Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 13, Issue 25

Friday, 17th July 2020
Hi Reader!

Upcoming Events

12 Aug
QA Standards Network Meeting

24-28 Aug
AEN Industry Update Series

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program Banner
Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program
Now into its eighth week, the Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program has received over 240 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 46 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 almost 350 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.

Commonwealth Announce JobTrainer Program

On Thursday this week the Commonwealth Government announced a $2billion package - after JobKeeper, JobSeeker and JobMaker — JobTrainer is a new package that aims to create around 340,700 nationwide places to train school leavers, or re-skill people who are currently looking for a job.

The new training places will be spread across the country, with the bigger states receiving more places.
States approximate number of places:

NSW - 108,600
VIC - 88,900
QLD - 68,500
WA - 35,200
SA - 23,500
TAS - 7,100
ACT - 5,700
NT - 3,200
Total: 340,700
The Government is also putting an extra $1.5 billion to extend the existing apprenticeship wage subsidy scheme.

It builds on the initial $1.3 billion package announced in March.

The initiative covers 50 per cent of the wages paid to apprentices and trainees, up to $7,000 per quarter.

States and territories need to contribute $500m towards Jobtrainer and sign up to a new Heads of Agreement to access the funding, with the agreement setting out immediate reforms to improve the vocational education and training sector.
For further information please visit Ministers' Media Centre.

National Training Awards Extended to 19 July 2020

National Training Awards 2020
The Australian Training Awards are the peak national awards that showcase best practice in vocational education and training (VET).

The Australian Training Awards recognise and celebrate excellence and are an important mechanism for promoting the benefits of vocational education and training.

Winners from each state and territory compete for a national award title.

This has led to Australia-wide awareness and respect for skill-based careers and skills excellence.

Direct entry applications have been extended to Sunday 19 July 2020.

Independent Assessment of Apprentices & Trainees


Recommendation to Wear a Face Mask When Physical Distancing is Not Possible

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has recommended wearing a face mask when it is difficult to maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres, to reduce community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This recommendation includes workplaces.


Residents in the Melbourne metropolitan area or Shire of Mitchell are being asked to wear face masks outside of their home when it is difficult to maintain 1.5 metres of distance from other people.

The recommendation is in response to a higher number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases currently occurring across those regions.

Wearing a face mask provides a physical barrier to coronavirus (COVID-19), by preventing the spread of droplets generated when talking, coughing or sneezing, which helps to protect others in the community.

Recommendations for Workplaces

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act), employers must provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risks to health, by implementing suitable control measures so far as is reasonably practicable.

The most effective control measures to reduce transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) are to maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres and to practice good hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly and regularly.

If you cough or sneeze you should do this into a tissue or your elbow.

DHHS recommends that suitable face masks for preventing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) include cloth masks and surgical masks.

Where employees are required to use face masks, employers must also provide information, instruction, training and supervision on how to:
  • put on and wear face masks correctly to ensure they are effective, and
  • remove and decontaminate or dispose of masks safely.
It is particularly important to provide training for re-usable masks, including for cleaning and storage.

For information about effective control measures for exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) in workplaces see Exposure to Coronavirus in Workplaces.

Legal duties

Employers have duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act), which include that they must, so far as is reasonably practicable:
  • provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risks to the health of employees and independent contractors, including psychological health
  • provide such information, instruction, training or supervision to employees and independent contractors as is necessary to enable those persons to perform their work in a way that is safe and without risks to health
  • monitor the health of employees
  • monitor conditions at any workplace under the employer's management and control
  • provide information concerning health and safety to employees, including (where appropriate) in languages other than English
  • ensure that persons other than employees of the employer are not exposed to risks to their health or safety arising from the conduct of the undertaking of the employer
  • consult with employees and HSRs, if any, on matters related to health or safety that directly affect, or are likely to directly affect them
Employees also have duties under the OHS Act, which includes that they must:
  • take reasonable care for their own health and safety
  • take reasonable care for the health and safety of persons who may be affected by the employee's acts or omissions at a workplace
  • co-operate with their employer with respect to any action taken by the employer to comply with a requirement imposed by or under the OHS Act
Further information

World youth skills day - 15 July

Why is World Youth Skills Day important?

Rising youth unemployment is one of the most significant problems facing economies and societies in today’s world, for developed and developing countries alike.
WYSD 2020
The latest Global Employment Trends for Youth 2020: Technology and the future of jobs shows that since 2017, there has been an upward trend in the number of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET).

In 2016 there were 259 million young people classified as NEET – a number that rose to an estimated 267 million in 2019, and is projected to continue climbing to around 273 million in 2021.

In terms of percentage, the trend was also slightly up from 21.7% in 2015 to 22.4% in 2020 – implying that the international target to reduce the NEET rate by 2020 will be missed.

Designated by the General assembly in 2014, the World Youth Skills Day is an opportunity for young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, and public and private sector stakeholders to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.

AEN Video Conference Week - 24-31 August

During National Skills Week (21-28 August), the AEN will host a series of free video conference presentations and interactive workshops to provide VET updates to our member network.

