Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 13, Issue 9

Friday, 27th March 2020
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Upcoming Events


7 April - OHS Network Meeting (Virtual)

COVID-19 Update

Business Restrictions

The Prime Minister has announced that the list of restricted non-essential services has been significantly extended. The extended restrictions came into effect on Thursday 26 March 2020.
These measures are on top of law enforceable bans already in place for any non-essential gathering of 100 or more people indoors, and 500 or more outdoors.

A limit of one person per four square metres applies to any gathering and people are urged to practice social distancing of 1.5 metres between people at all times.

The Premier has indicated there will be further restrictions as part of the shutdown in the coming days and weeks, to help combat coronavirus (COVID-19), and further businesses may be added at this time.

For information about coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) coronavirus website.

Please note: Victorians will still be able to go to the supermarket, the bank, the pharmacy and access other essential stores, like petrol stations and convenience stores.

Please read the full list of restricted non-essential activities.

For all businesses not subject to restricted trading, it is recommended that the DHHS guidelines are followed to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you have any questions about your business’s ability to open under the restrictions you can contact the Business Victoria Coronavirus Hotline by calling 13 22 15.

Australian Apprenticeship Incentive Guidelines Updated

The Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment has released updated Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program Guidelines.

This includes the guidelines for the new 50 per cent apprentice wage subsidy for small businesses employers (including GTOs) that was announced on 13 March 2020.

These guidelines take effect from Thursday 2 April 2020.

To access the full guidelines please visit the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Working for Victoria Fund

As part of the $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package, the Victorian Government this week has announced a $500 million package to assist people who have lost their jobs at this difficult time.

Under the Working for Victoria Fund, displaced workers will be eligible to apply for different types of work.

This presents opportunities for paid work and an opportunity to contribute to Victoria’s ability to manage this event and support the community. Some displaced workers will have skills that can be readily transferred to new roles.

The Government can also assist skills development or help people in obtaining immediate accreditation to commence work.

The Government will work across the public sector, local government, the not-for-profit sector and key private sector employers to facilitate job matching.

Businesses that need workers can get in touch at Business Victoria.

Nominations for the 66th Victorian Training Awards are Now Open!

The Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education, the Hon. Gayle Tierney MP has previously announced the opening of the 66th Victorian Training Awards.

As a key stakeholder in Victoria’s TAFE and training sector you will be aware of the Awards’ long and proud tradition of promoting innovation and excellence across the TAFE and training sector.

Growing from their inception as Apprenticeship Week in the 1950s, the Victorian Training Awards are now the premier event on the state’s vocational education and training calendar, offering a total prize pool of more than $80,000.

Last year’s Awards celebrated and recognised the achievements of many outstanding organisations and individuals, with several winners going on to achieve national success at the Australian Training Awards.

Could this be you in 2020?

Nominations for this year’s awards are now being sought from individual students and teachers, training organisations and employers. Award winners will be announced at a gala ceremony on 18 September and will receive $5,000 in prize money and a trophy.

Winners will also have the opportunity to represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards in Melbourne in November.

We encourage you to take the opportunity to have your achievements recognised by nominating for an award. You too could be rewarded with the exposure that comes with winning such a prestigious award and the subsequent heightened profile and market leadership.

You may also nominate an exceptional staff member, colleague or student who you think is deserving of recognition.

If you require assistance with your nomination, the awards team can put you in touch with a writer to review your application and make sure it is of the highest quality.

Entries close at midnight on Friday 5 June, so don’t delay – start your nomination today!

For more information, visit the Victorian Training Awards.

Australian Super Insurance Changes in Effect 1 April 2020

The Federal Government recently introduced the ‘Putting Members’ Interests First’ legislation to help reduce the chance of members’ super being eroded by insurance costs while they’re building up their balance.

The legislation change means that from 1 April 2020 we can no longer provide basic insurance cover for members whose super balance hasn’t reached $6,000 at any time from 1 November 2019.

Basic insurance cover is the cover provided automatically to members when they join AustralianSuper.

The legislation doesn’t affect you if:
  • you have fixed your cover amount
  • you have basic + extra (fixed) cover
  • you’re an AustralianSuper Select member and your employer pays for all of your cover

What are your options?

You’re not required to do anything you don’t want to, but you may want to consider the following:

There are two actions you can take if you choose to keep your cover (you need to have enough money in your account to pay for it):
  1. complete the Keep your cover form by 31 March 2020, or
  2. increase your super balance to $6,000 or more by 31 March 2020
If you take no action, and your account balance hasn’t reached $6,000 at any time from 1 November 2019 to 31 March 2020, any basic cover you hold will be cancelled on 1 April 2020.
  • Your basic cover may restart in the future, but it may be limited cover and could be higher or lower than the cover you have now.
  • To be eligible for basic cover to restart automatically, you must be at least 25 years of age, have a minimum super balance of $6,000 and be receiving employer contributions (age limits and other conditions apply).
Premiums will continue to be deducted from your super account monthly, if you choose to keep your cover.

