Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 16, Issue 16

Friday, 26th May 2023

Upcoming Events

AEN Mid-Year Conference

PD Session: Managing Conflict with Confidence
PD Session: African Cultural Awareness & Recruitment

AEN Mid-Year Conference 2023 - Register Now

This year AEN is holding its Mid-Year Conference at Hyatt Place, Essendon Fields, Melbourne.

Over the one and half day conference, delegates will hear from special guest speakers and representatives of the Victorian Government. The Hon. Gayle Tierney Minister for Training and Skills will present on the second morning of the Conference.

This event promises to be jammed packed with a range of topics and updates and will be followed by the conference dinner.

Tuesday 27 & Wednesday 28 June 2023

Hyatt Place, 1 English Street, Essendon Fields Melbourne

Day 1 Conference: 10.00am - 5.40pm
Conference Dinner: 6.30pm - 10.30pm
Day 2 Conference: 9am - 1.45pm

Dress Code:
Business Casual
Hear from speakers including:
  • Apprenticeships Victoria
  • VRQA
  • Victorian Labour Hire Authority
  • Jobs Victoria
  • Development Victoria – Regional Commonwealth Games
  • Apprenticeships Support Australia
  • Department of Education – HeadStart
  • DEWR – State Update
  • Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service (AATIS)
For further information and to register, please visit the AEN Event Calendar.

Victorian State Budget 2023/2024

This week the Victorian Government released the Victorian Budget 2023/24.

A summary of the key announcements are below.

VET / TAFE funding

$738.6 million to help more Victorians get the training they need, back in-demand industries to give employers a pipeline of highly skilled workers, grow our manufacturing and innovation ecosystems and improve safety in the workplace.

$186 million to expand subsidised training including greater eligibility for Free TAFE, so more people can embark on a great career or re-train into growing industries.

Including the removal the once-per-lifetime limit on Free TAFE courses for a number of training pathways, so workers can return to TAFE to upskill once they’ve moved into their desired careers.

The Building Better TAFE Fund will make sure students have the best facilities to train in, close to home – with $170 million to build new TAFE campuses in Melton and Sunbury, deliver a disability and student services hub at the Gordon TAFE in Geelong, upgrade the Community Health and Learning Hub at Bendigo Kangan Institute in Castlemaine and establish a TAFE Clean Energy Fund at Federation TAFE in Ballarat, TAFE Gippsland in Morwell and South West TAFE in Warrnambool.

$90.5 million will meet the demand for subsidised vocational training across the system and a further $90 million will be directed to TAFEs to provide priority skills, job placement support, improve student wellbeing and to maintain high-quality workforces.
$3.8 million to review and update curriculum and assessment resources right across Victoria’s TAFE network.

$4 million mental health training program will ensure they get the support they need.

This will focus on young men, especially in the construction industry which has a high rate of suicide, young women and members of our LGBTIQ+ and culturally diverse communities who can face extra pressures establishing their careers.

$1.5 million to establish and deliver the Apprenticeship Taskforce. This builds on the important work of Apprenticeships Victoria and Apprenticeships Support Officers in championing the fair treatment of all apprentices and trainees.

Victoria’s Big Build. We’re helping more women into the construction sector, with $2.4 million to break traditional gender barriers and create great new career opportunities.

Jobs Victoria
$35 million will support it to target vulnerable jobseekers experiencing entrenched disadvantage – particularly those in priority locations.

Advanced manufacturing is Made in Victoria – and we’ll back our plan to grow skilled jobs and cement Victoria as Australia’s manufacturing engine room, with $36.2 million for local businesses to expand and boost productivity including through providing R&D grants to drive discoveries that will benefit our economy.

Increase Victoria’s capability to secure key defence sector supply-chain projects with a $4 million investment, so our state can benefit from record national and global opportunities – and the jobs they create.

Victorian women launching startups, with a $5 million boost for LaunchVic’s Alice Anderson Fund to support 70 women-led startups by 2025.

$2 million to support the rollout of the Fair Jobs Code, which came into effect in December 2022 – making sure suppliers and businesses benefiting from government contracts or grants meet strict requirements to provide safe and inclusive workplaces.

