Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 13, Issue 21

Friday, 19th June 2020
Hi Reader!

Upcoming Events

14 Jul - OHS Network Meeting
12 Aug - QA Standards Network Meeting

Victorian C0VID-19 Restrictions Will Change From 21 June

From 11:59pm on 21 June, libraries, community centres and halls will be able to open to 50 people. Religious ceremonies can also increase to 50.

From next Monday, pubs and clubs will be able to host up to 50 seated patrons, with no requirement to purchase a meal with your drink, however you’ll need to give your contact details and table service restrictions will still apply.

And from 20 July, TABs will band electronic gaming areas at pubs, clubs and the casino will be reopened with strict distancing, cleaning and hygiene requirements.

Recognising the lower rate of transmission amongst younger people, all sports training and competition will resume for those 18 and under. Non-contact sports competition can also begin across every age group.

Indoor sports centres and physical recreation spaces like gyms will be able to open to 20 people per space, with a cap of up to 10 per group for those over the age of 18.

Local footy teams, soccer clubs and other contact sports will be able to resume training for over 18s from 13 July. And from 20 July, full competition can begin too.

Supporting this gradual return to sport, clubs and community facilities will also be able to reopen their change rooms.

The same will apply to holiday accommodation and camping sites, with communal spaces like showers and kitchens soon to be available to visitors.

In line with our previously proposed changes, and from 11:59pm on 21 June, restaurants and cafes will also be able to increase the number of patrons to 50.

Cinemas, concert venues, theatres and auditoriums can open, also with up to 50 people per space.

The same increased limit will apply to our galleries, museums and amusement parks.

And from 22 June, ski season and ski accommodation will also open.

As always, timing on any future changes remains subject to the advice of our Chief Health Officer.

Make sure you're up to date with all coronavirus measures.

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program Banner
Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program
Now into its fourth week, the Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program has received over 200 registrations from apprentices and trainees who have been affected by the current economic crisis.

The top 3 sectors represented are:
  1. Building and Construction
  2. Electrical, Electronics and Utilities
  3. Automotive and Boating
The top 3 occupations are the:
  1. Electrical Trades
  2. Plumbing and Roofing
  3. Carpentry, Joinery and Cabinetmaking
First year apprentices make up over 45 percent of those seeking assistance and while regional Victoria has been affected slightly, the vast majority of participants are located in the Metro Melbourne area.

We have also seen employer confidence in the economy boost with more job vacancies being listed on last month. The register currently has over 175 job vacancies listed.

The program aims to assist apprentices and trainees who have lost their employment complete their training.

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.

SVA Launch of the Review Outcomes Measurement Platform

Social Ventures Australia (SVA) in partnership with the Citi Foundation is launching the Review Platform, a free online data collection and outcomes measurement platform that has been specifically designed to meet the needs of youth employment providers. Co-designed and tested with support from stakeholders from across the sector, the Review Platform enables youth employment providers to demonstrate their value, improve practice and secure funding.

SVA invites you to join them on 23 June at 1pm - 2pm AEST for a live demonstration of the Review Platform, followed by a panel discussion with Dr Lisa Fowkes (SVA), Louise Lindsay (Citi Foundation), Pat Ryan (Dismantle) and Freya Conomos (NSW Youth Action).

For more information or to register please contact SVA.

Victorian Training Awards - Nominations Extended to 3 July

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 now close midnight Friday 3 July, so make sure you submit your nomination before then.

National Federation VET Reform

Following on from National Cabinet’s agreement to continue as the ongoing forum for first ministers, to form the National Federation Reform Council (NFRC) and to cease the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), National Cabinet on Friday last week had further discussions regarding the architecture to fundamentally transform federal relations and achieve policy outcomes in areas of shared interest to create jobs and to improve the lives of all Australians.

National Cabinet has announced six initial priority areas of reform, and the formation of six National Cabinet Reform Committees:
  1. Rural and Regional Australia
  2. Skills
  3. Energy
  4. Infrastructure and Transport
  5. Population and Migration
  6. Health
These committees will be driven by leaders of National Cabinet and tasked to progress a rapid jobs agenda.

Deregulation will be taken forward by the Council of Federal Financial Relations (CFFR) as a matter of priority.

