into traditional trade apprenticeships

Report 1: Traditional trade apprenticeships: training activity, employer incentives and international practice
Report 2: Traditional trade apprenticeships: learnings from the field

Summary: Apprenticeship commencements and completions in the traditional trades have remained relatively stable over the past 15 years, with shifts broadly aligned to changing conditions in the Australian labour market.

The new reports also show that the nature of incentives for the traditional trades have remained relatively stable, however the value of the base employer incentives in real terms has declined since 2012.

“These reports provide useful contextual information on trends in training activity in light of ongoing commentary on potential skills shortages and declines in apprenticeship and traineeship commencements and completions,” said Simon Walker, Managing Director, NCVER.

“They analyse the availability and effectiveness of government apprenticeship incentives in encouraging uptake or completion in times of economic downturn, and offer some non-financial suggestions for improvement that may help to address some challenges the system is currently facing.”
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Head on over to GAN Australia and subscribe now.

Bunnings Apprentice Trade PowerPass

Don't miss a world of opportunities! As a Bunnings PowerPass Apprentice member, you can benefit from a huge range of exclusive deals.
  • ABN free applications for trade-related apprentices
  • Access to PowerPass prices and offers on a wide range of trade products
  • Invitations to exclusive trade events
  • Offers tailored to apprentice’s needs
  • Bunnings Trade merchandise
How do you Sign up for a Bunnings PowerPass Apprentice Membership?
  • Apply for PowerPass on the website
  • Fill in the details and submit
What to do, once you've signed up
The first thing to know is that there is no plastic card issued for a Bunning’s PowerPass member. Your membership is always with you, as the ID card lives on your phone.
  1. After you've filled in the application and it’s been processed you will receive an email asking you to confirm your email address, so it’s imperative that we get your email address right.
  2. After we have verified your email address, you will receive a new email with your CARD NUMBER and a link to download the Bunnings PowerPass App for your phone.
  3. Load the App, enter your card number and you’re good to go.
For further information and details please visit Bunnings Trade PowerPass.

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