Ethical Clothing Australia with $4 million to ensure that as our local textile, clothing and footwear manufacturing sector grows, companies are doing the right thing by their workers.

$20 million into the International Investment Attraction Fund to attract global companies to create local jobs, alongside the $12 million Boosting Victorian Exports program to help

Victorian companies enter global markets and grow our $50 billion export sector.
skilled migration program with a $3.1 million boost.

$17 million to boost local jobs with revitalised cultural hubs in Box Hill, Chinatown, Dandenong, Oakleigh, Elsternwick, Footscray, Richmond and other key locations, support local multicultural trader groups and provide scholarships to train 500 staff to support small business in multicultural precincts.

$9 million for the Australian-first Gig Worker Support Service.

$6.7 million for Wage Inspectorate Victoria to continue its important work investigating underpayment claims and running important education campaigns.

$24.1 million to hire 20 specialist inspectors and create a new dedicated inspectorate within WorkSafe.

To read the full report please visit, 2023-2024 Vic Government Strategy & Outlook.

New National Skills Agreement

Federal, State and Territory Skills and Training Ministers met in Darwin to progress negotiations towards a new National Skills Agreement (NSA) to support a modern and responsive skills sector.

Building on the success of Fee-Free TAFE which has delivered over 146,000 enrolments in the first quarter of this year, Skills Ministers agreed to take action to achieve better outcomes for students and deliver more access and equity to the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system through a number of priority reform initiatives.

A new 5-year National Skills Agreement
Skills Ministers continued discussion about reform opportunities under the proposed 5-year NSA to address the urgency and opportunity of skills needed by employers and current and future skills for the economy.

Commencing in January 2024, the NSA will provide States and Territories with access to additional Commonwealth investment of $4.1 billion over 5 years from 2024.

This includes a Commonwealth investment in TAFE which contributes an additional $400 million for a further 300,000 TAFE and vocational education places to become fee-free.

This investment shows the commitment of the Australian Government to work in partnership with States and Territories to ensure Australia’s VET sector, with TAFE at the centre, is high-quality, responsive, affordable and accessible, equipping Australians with the skills they need for well-paid, secure work and filling skill gaps for employers.

Skills Ministers agreed to progress the following shared reform directions to give effect to the Vision and Guiding Principles for a new NSA. National Cabinet and all jurisdictions remain committed to a 1 January 2024 commencement date for the new NSA:
  • Shared stewardship of the national VET system
  • High quality and accessible training
  • Increasing access and completions, especially for those most in need, including for apprenticeships
  • Establishing nationally networked TAFE Centres of Excellence
  • Supporting the TAFE and training sector, including investment in the VET workforce
  • Closing the Gap in partnership with First Nations people
  • Coordinating access to foundation skills training to ensure ‘no wrong door’
  • Enhancing VET data and evidence
  • Fee-Free TAFE
  • Progressing gender equality
  • Continuing to work together on priorities including quality and qualifications reform, Jobs and Skills Australia, Jobs and Skills Councils and the Universities Accord process.
Skills Ministers will continue to work through the details of the agreement and will design clear and simple arrangements to deliver on National Cabinet’s vision and principles for the agreement, including providing States and Territories appropriate flexibility, autonomy and funding certainty to deliver national, State and Territory priorities

For further details please visit Ministers Media Centre.

Holmesglen Annual Awards

Last week Holmesglen held their annual awards.

The Holmesglen Awards Festival, currently in its 26th year, is the annual celebration of excellence in education and training. It honours the successes, achievements and valuable contributions of students, staff and industry partners.

Key awards included:

First Nations Student of the Year: Benjamin Winzer
Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem Management

George Kline Apprentice of the Year: Harrison Booth
Certificate III in Flooring Technology (Timber)

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners.

For further information please visit, Holmesglen Awards Festival 2023.
An Inquiry report into Youth Employment and Transitions has found over the past few decades, many young people have experienced insecure, poorly paid short-term jobs.

Insecure employment and rampant risks for underpayment are shaping young people’s experience of the workforce. Without secure employment young people risk losing the related benefits of social integration, mental health, and the ability to maintain housing.

There has been considerable focus on the need to increase immigration in order to address skills shortages. In Australia today, we have an untapped pool of 275,000 young people not in education, employment or training. It’s time we gave them a focus.

