Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 14, Issue 42

Friday, 29th October 2021
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Upcoming Events

10 Nov - OHS Network Meeting
25 Nov - AEN AGM

Landmark VET Reforms to Drive our Skills-led Economic Future

A fundamental overhaul of Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) system has been agreed to by the Commonwealth Government and states and territories.

The new Industry Clusters model—as groups of aligned industries—will replace the 67 Industry Reference Committees and six Skills Service Organisations and are expected to be fully operational by 1 January 2023. The reforms will ensure courses and qualifications in the sector are driven by and better meet the needs of industry, as well as students.

Training package approval processes will also change, with an independent assurance function to replace the Australian Industry and Skills Committee by 1 January 2023.

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, said the reforms will drive system improvements, ensure qualifications are updated faster so they meet the needs of industry and help students upskill or reskill for new and emerging jobs.

‘As Australia’s economy roars back we need a skills and training system that is well positioned to meet our evolving workforce needs into the future,’ Minister Robert said.

‘Australia’s economic future relies on a VET system that works for students and employers, which is why industry engagement is so important as part of our skills-led recovery,’

‘The new Industry Clusters will strengthen employer leadership and engagement, giving industry a broader, more strategic role ensuring Australia’s VET system addresses skills and workforce challenges across the economy, including labour demands, as we reopen strongly.’

‘This is a significant milestone as we work constructively with states and territories to complete the transformation of the VET system and progress further reforms.’

More details can be found at: DESE - Industry Engagement Reforms.

Victorian - Workforce Skills Set Fund

The Victorian Government’s new Workforce Skills Set Fund (WSSF) is open.

The WSSF is a flexible program that enables Skills First training providers and industry to work together to address skills needs in priority areas, progressive innovative approaches to training, and support delivery in thin markets.

This program provides the opportunity for industry, TAFEs, and all providers that hold a Skills First VET Funding Contract to develop proposals to meet new skills and workforce opportunities, address skills gaps that have emerged during COVID-19 or that will support the economic recovery.

How to apply
  • Expressions of Interest (EOI) for proposals are now open.
  • If an EOI is eligible, a link to the online application form will be provided.
  • For all successful applications received by 30 November 2021, the Department commits that funding contracts will be in place by 15 February 2022 to minimise any delay getting projects started.
Further information regarding program guidelines and application processes, please visit Department of Education.

60-minute online information session:
  • Wednesday 10 November 2021, 11.30am - 12.30pm.
To register, please visit Eventbrite.

COVID Update

The Victorian Government has announced further easing of restrictions from 6pm on Friday 29 October, given the early achievement of the 80% vaccination target.

The following information has been provided by the Department of Education - Higher Education and Skills.

Student vaccination
From 6pm on Friday 29 October, unless they have evidence of a medical exception, all students (except students undertaking secondary school subjects through a TAFE, university or other training and adult education organisation) who wish to participate in onsite education in TAFEs, universities, and other training and adult education organisations must be fully vaccinated.

Students who have only had one vaccination dose are encouraged to bring their second dose forward if they can.

To book or change an appointment, visit the Victorian Government vaccination booking system, call the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 675 398, or speak to your GP or pharmacist.

Staff vaccination
As advised previously, the Victorian Chief Health Officer (CHO) has determined that all workers defined as higher education workers in the CHO Directions, in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes workers in higher education, TAFE, and training and adult education. To continue working onsite, workers must provide evidence that they:
  • had a first dose COVID-19 vaccine by 15 October 2021, or
  • had a booking to receive a first dose by 22 October 2021, or
  • have a medical exception evidenced by an authorised medical practitioner.
To work onsite from 26 November 2021, workers must provide evidence to their employer that they are fully vaccinated, unless a medical exception applies.

Vaccination requirements also apply to:
  • apprentices, trainees, or volunteers working onsite who are required to be vaccinated in accordance with the CHO Directions, and
  • apprentices and trainees in employment and students in specific settings (work placements and at residential aged care facilities, healthcare facilities, construction sites and education facilities).
Density quotients
Density quotients do not apply to teaching and learning spaces in adult education. All other public-facing areas are subject to a density quotient of one person per two square metres. Universities, TAFEs, and other training and adult education organisations must follow the relevant density quotient requirements outlined in the CHO Directions for all other spaces and facilities onsite as they are updated.

COVID Marshals
The CHO Open Premises Directions include a requirement for particular operators to have COVID Marshals at all entry points being accessed by patrons. The Department of Education and Training is working with the Department of Health to clarify the intention and impact of this Direction for the adult education sector.