National Cabinet held further discussions regarding the role of the CFFR, which is led by the Commonwealth Treasurer and made up of Treasurers of states and territories. The CFFR has a central role in the new system, supporting the work of National Cabinet as it focuses on job creation. Specifically, National Cabinet has tasked the CFFR to progress targeted reforms in areas such as tax, deregulation and housing.

The CFFR will report to National Cabinet on findings and recommendations of these commissioned reform projects, with input from Expert Advisory Groups.

Further information on reform projects to be undertaken by the CFFR will be provided shortly.

The CFFR will also take on responsibility for coordination of all commonwealth/state funding agreements, including National Partnership Agreements. National Cabinet has asked that the CFFR commence a review of existing agreements with a view to consolidation and rationalisation. This includes identifying agreements that could be ceased in order to streamline responsibilities and to reduce duplication and overlap.

The CFFR will provide National Cabinet with an update on their progress and a plan for implementation by the end of August.

As new Commonwealth/State National Partnership Agreements are developed, it will be the CFFR’s responsibility to negotiate funding elements, in consultation with relevant portfolio ministers.

Wage Theft Legislation Passes Victorian Parliament

Victoria has become the first state in the country to pass laws establishing criminal penalties for employers who deliberately underpay or don’t pay their workers.

The laws establish new criminal offenses targeting employers who deliberately withhold wages and other employee entitlements.

Employers who dishonestly withhold wages, superannuation or other employee entitlements, will face fines of up to $198,264 for individuals, $991,320 for companies and up to 10 years’ jail.

Offenses will also capture employers who falsify employee entitlement records, such as payroll records, or who fail to keep employment records.

New record keeping offenses are aimed at employers who attempt to conceal wage theft by falsifying or failing to keep records.

No longer will employers be able to avoid being held accountable through deliberate dishonest record keeping practices.

The Wage Inspectorate of Victoria will be established as a new statutory authority with powers to investigate and prosecute wage theft offenses.

Employers who make honest mistakes or who exercise due diligence in paying wages and other employee entitlements will not be subject to the legislation.

The Government has also consulted with employer groups and unions, and in February this year released a consultation paper seeking public feedback on the proposed legislation.

Work is underway on reforms to make it faster, cheaper and easier for employees to recover the money they are owed through the Magistrates’ Court.

For further information please visit

Emerge Stronger with Free Online Learning

The impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) are being felt by many of Victoria’s small businesses.

Get practical help with free online courses, live and on-demand events and a range of business resources to help you prepare for a strong recovery.

Upskill My Business connects you to short courses, online events and resources from the state’s top education providers and industry experts.

Courses on offer can help you regain ground to find more customers, better manage cash flow or just prepare for new market conditions.

Gain new skills and knowledge to keep your business moving forward.

Take advantage of fee waivers for dozens of premium courses from top providers.

Explore courses and webinars by topic, and find one that suits your needs.

For further information please visit

Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s - VET Student Loans Report

The Quarterly Update Report for the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s (the Office) VET Student Loans Ombudsman function was released recently.

The function commenced on 1 July 2017 and assesses complaints about the former VET FEE-HELP scheme and the current VET Student Loans program.

The update (11) covers the quarter from 1 January – 31 March 2020 and outlines the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, provides statistical data on complaints received, finalised and open for both the VET FEE-HELP scheme and VET Student Loans program and compares various reporting periods and data on complaints received.

World Youth Skills Day - 15 July

world youth skills day banner
Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population.

The active engagement of youth in sustainable development efforts is central to achieving sustainable, inclusive and stable societies by the target date, and to averting the worst threats and challenges to sustainable development, including the impacts of climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict, and migration.

However, young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and continuously exposed to lower quality of jobs, greater labor market inequalities, and longer and more insecure school-to-work transitions.

In addition, women are more likely to be underemployed and under-paid, and to undertake part-time jobs or work under temporary contracts.

Traditionally organized by the Permanent Missions of Portugal and Sri Lanka, together with UNESCO, ILO and the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, this year the UN’s observance of the WYSD will shed light on the mechanisms needed to operationalize lifelong learning.