To read the full report please visit NYCA Report.
Be a Voice for Generations #NRW2023

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2023, Be a Voice for Generations, encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work and socialise.

For the work of generations past, and the benefit of generations future, let’s choose to create a more just, equitable and reconciled country for all.

What is National Reconciliation Week?
The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June.

These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Everyone has a role to play when it comes to reconciliation, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures, and futures.

From printable posters to social tiles, we have the resources to help you spread the word about NRW 2023 and Be a Voice for Generations.

For further details please visit, National Reconciliation Week.

Ai Group "Connecting The Dots" Report

A new report by Ai Group Centre for Education and Training, has taken a deeper look at the real trajectories and early career pathways of young people through data from the Longitudinal Survey of Australian Youth (LSAY).

This provided us with a rich and nuanced picture of the pathways of a range of young Australians over time. Through these insights, we’re able to identify ways to improve upon the current system and the policy reform required to ensure the skill pipeline delivers for the needs of Australian Industry.

To read the full report Visit AI Group Connecting the Dots.
14 September RUOK Day 2023

R U OK? is calling on young apprentices to 'Be a mate, it's worth it' because when we're going through tough times, it's mates who are best placed to understand and lend support.

These free resources encourage trainees and apprentices to foster supportive friendships by regularly checking in with their mates and paying attention to any signs that might indicate a mate is struggling.

When we make the time to build strong friendships it creates a foundation to rely on as we move through life to help everyone feel more connected and supported.

The posters feature three scenarios that demonstrate when a mate might be struggling and needing a little extra support.

There is also an A4 conversation starter poster, to help you know what to say if someone tells you they are not OK, and a poster of support services people can go for help.

For further details and to download the free posters please visit Be a Mate It's Worth It.

2023 WorkSafe Awards Nomination's Open

Businesses and individuals going above and beyond to improve workplace health and safety are being urged to share their stories as part of this year’s WorkSafe Awards.

Now in their 34th year, nominations are open for the 2023 awards, which will again celebrate and honour the achievements of those who have made a significant contribution to reducing workplace harm and/or improving outcomes for injured workers.

A key focus of the awards is to recognise the efforts of employers who have implemented leading return to work practices, as well as injured workers who have overcome significant barriers in their quest to return to work.

The Commitment to Workplace Health and Safety on a Farm category forms part of WorkSafe’s efforts in tackling the overrepresentation of the agricultural industry in workplace deaths and injuries.

The valuable work of health and safety representatives will again be highlighted in the Health and Safety Representative of the Year category.

WorkSafe Chief Executive Colin Radford said the awards had long been an important opportunity for Victorian-based employers and workers to showcase their workplace safety efforts and share best practice solutions to often complex health and safety risks.

"The WorkSafe Awards has a long history of celebrating those who put workplace health and safety at the top of their agenda," Mr Radford said.

"I encourage businesses large and small, and individuals regardless of what industry they work in, to nominate."

"In addition to hearing the inspirational stories of finalists, one of the most satisfying aspects of last year’s awards was the diverse range of industries that were represented, including construction, education, health, maritime, retail, racing and agriculture."

Nominations are open to all Victorian-based employers and workers, and entrants can nominate themselves or another person.

Entries close 16 June 2023.

The categories for this year’s awards are:
  • Commitment to Prevention of Mental Injury in the Workplace
  • Commitment to Workplace Health and Safety on a Farm
  • Health and Safety Representative of the Year
  • Leading Return to Work Practice
  • OHS Leadership/Achievement
  • Worker Return to Work Achievement Award
  • Workplace Health and Safety Solution of the Year
For further details please visit 2023 WorkSafe Awards Victoria.

Women & Leadership Australia Scholarships

Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) would like to acknowledge the tremendous response to the recent announcement regarding scholarship funding for women in the Education, Training and Development Sector.

For those who missed the announcement WLA is currently offering professional development scholarships for women across all areas of the training and development sector, including Group Training Association of Victoria staff and members.

Scholarships of $1000-$5000 per person are available for women in the training and development sector.

To encourage more women to increase their impact at work and step into leadership roles across the training and development sector, WLA is offering scholarships for four leadership development courses.