COVIDSafe behaviours
As we get back to onsite learning across the higher education, TAFE, and training sectors, it’s important that we all focus on COVIDSafe behaviours to minimise the spread of COVID-19. This includes:
  • ensuring only students and staff who have been fully vaccinated attend onsite
  • getting tested as soon as possible if you have symptoms, no matter how mild
  • ensuring staff and students stay home when unwell
  • checking in using QR codes and adding your COVID-19 digital certificate to the Service Victoria app
  • practising good hygiene including regularly washing and sanitising hands
  • taking all steps possible to maximise external air flow and good ventilation
  • wearing face masks (no longer required outdoors, after 6pm on Friday 29 October)
  • staggering start, finish and break times to reduce congestion and mixing of student cohorts
  • maintaining physical distancing between staff and students, wherever possible.
More information
For further information on current restrictions, visit Coronavirus Victoria.

Hume Business Employment Grants – Applications Open
5 November 2021

    The $1 million Hume Business Employment Grants Program will provide incentives to local businesses to offer secure employment for up to 100 eligible residents in Hume City. Offered as part of Council’s COVID-19 Recovery and Reactivation Plan, this program will provide a strong financial boost for local jobs and local businesses, with a key focus on employment outcomes of twelve months or more at completion of the program.

    Three grant streams are available:

    Stream 1 – Hume Trainees and Apprentice Incentive Program
    This stream supports businesses that have engaged an apprentice/trainee formally and are receiving Federal Government support, following which they may apply for an additional Hume City Council subsidy of $10,000. The grant will support the business to hire the employee for at least 12 months upon completion of the apprenticeship/traineeship.

    Stream 2 – Hume Internship, Cadetship and Industry Training Program
    This stream will be applicable to businesses with a future bulk recruitment need or succession planning requirement. This stream is available where there is an identified need for a minimum of 5 positions. A payment of $10,000 per employee is available, made up of incentives and training costs and delivered over a period of 12 months. Council will support the business with labour market facilitation and identification of local unemployed talent through the Hume Employment and Learning Community network and community service providers. The business must engage with Council. Training partners (chosen by employer) will also work with the business to tailor training to suit their requirements. The grant will offer incentives to businesses to take on Hume interns or cadets as well as pay for any tailored training such as licenses, certifications and pre-employment checks that are not covered by any government funding.

    Stream 3 – Disadvantaged Jobseeker Incentive Program
    This stream will provide for Council to match existing wage subsidies via a grant paid by jobactive and Disability Employment Services (DES) providers, by extending the employment period duration from 6 months to 12 months. Existing wage subsidies range from $1,650 to $10,000 depending on barriers and level of disadvantage that an unemployed jobseeker is faced with.

    This stream will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and will assess jobseeker’s whose employment is at risk prior to 26 weeks through unforeseeable circumstances. Funding will also be available to assist in the creation of new jobs for people with a disability. Funding can be used to strengthen the employee’s individual capacity in the workplace and it will provide the opportunity for employers to further invest in the individual to:
    • upskill,
    • develop the individual employees, and
    • provide additional support such as a mentor.
    For further information including eligibility criteria, please visit Hume Business Employment Grants.

    National Training Awards – Finalists Announced

    aust training awards
    Following the various State training awards held over the past couple of weeks, this week the Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert MP, announced the National Training Award finalists.

    Good luck to two AEN members:
    • WPC Group for being a finalist in the 'Australian Apprenticeships - Employer Award' category for recognition of their work with Esso Australia, and
    • Builders Academy Australia for being a finalist in the 'Small Training Provider of the Year' category.
    The 2021 the Awards will be held in Perth on Thursday, 18 November 2021. Sixteen Awards categories will be presented at the Awards — eight categories are individual achievements and eight for businesses and registered training organisations.

    Eleven 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.

    To access a full list of all the finalists, please visit 2021 Australian Training Awards I Finalists.

    VCCI – Apprentice Mental Health Workshops

    Mental Health apprentices
    Apprentices are particularly vulnerable to experiencing poor mental health, as Australian data on the higher prevalence of mental illness in young people clearly demonstrates.

    Supporting apprentices who may be struggling as well as managing mental health risks in the workplace are positive things you can focus on to ensure good outcomes for both your apprentices and your business.

    If you employ apprentices and want to improve mental health in your workplace, join one of VCCI's FREE interactive workshops where they will talk through the issues that matter most to both senior leaders and frontline managers. Two dates are available:
    • 9 November 1:00pm - 4:30pm
    • 9 December 9:00am - 12:30pm
    For further details, please visit Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    OctoberVET Ballarat 2021

    Ballarat’s fourteenth annual OctoberVET event is taking place on Thursday 25 November 2021 from 11.00am - 12.30pm. The theme is 'The Beyond COVID OctoberVET'.

    The free research-based event is part of the series of annual national OctoberVET events around Australia, an activity of the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA). This year the event will be held on-line using Federation University’s Team's platform.
    The program will include the following presentations:

    Apprenticeships: What would it take?
    Gary Workman, Executive Director, Apprentice Employment Network (AEN)
    This presentation draws on recent research by the Apprentice Employment Network aimed at encouraging employers to engage with more non university job seekers to meet their growing skill shortages via apprenticeships. It includes analysis of the current apprenticeship environment and recent history, including the effects of COVID.

