Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 15, Issue 34

Friday, 14th October 2022
Hi Reader!

Upcoming Events

18 Oct Indigenous Cultural Recruitment
19 Oct QA Standards & OHS Network
26 Oct Supporting Apprentices with Disability

2022 Apprentice Training Awards - Finalists Announced!

This year, AEN received a record number of nominations for the 2022 Apprentice Training Awards.

Over 100 exceptional examples of apprentices and trainees were nominated from our sector.
Apprentice of the Year

Abbey Evans
Ai Group

Charmaine Thorogood-Hawkins
NextGen Jobs

Jye-Leigh Drinkwater
BGT Jobs + Training

Lachlan Mackay
Victorian Group Training

Lucinda Baranowski
GForce Employment + Recruitment

William Allen
The Apprenticeship Factory

Inspiration Award:
Disability Achievement

Brayden O'Dwyer
Victorian Group Training

Caleb Smith
BGT Jobs + Training

Laura Gysslink
NECA Education & Careers

Matilda Morton
NECA Education & Careers

Rebecca Hope
NECA Education & Careers

Inspiration Award:
Indigenous Student of the Year

Aimee Hall

Billy Collins
GForce Employment + Recruitment

Donald Chatfied
GForce Employment + Recruitment

Jaynaya Miller

Jenaya Bartlett

Liam Dunstan
NextGen Jobs

Inspiration Award: SBAT of the Year

Sebastian Streat
BGT Jobs + Training

Tode Postolov
Victorian Group Training
Trainee of the Year

Donald Chatfield
GForce Employment + Recruitment

Jasmine Silvester
Westvic Staffing Solutions

Jemma Casey
Westvic Staffing Solutions

Maddix Hughes

Nastassja Ivanov
NextGen Jobs

Sam Marshall
GForce Employment + Recruitment

Inspiration Award:
Overcoming Adversity

Daphne O'Meara
NextGen Jobs

Dylan Walsh
Westvic Staffing Solutions

Hedayatullah Habibi
NECA Education & Careers

Marina Naifah
GForce Employment + Recruitment

Tealo Gilles
GForce Employment + Recruitment

Inspiration Award:
Women in Trades

Abbey Evans
Ai Group

Daphne O'Meara
NextGen Jobs

Lucinda Baranowski
GForce Employment + Recruitment

McKenzie Smart
NECA Education & Careers

Natasha Atkins
NextGen Jobs

Rachael Zahra
GForce Employment + Recruitment

STAR (Stop Taking a Risk) Award

Anthony Thomas
Ai Group

Tom Kernick
BGT Jobs + Training

Congratulations and best of luck to all finalists.

2022 Apprentice Training Awards
The Plaza Ballroom
191 Collins Street Melbourne
Wednesday 23 November 2022

GAN Conference - Registrations Now Open!

2023 GAN Future of Apprenticeships Header v2
We invite you to be a part of 'The Future of Apprenticeships Perspectives from Switzerland, New Zealand and Australia striving for excellence' 2023 GAN Melbourne Conference

On behalf of the conference organising committee of 'The Future of Apprenticeships: Perspectives from Switzerland, New Zealand and Australia striving for excellence', we are pleased invite you to be a part of a leading event focused on reigniting apprenticeships in Australia and connecting like minded international collaborators, government stakeholders, industry participants, group training organisations, unions and educational institutions to build economic prosperity by working together.

The conference promises to be an excellent opportunity to network and connect with industry stake holders, participate in a range of workshops, study tours, facilitated debates and attend industry network events.

Melbourne: 5th February to 8th February 2023 (inc. travel to Aukland, NZ on 8th February)
Auckland: 9th February to 10th February 2023

Federal and State and Territory Skills and Training Ministers - Ministerial Skills Council

Federal and State and Territory Skills and Training Ministers met in person on Friday 7 October for the first time since 2019 to progress a range of key vocational education and training reform matters.

As a nation we are facing the most acute skills shortages experienced in decades and key to addressing this is enhanced engagement across jurisdictions and with stakeholders.