Your cover could also stop before 1 April 2020 for a number of reasons.

For further information visit Australian Super's Putting Members' First.

If you are using an alternative superannuation fund please refer to their website for further details.

ATO Updated Website information

ATO releases ‘one stop shop’ for essential tax and super info on COVID-19 stimulus measures.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has this week updated its website with essential information about tax and superannuation changes that have now become law following the passage of the Government’s Economic Support Package through the Parliament.

To read more, visit the Australian Tax Office.

WGEA Delay the Start and Extend Deadline for Reporting in 2020

AS COVID-19 continues to cause disruption in many workplaces, the Agency has decided to delay the start and extend the report submission period for 2020 to assist employers who may need some additional time to prepare and submit compliance reports.

Your 2019-20 compliance report is now due for submission between 1 May 2020 and 31 July 2020.

Although the official start date for the reporting period has been delayed, the Agency’s reporting system will be ready to accept report submissions from 1 April 2020, if that suits your organisation.

You can no longer access the reporting portal with AUSkey, you will need to have a myGovID. If you have not yet obtained your myGovID, we urge you to do that now. If you’re having trouble with your myGovID, please visit the myGovID website.

For further details please visit the WGEA website.

WorkSafe Victoria - Supporting Young Workers

Across Victoria, many young people find themselves working in unsafe conditions. Fearful of speaking up, young workers can be asked to perform tasks that put them in danger, both mentally and physically. Because of their lack of experience, young workers are one of the most vulnerable groups in the workforce. As a young worker, you have the right to feel safe at work. As an employer, it is your responsibility to keep your young workers safe.

Together with leading psychologist, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, Worksafe Victoria conducted a real-life social experiment to uncover the extent of the problem.

Worksafe Victoria invited a group of people from 18yrs – 25yrs to a series of 'industry information sessions' where they outlined some of the unsafe conditions they could face. Each participant was asked whether they would be willing to work in these conditions. Sadly, 91%* said they would.

The experiment was conducted under the guise of research as an industry information session.

All featured participants signed release forms allowing WorkSafe Victoria to use the footage from the experiment.

*91% is based on 21 of 23 participants stating they would be willing to accept a job like the one described in the information session.

Worksafe Victoria has added a wide range of online resources aimed specifically to young people.

For further information please visit Worksafe Victoria.

WorkSafe Awards 2020 - Nominations are Now Open

The WorkSafe Awards are a way to recognise those individuals, teams or organisations that go above and beyond for workplace safety.

They are also an opportunity to celebrate the people involved in helping injured workers return to work and health.

Keeping Victorians safe at work is a team effort and we’d like recognise and celebrate our health and safety and return to work champions.

Nominate yourself, a colleague or your workplace. Entries close 8 May 2020

Entries are now open across the following categories:
  • Health & Safety Representative of the Year
  • Health & Safety Invention of the Year
  • Best Solution to a Specific Workplace Health & Safety Issue
For further information please visit 2020 WorkSafe Awards.

NCVER Update

Trade Apprenticeships: What's Working and What's Not
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 according to a new analysis.

The two reports also show that the nature of incentives for traditional trades have been largely steady, however the value of the base employer incentives has declined since 2012.

“These reports provide a useful context 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.”

Learn more about traditional trade apprenticeships:
Part 1: Training Activity, Employer Incentives and International Practice
Part 2: Learnings from the Field

Timeline of VET Policy Initiatives Updated
NCVER useful and interactive Timeline of Australian VET policy initiatives has been updated to include 2019 content.

First published in February 2018, the timeline shows VET-related national, state and territory programs and policy initiatives from 1998 onwards.

#NoFrills2020 - Cancelled

NCVER regret to announce that the 29th National VET Research Conference 'No Frills' has been cancelled in accordance with the latest Federal Government advice regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

The conference was planned to be held on 8-10 July 2020 at North Metropolitan TAFE, Perth.
NCVER are currently thinking about different ways to present this important work to the VET community, so please watch this space.

Research messages 2019

Research Messages is an annual publication summarising NCVER’s publicly-released research activities.

This year’s compilation covers the research reports, summaries, infographics, discussion papers, presentations, podcasts and webinars produced by NCVER in 2019.
NCVER Research Messages
The research activity and output has been categorised according to three broad areas based on national research priorities:
  • Structures and systems for skilling and learning
  • Impact of vocational education and training
  • Teaching and learning.
Please visit NCVER to learn more, or to download the full publication.
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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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