    Teacher-student relationships in alternative secondary education
    Anthony Pearce, Federation University
    This paper reports on student perceptions of teacher-student relationships in secondary education. Students undertaking Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) in the VET sector were interviewed about their most notable experiences with teachers, reflecting on how the experiences influenced them as a student. Many described the teacher-student relationships as a ‘two-way street’, meaning that both parties must contribute respect and understanding. The research finds that students experience better relationships with teachers in alternative education contexts, and that they make learning choices based on the relationships with their teachers.

    'And now Women's Sheds’: Scoping the Shed field Internationally
    Barry Golding & Annette Foley, Federation University
    Our presentation scopes out how and where Women's Sheds have relatively recently made inroads into the Shed scene internationally. We pivot from our ongoing international research into Men's Sheds (including new data and insights from Barry Golding's new [2021] book, Shoulder to Shoulder: Broadening the Men's Shed Movement) to look at how Women's Sheds have recently emerged as a new community-based phenomenon in several countries, sometimes in collaboration with existing Men's Sheds.

    The curious case of jobs and training in retail and hospitality
    Erica Smith (FedUni), Richard Robinson (University of Queensland) & Darryn Snell (RMIT University)
    This presentation provides some surprising facts drawn from the first phase of a research project ‘Careers in everyday industries: The benefits of increased visibility’. The project is funded by the National Careers Institute, and sets out to improve the perceptions of careers in retail and hospitality, two low-status but essential industries. Analysis of three national data collections shows the large scale of employment in these industries and their role in young people’s lives, but, worryingly, the comparatively low quantity of training provided by the VET system.

    VET student employment outcomes during COVID-19
    Peter Fieger, Federation University
    The COVID-19 pandemic is exerting ongoing effects on societies globally, with ramifications felt across social and economic spheres worldwide. While the Australian labour market has so far escaped major upheaval, the VET sector has seen some significant changes with respect to employment outcomes for its graduates and short course completers. This study uses data from the 2020 Student Outcome Survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on employment outcomes of VET students in the early stage of the pandemic.

    The final program will be available soon on the RAVE website at FedUni - RAVE.

    Registrations are now open
    Please register at Survey Monkey. A Teams link will be sent to registrants a few days before the event.

    Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program

    Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program Logo
    Out of Trade Banner
    This program has now supported over 840 participants since May 2020, and 346 apprentices and trainees have commenced with a new employer.
    Currently, there are 40 participants on our active caseload:
    • Electrical - 18
    • Plumbing - 7
    • Carpentry - 6
    • Other trades - 9
    For Individuals
    Apprentices and trainees who have lost 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, whilst also directing you to the most appropriate advice and assistance while you remain out of employment.
    If you have an apprenticeship or traineeship 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.

    Director Identification Numbers Incoming

    A quick reminder that directors can start applying for a Director Identification Number (DIN) from 1 November 2021, and that current directors must have applied for a DIN by 30 November 2022. The DIN scheme has been implemented to deter and penalise phoenix activity.

    A DIN will be unique to each individual director and will interface with other government agencies and databases to allow regulators to map the relationships between individuals and entities, and individuals and other people.

    The obligations under the DIN scheme are:
    1. if they do not already have one, a person appointed as director, alternate director or any other officer of a body corporate registered under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) or the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) must apply to the registrar for a DIN prior to being appointed a director
    2. a director must apply for a DIN within the prescribed period (28 days or as the registrar determines) of being directed to do so by the registrar;
    3. a person must not apply for multiple DINs; and
    4. a person must not misrepresent a DIN to a government or registered body.
    Directors must apply for their DIN themselves, because they will need to verify their identity. As such, no one can apply on their behalf. This application is made through the new Australian Business Registry Service.

    When directors (or those to be appointed as a director) must apply for a DIN depends on the date they become a director.

    For Corporations Act directors, this is as follows:
    Date they become a director
    On or before 31 October 2021
    Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022
    From 5 April 2022
    Date to have applied for a DIN
    By 30 November 2022
    Within 28 days of appointment
    Before appointment
    For CATSI Act directors, this is as follows:
    Date they become a director
    On or before 31 October 2022
    From 1 November 2022
    Date to have applied for a DIN
    by 30 November 2023
    Before appointment
    For further details, please visit Australian Business Registry Services.

    NCVER Update

    The latest biennial 2021 Survey of Employers’ Use and Views of the VET System reports on how employers met their skill needs through accredited or unaccredited training.

    56.6% of employers used at least one form of accredited training to meet their skills needs, an increase of 5.7 percentage points between 2019 and 2021.

    Of those employers who had jobs that required vocational qualifications, 74.3% were satisfied that the qualifications provided the employees with the skills they needed for the job. 74.2% of employers with apprentices and trainees were satisfied with getting the skills they needed from training.

    This was the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic the survey covered effects on employers. Overall, 44.0% of employers had new training requirements due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    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

    GAN Australia Logo Landscape

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