Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 14, Issue 43

Friday, 5th November 2021
Hi Reader!

Upcoming Events

10 Nov - OHS Network Meeting
25 Nov - AEN AGM

COVID Update

At 6pm on Friday 29 October, Victoria moved to Phase C of the Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan, in line with the Victorian Government’s announcement that Victoria has achieved the 80% double-dose vaccination target ahead of schedule for people aged 16 years and older.

The same settings now apply to both regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne.

In Phase C, Victoria’s universities, TAFEs and other training and adult education organisations can resume delivering all onsite learning and training activity, provided they meet the vaccination requirements for students and staff.

Student vaccination requirements
Victorian students who wish to go onsite for the purpose of receiving higher education services (universities, TAFEs and other training and adult educational providers) must be fully vaccinated. This applies to all students unless they have evidence of a valid medical exemption, or the higher education services:
  1. cannot be conducted remotely, including attending assessments and classes; or
  2. involve secondary school subjects.
Students, trainees, apprentices and volunteers previously permitted to attend placements through the Authorised Provider and Authorised Workers (APAW) list can continue attending placements.

Students attending placements must continue to adhere to the vaccination requirements linked to the work site at which they are doing an in-person apprenticeship, traineeship or placement (for example, healthcare, education and aged care settings).

Staff vaccination
In Phase C of the Roadmap, higher education workers, in line with students, will be able to attend onsite provided they are fully vaccinated or have a medical exemption. Exceptions to this requirement are provided for the following:
  • workers providing higher education services that cannot be conducted remotely, and
  • workers involved in the provision of secondary school subjects.
All other higher education workers must be fully vaccinated to attend 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 exemption evidenced by an authorised medical practitioner. This exemption must be entered onto their Australian Immunisation Register immunisation record (see ‘Proof of medical exemption requirement’ below for more information).
All higher education workers must be fully vaccinated by the second-dose deadline of Friday 26 November 2021 and provide evidence to their employer that they are fully vaccinated or have a valid medical exemption to work onsite.

This means that any workers who are not fully vaccinated, but who work onsite from 6pm on Friday 29 October (as they meet one of the two exceptions outlined above), will need to be fully vaccinated by Friday 26 November.

Student placements and employment
Students undertaking work placements and/or other employment may be required to be vaccinated, depending on the type of work they are doing and where they are working:
  • apprentices and trainees in employment and students in work placements at residential aged care facilities, healthcare facilities, construction sites and education facilities are required to comply with the vaccination requirements in the Mandatory Vaccination (Specified Facilities) Directions
  • apprentices, trainees, or volunteers working on other work sites will be required to be vaccinated in accordance with the relevant directions.
COVID Check-in Marshals not required
The updated CHO Open Premises Directions outline that higher education and adult education providers are exempt from the requirement to have a COVID Check-in Marshal at every entrance of their premises. Record-keeping requirements however remain in place, with all attendees required to check in using the Victorian Government QR code system.

Higher education and adult education providers are defined in the Directions as ‘pre-registration premises’. Students accessing sites only have to provide evidence of full vaccination (or exemption) once, prior to their first attendance onsite after 6pm on Friday 29 October, unless providers decide to request them to do so each time they attend the premises.

All other patrons attending onsite will need to show evidence they are fully vaccinated (or exempted) each time they enter the premises. Universities, TAFEs and other adult education providers must have a system to collect, record and hold this information.

Proof of medical exemption requirement
From 6pm on Friday 12 November, a person who is exempt from vaccination requirements will need to have an Australian Immunisation Register immunisation medical exemption form that is completed and signed by a medical practitioner, instead of a completed and signed medical certificate.

This means that any employee or student who has already provided evidence of an exemption by way of a medical certificate will need to re-submit proof of their exemption to their adult education provider or their employer by 6pm on Friday 12 November to comply with the new requirement.

More information
For further information on current restrictions, visit COVID Victoria. It is the single destination for all Victorian COVID-19 information and resources, including information about higher education, TAFE and training providers, apprentices and trainees, and health and wellbeing. You can also call the Department of Education and Training COVID-19 hotline on 1800 338 663 from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 3pm Saturday to Sunday, excluding public holidays

General Worker Directions
Please visit, COVID General Workers Directions.

WorkSafe Victoria - New Guide Helps Employers Meet First Aid Needs

Adding new life-saving equipment to first aid kits and encouraging mental health crisis training are among the recommendations in WorkSafe Victoria's updated guide to workplace first aid.

The First Aid in the Workplace Compliance Code offers practical guidance for employers to ensure they are complying with their duty to provide a safe workplace.

It replaces the 2008 code, with updates including recommendations to consider adding asthma-relieving inhalers and epinephrine auto-injectors (Epipens) to first aid kits and to consider training for first aid officers to assist people experiencing a mental health crisis.
first aid guide
It also provides information on providing adequate first aid room facilities, assessing first aid needs and ensuring training remains up-to-date.

The guidance is not mandatory, however, employers that comply with the code will be considered to have complied with their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.

To access the free resource, please visit First Aid in the Workplace.

Safe Work Australia – 2018 Statistics

Recently Safe Work Australia (SWA) released it 2018 OH&S statistics through an online interactive website. A core function of SWA's work is developing and maintaining an evidence base to inform WHS and workers’ compensation policy and practice. It also helps to significantly reduce the incidence of work-related death, injury and illness.
  • SWA compile, analyse and report on a range of WHS and workers’ compensation data to provide a national picture of work-related injuries, fatalities and diseases.
  • SWA conduct WHS and workers’ compensation research to keep across emerging and existing issues and evaluate the implementation of model WHS laws.
To access the online statistics, please visit Safe Work Australia.

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.

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

The fourteenth OctoberVET Ballarat is online, on Thursday 25th November from 11.00am - 12.30pm AEDT.

'The Beyond COVID OctoberVET' features research by RAVE (a group of researchers at FedUni based in the School of Education) and others on a range of COVID-related and other issues in VET and adult education.
The program will include the following presentations:

Apprenticeships: What would it take?
Gary Workman, Executive Director, Apprentice Employment Network (AEN)

The curious case of jobs and training in retail and hospitality
Erica Smith (FedUni), Richard Robinson (University of Queensland) & Darryn Snell (RMIT University)

Teacher-student relationships in alternative secondary education
Anthony Pearce, Federation University

VET student employment outcomes during COVID-19
Peter Fieger, Federation University

'And now Women's Sheds’: Scoping the Shed field Internationally
Barry Golding & Annette Foley, Federation University

The final program is now available.

Registrations are 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 847 participants since May 2020, and 346 apprentices and trainees have commenced with a new employer.
Currently, there are 34 participants on our active caseload:
  • Electrical - 14
  • Plumbing - 6
  • Carpentry - 5
  • 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.

NCVER Update

A new report Employers’ use and views of the VET system 2021 shows an increase in the proportion of employers using the VET system, increasing 5.7 percentage points from 2019 to 2021, with 56.6% of Australian employers engaged with accredited training in 2021.

The survey included questions about the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on training needs. A total of 44.0% of employers reported having new training requirements, with the most commonly cited reason being to ‘effectively and safely operate in the COVID environment’ (83.6%).

This biennial survey collects information on the various ways employers meet their skill needs. Through accredited training this may include hiring staff with vocational qualifications, employing apprentices and trainees, or providing staff with other nationally recognised training.
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

Follow us

facebook twitter youtube linkedin