The Ministerial Skills Council will consider the following policies for the VET sector.

Australian Jobs and Skills Summit
Following the highly successful Jobs and Skills Summit on 1-2 September 2022, which marked the renewal of a national conversation about a shared vision for Australia’s economy and collaboration on addressing skills and labour shortages, Skills Ministers today discussed the outcomes of the Summit and opportunities to strengthen the national training system.

Skills Ministers agreed to work in close collaboration and in good faith on several key measures, including immediate funding to deliver 180,000 Fee Free TAFE training places, including 60,000 new places in priority skills need areas.

Skills Ministers welcomed the Commonwealth’s increase in the permanent Migration Program as an outcome of the Summit and noted the importance of skilled migration as part of the solution to meeting State and Territory skills needs.

Skills Ministers also commissioned urgent work on what immediate collective action could be taken to alleviate workforce pressures drawing on best practice within States and Territories.

Skills Ministers agree to work together to improve completion rates for traineeships and apprenticeships to support more Australians into secure work.

Jobs and Skills Australia
Skills Ministers discussed progress to establish Jobs and Skills Australia, which will provide independent advice on the current, emerging, and future workforce, skills, and training needs, and develop close partnerships with state and territory governments, industry including unions, employer bodies, and education providers.

Consistent with the Australian Government’s commitment to a clean energy future, Jobs and Skills Australia will, as a priority, undertake a capacity study into Australia’s clean energy workforce. The capacity study will include labour market analysis on factors impacting supply and demand for workers in the sector, a gap analysis of skills in demand for clean energy occupations, a transition analysis to support transition from ‘brown’ to ‘green’ occupations, and forecast workforce requirements for the future.

This information will be critical to informing development of clean energy qualifications and micro-credentials, career pathways promotion, and other activities to assist Federal and State and Territory governments prepare for the future.

National Skills Agreements
National Cabinet has tasked Skills Ministers with negotiating a new long-term National Skills Agreement in accordance with an endorsed vision and guiding principles for long-term reform, in consultation with Treasurers.

Skills Ministers committed to collaborative engagement on a breadth of priority reform areas under the guiding principles, to achieve a VET sector with TAFE at its heart, that provides high-quality, responsive, and accessible education and training to boost productivity and support Australians to obtain the skills they need to participate in secure and rewarding employment and prosper in the modern economy.

Jurisdictions welcomed, and committed to finalising, a 12-month Skills Agreement, to deliver 180,000 Fee-Free TAFE places from January 2023. The 12-month Skills Agreement confirms TAFE’s central role in the VET sector, increases opportunities and workforce participation of priority groups, and addresses skills gaps in the economy while the longer-term National Skills Agreement that will commence in 2024 is being developed.

Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs)
Skills Ministers agreed to the release of the draft revised Standards for RTOs for public consultation. The Standards are being revised as part of important reforms and are aimed at improving the quality of training delivery through building the capability and capacity of teachers, trainers, assessors, and RTOs to innovate and deliver excellence in training that is focussed on learner outcomes.

The draft Standards have been developed based on feedback from the sector and aim to clearly articulate the standard expected for RTOs, while not overly prescribing how an RTO should achieve these outcomes. This will provide RTOs with the flexibility to meet the outcomes in a way that is appropriate to their size, structure, and delivery cohort.

Importantly, the draft Standards have been strengthened in areas such as learner support and wellbeing, disability, ensuring a culturally safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners, and governance arrangements.

Skills Ministers look forward to receiving feedback from the sector on the draft Standards.

VET Workforce Capability Blueprint
Ensuring we have a fit for purpose VET sector is critical to teaching and training our existing and future workforce, which is why Skills Ministers agreed to progress a VET Workforce Blueprint to support, grow and retain a quality workforce.

The Blueprint will support the long-term sustainability of TAFE and the VET sector and will identify effective strategies for the attraction and retention of a high-quality workforce, along with capability and career development strategies and succession planning.

Skills Minister noted the need for the Blueprint to be linked with other education workforce strategies being developed.

