Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 13, Issue 12

Friday, 17th April 2020
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Upcoming Events


Check out our calendar for full list of events.

Updated the Information Over Easter on a Number of Assistance Programs

In this ever changing environment please find below a list of website links to ensure you have quick access to the latest information.

JobKeeper Changes to the Fair Work Act

On 9 April 2020, the Fair Work Act was amended to support the implementation and operation of the JobKeeper Wage Subsidy Scheme in Australian workplaces.

These changes are temporary and will end on 28 September 2020.

The new provisions enable employers who qualify for the JobKeeper scheme, and who are entitled to JobKeeper payments for their employees, to give directions called ‘JobKeeper enabling directions’.

In certain circumstances, this means that employers can temporarily:
  • stand down an employee (including by reducing their hours or days of work)
  • change an employee’s usual duties
  • change an employee’s location of work.
The new provisions also enable employers who qualify for the JobKeeper scheme, and who are entitled to JobKeeper payments for their employees, to make agreements with their employees to change their days and times of work and take annual leave in certain circumstances.

For further information please visit Fair Work - JobKeeper Changes.

For a list of modern award changes please visit Fair Work - Changes to Awards.

VRQA - Updated Information on C0VID-19

The Department is communicating regularly with universities, TAFEs and training organisations to ensure they have the most up-to-date information from the Victorian Chief Health Officer and the Australian Chief Medical Officer.

All TAFEs and training organisations are encouraged to increase their ability to deliver training remotely or online where possible.

Learn Locals should adopt these approaches to support continuity of provision of pre-accredited training where there is existing capability and capacity.

We understand that this may be difficult for some courses, such as trades.

Where activities continue to happen on campus, it is critical that physical distancing guidelines are strictly followed in line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer.

Any staff who can work from home should now be working from home. If this is not possible, physical distancing advice should be strictly followed at all times.
To access all the information please visit Education & Training - COVID19 Advice.

National Employment Data Released for Early March

The trend in monthly hours worked remained unchanged between February and March 2020, according to the latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Thursday 16 April.

This followed slowing growth in hours worked in recent months, with the annual growth rate down to 0.8 per cent, around half the rate over the past 20 years (1.6 per cent).

The trend in unemployment rate remained steady at 5.2 per cent in early March, from a revised February figure.

The Labour Force Survey collects data from around 50,000 people to measure the labour market in the first two weeks of each month.

The March data describes the labour market shortly before the major restrictions in Australia to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Chief Economist at the ABS, Bruce Hockman, said: “Today’s data shows some small early impact from COVID-19 on the Australian labour market in early March, but any impact from the major COVID-19 related actions will be evident in the April data.

For further information please visit Australian Bureau of Statistics.

New Funding To Fight Coronavirus, Support Jobs And Set Up The Recovery

The Victorian Government will put aside an additional $24.5 billion in emergency funding to fight coronavirus, support jobs, and set Victoria up to recover from the pandemic over the next two years.
These funds will be sought – alongside the ordinary funding to keep paying wages for our vital healthcare workers and other public sector staff – in the supply bills to be introduced when the Parliament meets for an emergency sitting next Thursday.

The fall in unemployment figures this week – from 5.3 to 5.2 per cent – is the last decrease in unemployment we will see for some time. We expect the unemployment rate to get higher next month, and higher again the month after that.

That’s why having access to this additional funding is so important – to help ensure Victoria has the capacity to respond swiftly and significantly to save lives, support workers and their families, and rebuild the economy. This approach is consistent with other jurisdictions.

We are able to take these steps at this time because of the strong economic management by the Government.

The general appropriations Bill that will be introduced next Thursday includes $10 billion in 2019-20 and $14.5 billion in 2020-21 to deal with the current pandemic and the recovery from it. The Bill also includes general government funding, indexed at 2.5 per cent, and the annual capital appropriation.
The emergency funding is on top of a range of measures the Government has already announced to slow the spread of the virus and help workers and businesses get to the other side of this crisis.
This including the Government’s $1.9 billion investment to prepare the health system, the $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package, and $500 million to support residential and commercial tenants.

