Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 13, Issue 16

Friday, 15th May 2020
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Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program Banner
Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program
On Friday this week Minister for Education Training and Skills Hon. Gayle Tierney launched the Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has seen a sharp reduction in apprenticeship and traineeship employment.

The Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program has been created in response to this challenge. The program aims to assist apprentices and trainees who have lost their employment complete their training.

The Department of Education and Training (DET) has commissioned Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) Victoria, the peak body for group training employers, to develop and administer the program.

For Individuals

Apprentices and trainees who have lost their employment are encouraged to register.

Once on the register, apprentices and trainees will be assisted by one of our program officers until placed with a host employer through a Group Training Organisation (GTO) or directly with an employer.

Program officers will also help direct you to the most appropriate advice and assistance while you remain out of employment.

For Employers

Employers who have job vacancies for apprentices or trainees can submit them on the vacancy register.

Our program officers will match your vacancy with suitable candidates for you to interview.

Employers may also be eligible for Australian Government incentives.

For further information or to register for the program please visit Apprenticeship Employment Network.

To access the Minister press release please visit Premier Victoria.

Update to JobKeeper

Extension of time to enrol for the JobKeeper scheme

The Commissioner has extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020.

If you enrol by 31 May you will still be able to claim for the fortnights in April and May, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights. This includes having paid your employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight.

For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), it is acceptable that the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid by you even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by 8 May 2020.

If you do not pay your staff by this date, you will not be able to claim JobKeeper for the first two fortnights.

You can enrol and claim for JobKeeper earlier if you choose. For example, you can enrol by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for the two fortnights in April.

Update to JobKeeper rules

To ensure the integrity and the efficient operation of the JobKeeper Payment scheme, the Government is clarifying the operation of some rules:
  • employees employed through a special purpose entity, rather than an operating entity
  • charities and the treatment of government revenue
  • religious practitioners
  • 'one in all in’ principles
  • full time students aged 16 and 17 years old
  • international aid organisations, and
  • universities.
The Department is developing information and guidance and will update their website as soon as possible.

You can find more information on the Apprenticeship Wage Support Program from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Australian Labour Force Data Release

From 22 March 2020, Australia saw the progressive introduction of major social distancing and other business-related restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Also, government support packages were announced, including the JobSeeker wage subsidy program.

The large month-to-month movements in April reflect a combination of the effects of the restrictions and also the effects of government, business and individual responses.

  • Employment decreased 594,300 to 12,418,700 people. Full-time employment decreased 220,500 to 8,656,900 people and part-time employment decreased 373,800 to 3,761,800 people.
  • Unemployment increased 104,500 to 823,300 people.
  • Unemployment rate increased 1.0 pts to 6.2%.
  • Underemployment rate increased 4.9 pts to 13.7%
  • Underutilisation rate increased 5.9 pts to 19.9%.
  • Participation rate decreased by 2.4 pts to 63.5%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased 163.9 million hours to 1,625.8 million hours
To access the detailed information please visit the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Macklin Victorian VET Review

Macklin Victorian VET Review
The deadline to provide feedback to the ReviewWhilst Victoria has many examples of excellence and collaboration across our education and training sector, we’re yet to deliver on our full potential. Victoria needs to get back on track with a system that is both more responsive to today’s needs and better prepared for a complex future.

Many of you have already contributed to the Review through consultations, surveys and submissions and I am incredibly grateful for this input.

The scheduled closing date for feedback is Friday 5th June. However, in light of the current health crisis we will keep the Engage Victoria page open for an additional thirty days.

If you intend to lodge a written submission after this Friday, please notify the Secretariat by emailing

Together with your insights, I am confident we can develop the strongest set of reform options to recommend to the Government in October.

Have Your Say

One of the best ways you can contribute to the Review process is by making a submission online via the Engage Victoria site. You can refer to the Issues Paper for an outline of some of the key questions and topics to respond to.

Also, if you’re a student, teacher or employer you might wish to complete one of the short surveys.