Skills Ministers also acknowledged the Summit’s strong message that renewed efforts are required to ensure that all Australians have opportunities to skill and upskill, with a particular focus on the participation of women and First Nations Australians, people with disability and young people struggling to enter the labour market.
Qualifications Reforms

Skills Ministers agreed to ambitious timeframes to finalise development of a new system of VET qualifications that will include a framework for micro-credentials without compromising quality. This will deliver qualifications that combine industry specialisations with transferrable skills to assist workers to improve their opportunities in line with shifts in labour force demands. Better recognition of prior learning and improved use of micro-credentials would provide greater flexibility and more opportunities so that learners can upskill or reskill more quickly.

Qualification reform will support Australians to build the skills they need now and into the future, within a high quality, responsive and easier to navigate VET system.

Consultations will continue regarding the proposed model and implementation and transition planning ahead of further consideration by Skills Ministers in 2023.

To engage on a range of Skills Reform matters, including consultation on the draft RTO Standards from mid-October, visit the Engagement Hub or reach out to your State or Territory Skills Minister.

National Training Awards

Recently the National Training Awards finalists were announced.

The Australian Training Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in the vocational education and training sector.

The Australian Training Awards commenced in 1994. Over this time many individuals, businesses, and registered training organisations have been rewarded for showcasing best practice in VET.

The Awards are held annually in November in a different state or territory. The 2022 Awards will be held in Adelaide, South Australia, on Friday 18 November 2022.

16 Awards categories will be presented at the Awards —eight categories are individual achievements and eight for businesses and registered training organisations.

Best of luck to all the finalists.

WorkSafe Victoria – October Health and Safety Month

WorkSafe Health and Safety Month will present its biggest ever program of events when it returns to the road next month, following two years of online-only sessions due to COVID-19.

Regional Events will take place between 4 & 21 October. With webinars running from 24 October to 28 October 2022.

For a full list of FREE WorkSafe Health and Safety Month events, please visit WorkSafe.

National OH&S Safety Month

October is National Safe Work Month - a time to commit to building a safe and healthy workplace.

Being healthy and safe means being free from physical and psychological harm. A safe and healthy workplace benefits everyone.

During October each year, Safe Work Australia asks businesses, employers and workers across Australia to join National Safe Work Month and commit to building safe and healthy workplaces for all Australians.

Supporting the overarching theme of know safety, work safely, each week focuses on a different health and safety area:

Week 1: Injuries at work
Week 2: Mental health
Week 3: Managing WHS risks and preventing harm
Week 4: Safe and healthy work for all

We encourage you to visit National Safe Work Month to explore the information and events.

Mental Injuries Surge in Victorian Workplaces

WorkSafe is putting employers on notice to address psychological hazards in their workplaces as the number of mental injuries in Victorian workplaces surges.

WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety Narelle Beer urged employers to mark World Mental Health Day by making sure they have policies, processes and training in place to address risks such as bullying, aggression, trauma, fatigue, stress and high job demands.
Of the 28,682 claims received by WorkSafe in the 2021-22 financial year, 4340 were for mental injury.

While claims for work-related mental injuries now make up 15.1 per cent of all new claims, up from 13.1 per cent the previous year, they are on track to grow to a third of all WorkSafe claims by the end of the decade. Dr Beer said mental injuries often needed more recovery time than physical injuries, meaning more time off and higher costs.

"Sadly, while three quarters of workers with a physical injury are back on the job in six months, just 40 per cent of workers with mental injury return to work within that time," Dr Beer said.

"Just because a mental injury is harder to see, doesn't mean it can’t be prevented."

"We're putting employers on notice that they have a legal obligation to make sure their workplaces are psychologically safe."

Dr Beer said employers who fail to take reasonable steps to prevent mental injury can face prosecution under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, including potential fines of up to $332,000 for an individual or $1.66 million for a body corporate.

"Our message to employers is clear, if you turn a blind eye to bullying, harassment, or other psychological health hazards then you're risking your workers' safety, lost productivity and potential hefty fines," Dr Beer said.