The Government will also introduce the usual Parliament Appropriations Bill next week, to ensure the continuation of funding for the operations of parliament, as well as oversight bodies including IBAC.

All spending will be fully accounted for in accordance with the requirements of the Financial Management Act and the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) will provide oversight of the Government’s decisions through its review into the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Victoria.

As previously announced and in line with the Commonwealth and all other states and territories, the Victorian Government has deferred its Budget until later in the year.

Online Survey for TVET Providers, Policy-Makers and Social Partners on Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) have recently surveyed countries to see how they are responding to the current COVID-19 situation with regards to TVET.

Most countries that participated in the survey have completely closed TVET schools and centres in response to the spread of the pandemic.

As of April 9, 2020, 83 respondents from 40 countries shared their practices and challenges for TVET provision in the context of the current crisis as well as useful tools and strategies to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

To read the full report and for more information please visit the International Labour Organisation website.

Government Announce Funding Support for VET and Higher Ed

Over the Easter break the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, and the Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, have announced a package of measures to lift the financial pressures on registered training organisations.

New cost recovery arrangements for TEQSA, ASQA and for the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) will all be deferred by 12 months to 1 July 2021.

There will also be a six-month exemption from the loan fees associated with FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans in the sector in a bid to encourage full-fee paying students to continue their studies despite these difficult times.

For further information please visit the Ministers Media Centre.

Scholarships of up to $5,000 for Current and Aspiring Female Leaders

Scholarships of $1,000 to $5,000 are currently available to women working in training and development to help support their participation in a range of online career building leadership development programs.

The initiative is providing junior teachers, school administrators and senior principals with scholarships to support their growth and development via participation in one of three flagship courses. Participants will benefit from course content such as Elements of a Successful Team, Team Dynamics, Purpose Priorities and Professional Development, Empowering Teams, and Evolving Strategic Change.

Expressions of Interest
Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form prior to Friday 15 May 2020.

Emergency Sitting of the Victorian Parliament Next Week

The Victorian Parliament will be recalled two weeks early for a one day emergency sitting on Thursday 23 April 2020 to pass vital legislation to assist the ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Victorian Government is drafting legislation to address issues such as the tenancy reforms agreed to by the National Cabinet, and the Parliament will also be asked to pass urgent appropriation bills which will ensure our healthcare workers and other vital public sector staff continue to be paid.

All members of parliament will be offered detailed briefings on the legislation before it is introduced to the Parliament and Question Time will take place in both houses.

A reduced number of MPs will be present in each chamber and a skeleton staff will be present to ensure both houses are able to function.

The Government will move motions in each house to amend the arrangements for the day to allow for urgent passage of these bills and make other temporary changes to allow MPs to continue representing their communities by tabling members statements rather than having to read them out in each house.

In recognition of the importance of providing information to the public during this unprecedented crisis, the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) will conduct an enquiry into the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Victoria.

NCVER Update

NCVER this week released the following research Understanding the Australian Vocational Education and Training Workforce.

The report provides a more comprehensive picture of Australia’s VET workforce, with a recent survey showing 246,167 people were employed at RTOs as at February 2019, including 45,628 employees at TAFEs and 200,539 employees at other RTOs.

The report also shows that 29% of the total VET workforce (71,379 workers) were employed as trainers and assessors, with the proportion of these workers being higher at larger RTOs.

“In this rapidly changing economy, a comprehensive profile of the current VET workforce is essential to ensuring the sector has capacity to meet the skill development needs of industry, now and into the future” said Simon Walker, Managing Director, NCVER.

“Currently there is no consistent, regular collection of data on the VET workforce, and the last study was released by the Productivity Commission in 2011.”

To learn more and to download the free report please visit NCVER.

Upcoming Public Holidays

Sat 25 April Anzac Day

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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.
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For further information and details please visit Bunnings Trade PowerPass.

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