Apply by 9 June

For further information visit, Women & Leadership Australia.

AEN & GAN Australia – Apprentice Exchange Program

The Global Apprenticeship Network Australia with support from GAN New Zealand, EJTC Canada and GTEXpro are offering current Australian 2nd ,3rd and 4th year apprentices over the age of 18 the opportunity to participate in a 4-week exchange program to Canada, New Zealand or Switzerland to broaden your trade knowledge, skills and experience.

Apprentice Exchange Program is a life-changing international experience that can take your career to new heights!

This unique program offers the chance to learn new skills and gain invaluable real-world experience through international trade training schools and workplaces.

By participating in this program, you’ll have the opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, explore new subjects, and deepen your understanding of familiar skills.

This experience will give you a competitive edge in your future career and help you make lifelong connections with fellow apprentices from around the world.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to broaden your horizons and achieve your dreams. Apply now for the Apprentice Exchange Program!

Apply now for the International Apprentice Exchange Program and embark on a life-changing journey.
Nominations close on Sunday 28 May 11.59pm.

Be recognised for your hard work in 2023!

There is just one week to go until nominations for the 2023 Victorian Training Awards close, at midnight on Sunday 28 May.

There will be no extensions beyond this date.

As a key stakeholder of Victoria’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, you are aware of the history of these prestigious awards.

In 2023, the Victorian Training Awards mark their 69th year of celebrating the outstanding achievements of apprentices, students, teachers, employers and training providers in the VET sector.

Last year’s awards honoured the achievements of many outstanding organisations and individuals, with six Victorian representatives going on to achieve national success at the Australian Training Awards.

You may want to nominate yourself, your students, your organisation, or someone else you know.

Winners in select categories will also have the opportunity to represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards in Tasmania in November.

Nominate now!

To progress your nomination, register on the nominations portal and read the nominations guide visit the Victorian Skills Authority to learn about the different categories and nomination criteria.

Australian Training Awards Nominations Close 31 May!

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

This year's Awards will be held in Hobart, Tasmania in November 2023.

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

11 awards are entered to the Awards through the state and territory training awards process with winners from each state and territory becoming eligible to compete at the national level in aligned categories.

Individuals, businesses and registered training organisations can nominate directly to the Australian Training Awards for the following Direct Entry categories:

  • Outstanding Achievement in the VET and Skills Sector Award
  • Innovation in VET Award
  • Australian Apprenticeships Employer Award
  • School Pathways to VET Award
  • Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award
Find out if you're eligible to nominate by checking out the Award Categories page.

Nominations close 31 May 2023.

For further details please visit Australian Training Awards.

Upcoming AEN Professional Development

Managing Conflict with Confidence

Positive relationships and win/win outcomes are critical success contributors, and a range of conflicts can easily interrupt this. We must acquire the expertise and confidence to manage our emotional state effectively while in the heat of the moment to avoid negative effects on our wellbeing, morale and productivity.

Date: Wednesday 5 July 2023
Time:10am – 1.30pm
Delivery: In Person

African Cultural Awareness & Recruitment

Participants will gain an understanding of African beliefs, values, work/family values and how to work with African communities. Gain insight into the importance of cultural inclusion throughout the recruitment process along with strategies to develop, retain and support African apprentices/trainees.

Date: Wednesday 11 July 2023
Time: 9.30am - 1.30pm
Delivery: In Person

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

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

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on VET

This week NCVER released a new report on the Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on VET
The COVID-19 pandemic had a big effect on Australia’s VET sector.

It caused problems with mandatory work placements, fewer students enrolled and engaged, and affected staff wellbeing and retention. Disadvantaged students and those living in high-infection regions were the groups most affected.

Training providers responded to the individual needs of students during the pandemic by introducing a combination of online and in-person teaching, flexible work options, better hygiene protocols, and mental health and wellbeing programs.

This led to significant changes in their business processes, including the shift to blended learning, which will be long-lasting.

The pandemic has also had an impact on the income and financial viability of training providers. While there was some improvement in late 2020 and early 2021, many providers reported the situation was still challenging. This highlights the sector’s continual need for adaptation and resilience.

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 963 participants have been supported to date.
  • 84% Male
  • 16% 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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