Throughout October, WorkSafe will use social media to remind employers of the need to address psychological health hazards at work.

WorkSafe provides support and guidance to Victorian employers to reduce workplace mental injury risks through the WorkWell program, which has engaged with more than 13,200 workplaces since its 2017 launch, through grants, learning networks and resources.

The WorkWell Toolkit for Small Business, launched earlier this year, provides free tools and information such as case studies, policy templates, videos and tip sheets from trusted organisations such as Beyond Blue and RUOK.

COVID-19 Isolation Requirements have Changed

The Victorian Government has announced the end of the Pandemic Declaration and associated Pandemic Orders.

The following settings, based on advice from the Department of Health, will apply from Wednesday 12 October 2022.

For students and staff at Victoria’s universities, TAFEs and other training and adult education providers, it is strongly recommended that:
  • Any person who has tested positive for COVID-19 should stay home and isolate for 5 days and not return to onsite work or study until they are no longer symptomatic
  • Any person who has symptoms, but has not tested positive, should not attend their place of work or study until they are no longer symptomatic.

Universities, TAFEs and other training and adult education providers are encouraged to support staff and students who have tested positive to COVID-19, or are symptomatic, to work and study from home.

The Department of Health will continue to provide messaging to the broader community of the strong recommendation for COVID-19 cases to isolate for a period of five days or longer if symptomatic.

Reporting positive COVID-19 test results
The Department of Health recommends that a person who tests positive for COVID-19 inform those with whom they have recently been in contact, including their workplace or place of study and household.

Face masks
The Department of Health recommends that masks should be worn by a person who has COVID-19, for at least 7 days after a positive test, when they need to leave home. In addition, students and staff who wish to wear a face mask should be supported to do so with universities, TAFEs and other training and adult education providers encouraged to continue to make face masks available to staff, students and visitors where possible.

COVID-19 Vaccinations and COVIDSafe Plans
The end of the pandemic declaration will not affect the powers which currently exist under OH&S laws that enable employers to require workers to show evidence of COVID-19 vaccination in order to return to the workplace. Employers are still able to determine which measures are most appropriate to keep their workplaces protected against COVID-19.

Every Victorian business or organisation with on-site operations should continue to keep, regularly review and update a COVIDSafe Plan as appropriate.

NCVER Update

The latest NCVER report shows that apprentice and trainee commencements increased by 23.6% in the March quarter 2022 compared with the same quarter last year.

Commencements in non-trade occupations drove most of the increase in March quarter 2022, up by 41.1% compared to March quarter 2021. Those in trade occupations rose by 7.8%.

The industry sectors with the largest absolute increases in commencements were Accommodation (51.0%), Manufacturing (37.7%) and Administrative and Support Services (21.7%).

A total of 387,830 apprentices and trainees were in-training in March quarter 2022, an increase of 17.1% compared to the same time last year.

Completions also grew nationally by 11.5% in March quarter 2022 compared with the same quarter in 2021. Trade completions increased by 9.6% while those in non-trade occupations rose by 13.8%.

To learn more, download the report.

Upcoming AEN Professional Development


Upcoming PD in October

18 October - Indigenous Cultural Recruitment
26 October - Supporting Apprentices with Disability

For more information about these PD sessions and to register, please go to AEN Events Calendar and select the event. All prices include GST.

AEN Members: Please login to Member’s area prior to purchasing tickets to access the member rate or to RSVP for a free event.

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program Logo
Out of Trade Banner
Since the program commenced in May 2020, a total of 920 participants have been supported to date.
  • 83.8% Male
  • 15.9% Female
For Individuals
Apprentices and trainees who have lost employment are encouraged to register.

Once registered, 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.
For Businesses
If you have an apprenticeship position you would like to fill, please contact the AEN Office so we can forward potential candidates that meet your criteria.

For further information or to register for the program, please visit Apprenticeship Employment Network.
Do you want to be kept up to date with everything that’s happening with GAN Australia and the wider VET sector?

Head on over to GAN Australia and subscribe now.

Thanks to our Industry Partners

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