The AEN has scheduled 10 speakers from State and Federal Government and other industry stakeholders to provide 30-45 minute video conference updates.
Monday 24 August

10.00am - 11.30am

1.00pm - 2.00pm

Tuesday 25 August

10.00am - 11.00am

Wednesday 26 August

10.00am - 11.00am

1.00pm - 2.00pm

Thursday 27 August

10.00am - 11.00am

1.00pm - 2.00pm

Friday 28 August

10.00am - 11.00am

Carl Walsh - Manager, Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Engagement Participation & Inclusion Division - HESG
Department of Education and Training Victoria

Simon Smith & Diana McGowan

Gary Workman - Executive Director
Apprenticeship Employment Network
AEN Industry Update (Including OH&S update)

Linda White - Assistant Secretary
Workforce and Apprenticeships Industry Branch
Australian Govt Department of Education, Skills and Employment

Peta Skujins - Director

Gina Chinnery
(Youth Mental Health in a COVID-19 Environment)

Grant Lovelock - Assistant Secretary
Tiffany Blight - Executive Director
National Careers Institute
Department of Education, Skills & Employment

Janet Nicholson
(IR / Awards Update)

Prof. John Buchanan
Dr. Lisa Fowkes
(The impacts of COVID-19 and a way forward)
Registrations will open soon.

ILO Volume 2 of the Toolkit for Quality Apprenticeships

ILO Toolkit for Quality Apprenticeships
ILO together with United Nations agencies launched the volume 2 of the Toolkit for Quality apprenticeships on World Youth Skills Day on 15 July 2020 from New York.

The Toolkit Volume 2 is for practitioners to design, implement and evaluate apprenticeship programs.

It's great to see a number of Australian examples in the toolkit.

This Toolkit combines diverse national good practices with ILO experience, it includes over 125 tools and guides from more than 40 countries and institutions worldwide.
Each tool can be adapted to fit national and local contexts and applied in different countries.

Besides apprenticeship programmes, this Toolkit can also be used for other TVET programmes.

For example, it contains tools for identifying skills needs, preparing occupational profiles and curricula, and developing instructional and learning materials and post-training transitions and evaluations.

Please watch the video: ILO Toolkit on Apprenticeships - Vol. 2

The guide is 200+ pages and highlights a number of world leading and Australian “best practices” including group training and our multi industry pre-apprenticeship program.

ABS June Employment Data Released

On Thursday the ABS released the national labour force data for June 2020.

Employment increased by 210,800 people (1.7%) between May and June 2020, with full-time employment decreasing by 38,100 people and part-time employment increasing by 249,000 people.

Compared to a year ago, there were 306,800 less people employed full-time and 215,500 less people employed part-time. This change led to a decrease in the part-time share of employment over the past 12 months, from 31.6% to 31.1%. The unemployment rate for the youth 15-24 category increased 0.4 pts to 16.4% which is the highest its been for over 20 years.

  • Employment increased 210,800 to 12,328,500 people. Full-time employment decreased 38,100 to 8,489,100 people and part-time employment increased 249,000 to 3,839,400 people.
  • Unemployment increased 69,300 to 992,300 people.
  • Unemployment rate increased 0.4 pts to 7.4%. - Victoria 7.5%
  • Underemployment rate decreased 1.4 pts to 11.7%.
  • Underutilisation rate decreased 1.0 pts to 19.1%.
  • Participation rate increased by 1.3 pts to 64.0%.
  • Monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 64.3 million hours to 1,664.7 million hours.
To access further details please visit Australian Bureau of Statistics.

ATO - Tax Help Program

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) - Tax Help Program assists low income earners (earning less than $60,000 annually) to complete their tax returns online using myTax through myGov.

The Tax Help Program is a network of ATO-trained and accredited community volunteers who provide a free and confidential service to help people complete their tax returns online using myTax.

Tax Help is available from the end of July to October in all capital cities and many regional areas across Australia.

The Tax Help program for 2020 will be delivered differently. This year volunteers will deliver this service in the following ways:

  • Face-to-face from selected Tax Help centres
  • Online through virtual assistance
  • Over the phone.
What customers need to do
Call the ATO on 13 28 61 for the cost of a local call to:

  • check if they’re eligible for help
  • find the nearest centre location
  • make an appointment
  • find out if a volunteer is available for advice in another language
Call the ATO on 13 28 61 for more information.
Victorian Report Into “On-Demand” Gig Economy Workforce
A landmark report into the on-demand workforce commissioned by the Victorian Government has made a host of recommendations to make sure gig economy workers get the fair deal they deserve.

Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas released the report this week.

Its recommendations include developing a code of conduct that better protects on-demand workers, the removal of barriers to collective bargaining, and a one-stop-shop support agency to help these workers when disputes arise.

The Inquiry into the Victorian On-Demand Workforce was chaired by former Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James, and commissioned by the Victorian Government in 2018 following widespread concern over the wages and conditions offered to workers in the gig economy.

It finds many workers have an uncertain work status, which can have consequences when it comes to things like superannuation and workers’ compensation, and advice about work status is often limited and fragmented.

More Australians than ever before are relying on online platforms to buy goods and services – and that means more Australians are undertaking on-demand work.

The inquiry received nearly 100 written submissions and consulted with more than 200 participants, and undertook a body of research which surveyed 14,000 respondents over their attitudes and habits when it comes to participating in the gig economy.

There’s never been a more important time to reform the on-demand workforce, with the Report finding platform work is far more prevalent in Australia than previously thought, and as the economic impacts of coronavirus demonstrate, it is casual employees who are the first to be let go.

The Inquiry makes 20 recommendations and notes that any regulatory response should balance the needs of platform workers with those of business, so innovation and productivity isn’t stifled.

The Report also makes a number of recommendations that the Commonwealth has responsibility for, such as Australia’s national work laws.

The Victorian Government will now consider the report, and will open a consultation period with workers and businesses before a response to the recommendations is finalised.
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