You are encouraged to host events and take part in the photo competition and story series to celebrate World Youth Skills Day.

ATO Information to Support Apprentices Lodging their Tax

If you're an apprentice it pays to learn what you can claim
The ATO hasreleased information to support Apprentices lodging their Tax returns this year.

ATO Update

Monthly JobKeeper Reporting - Your organisation must submit a monthly declaration to the ATO starting from June to receive JobKeeper payments.

JobKeeper for NFPs and Charities - Information on how the JobKeeper rules apply to not-for-profits and charities.

Delay to DGR Reforms - The plan to introduce legislative amendments to parliament to streamline the administration of deductible gift recipients (DGR) has been delayed.

Correct use of Scholarship Funds - Find out if schools can use DGR-endorsed scholarship funds to provide fee relief to enrolled students during COVID-19.

Changes to EOFY Reporting - Tell your employees your organisation won't be providing them an end of financial year payment summary this year.

Refund of Franking Credits - If your organisation previously applied for a refund of franking credits you should receive a pre-filled form this month.

Need Payment Summary and Statement Forms? - The ATO no longer mail reminder letters or paper payment summary forms to employers during June. To report non-STP (single touch payroll) payments made to employees this income year use our publications ordering system to order PAYG payment summary - individual non-business (NAT 0046) and PAYG payment summary statement (NAT 3447).

Apply for the Super Guarantee (SG) Amnesty - We are now over the halfway point of the SG amnesty period which cannot be extended by law.
Apply now for this one-off opportunity to correct past unpaid super to avoid administration charges or penalties - even if you can't pay in full.
Applications close 7 September 2020. Increased penalties apply from 8 September.

Funding for Local-Led Bushfire Recovery - The Australian government has announced additional funding to support the recovery of people and organisations in bushfire-impacted towns, including not-for-profits, through the delivery of local economic recovery projects overseen by the National Bushfire Recovery Agency and delivered by local councils.

Reminder: AUSkey has ended, it's all about myGovID and RAM - MyGovID and RAM give your organisation access to the Business Portal and other government online services. If you haven't yet transitioned, now is a good time.

Deduction for Donation - If your members or donors can claim a tax deduction when they contribute to your organisation, consider sharing our short PDF summary outlining what taxpayers need to consider before claiming a deduction at tax time.

NCVER Update

Nearly 1 million students to be contacted about training

Australia’s largest survey of VET students, the National Student Outcomes Survey, commences next week.

Nearly 1 million people who completed training in 2019 will be contacted, including around 915,000 domestic students and 62,500 international onshore VET graduates.

Students who studied VET as part of their secondary schooling will be invited to take part for the first time this year, and extra questions on how COVID-19 has affected employment and further study outcomes have also been included.

Training providers can also receive a report if enough of their students respond to the survey. Check out the NCVER free kit for resources to help in promoting the survey to students.

NEW GOOD PRACTICE GUIDES: Training the digital worker

Frameworks for how best to incorporate digital skills into VET delivery and how to upskill VET educators are the subject of two new ‘good practice guides’.

The guides highlight how critical it is for VET educators to use technology in their teaching practice, as is their ability to assist learners in developing their own digital skills.

Both guides were developed following a forum held in late 2019 with representatives from industry, training providers, practitioner bodies, and other VET sector stakeholders.

Good practice guide: Incorporating digital skills into VET delivery
Good practice guide: Teaching digital skills: implications for VET educators
Support document: VET’s response to Industry 4.0 and the digital economy

May Labour Force Data Released

Unemployment results for May were released on Thursday this week, with very poor results due to the covid-19 pandemic
  • Employment decreased 227,700 to 12,154,100 people. Full-time employment decreased 89,100 to 8,540,000 people and part-time employment decreased 138,600 to 3,614,100 people.
  • Unemployment increased 85,700 to 927,600 people.
  • Unemployment rate increased 0.7 pts to 7.1%.
  • Underemployment rate decreased 0.7 pts to 13.1%.
  • Underutilisation rate increased less than 0.1 pts to 20.2%.
  • Participation rate decreased by 0.7 pts to 62.9%.
To access the full labour force data from the ABS please visit the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Upcoming Public Holidays

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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.

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