Submissions will close on June 5, so we are urging everyone with a stake in the future of Victoria’s post-secondary education system to send in their responses before the closing date.

Speak to the Review

Despite the restrictions on face to face consultations, the Review has been gathering feedback and holding virtual discussions with a range of community stakeholders. If your organisation would like to run a virtual forum or roundtable with us, please contact the Review team via the website.

It is clear that the current crisis will test the ability of the skills and training sector to weather significant external shocks. It will invariably illuminate underlying problems, but it can also reveal ideas for greater innovation, agility and collaboration. Let’s seize the opportunity to boldly rethink what reforms we need to help Victoria’s economy recover quickly and develop the future workforce we need.

RMIT Online Short Courses

RMIT are offering a number of online short courses within the construction and OHS fields.

  • Construction Induction - White Card
  • HSR Refresher OHS Course
  • Trade Registration (Domestic Builder Course)
  • HSR Initial OHS Training Course
For further information please visit RMIT - Short Courses.

Victorian Training Awards - Nominations are Open

Eligible trainees or apprentices in the Victorian TAFE and training sector who deserve recognition for their achievements can now apply for this year’s Victorian Training Awards.

The Awards recognise and reward the achievements of apprentices, students, teachers, employers, and training providers across 15 general categories, People’s Choice Awards, and the Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement. Winners will also have the opportunity to represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards at the end of the year in Brisbane.

The AEN and GAN Australia are once again proudly supporting the Awards as a Principal Partner for the second year running.

Entries close midnight Friday 5 June, so make sure you submit your nomination before then.

Victorian Building Authority

Disruptions caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19) led the Australian Building Codes Board to launch a new video series covering this year’s changes to the National Construction Code.

While the state and country have been in lockdown for the past couple of months, the ABCB, like the Victorian Building Authority, has continued to perform its role overseeing the NCC.

However, due to social distancing requirements and restrictions imposed to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the ABCB’s planned 2020 NCC Seminar series has been shelved.

So practitioners don’t miss out on vital information and changes to the NCC series, the ABCB has created 12 videos covering key topics from their proposed seminars. The videos focus on changes included in NCC 2019 Amendment 1 and answer common technical enquiries about the application of NCC Volumes One and Two.

Information about other ABCB activities during the COVID-19 lockdown can be found on the ABCB website.

For further information please visit the Victorian Building Authority.

ILO Launch MOOC on Quality Apprenticeship

ILO Launch MOOC on Quality Apprenticeships
The Skills and Employability Branch of the ILO in partnership with the ITCILO (the Training arm of the ILO) is launching a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) on Quality Apprenticeships.

The MOOC is designed to support policy-makers and practitioners in the design and implementation of Quality Apprenticeships.

Register your interest for this free online course and don't miss out.

Check Out the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services

Australian Government Productivity Commission
Each year the Productivity Commission publishes its report on Australia’s Government Services.

Chapter 5 on Australia’s VET performance

Part B of the wider Report on Government Services covers early childhood education and child care, as well as education and training. Within education and training, chapter 4 covers school education, and chapter 5 looks at vocational education and training.

You can download a PDF of the chapter and the data tables here and here respectively.

The chapter also presents a number of key performance measures, covering equity, effectiveness and efficiency. In a number of cases, these are broken down to state and territory level as well.
It also includes information on outcomes.

These include:
  • Student employment and further study outcomes
  • Information on Student completions and qualifications, and
  • Students who improved education status
To access the full reports please visit Australian Government - Productivity Commission.

Final Call: Last Chance to Register for Scholarship Funding

Women currently working in the training and development sector have a final opportunity to register their interest in a scholarship worth up to $5,000 to support participation in an online leadership development program.

It is unsure when this funding will be available again, and the registration deadline has been extended until 5pm on June 19.

Find out more at Women & Leadership Australia.

Upcoming Public Holidays

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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
For further information and details on how to sign up please visit Bunnings Trade PowerPass.

Thanks to our Industry Partners

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