Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 14, Issue 44

Friday, 12th November 2021
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Upcoming Events

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25 Nov 2021 - AEN AGM
16 Feb 2022 - AEN & GAN Awards Presentation Dinner

More than Money: What Will it Take to Turn Good Intentions into Good Jobs?

what will it take
A new collaborative report from PwC, Social Ventures Australia, the Global Apprenticeship Network (Australia) and the Apprentice Employment Network (Victoria) identifies measures that are required to build an apprenticeship system that works in the modern world and remedy Australia’s chronic skills shortages.

The What Will It Take report finds that young people in Australia have seen their average incomes decline in real terms from 2008 to 2018. Young people face an increasingly difficult labour market while at the same time, employers are reducing investment into training, signalling a loosening of bond between employer and employee, which can in turn impact young people’s ability to progress and compete in the market. It now takes an average of 4.7 years for a young person to move into full time employment from education. Despite ongoing skills shortages in areas that require vocational qualifications, many young Australians without degrees cannot find jobs that allow them to learn while they work. The slow climb up the ladder of employment and earnings is resulting in long-term societal and economic impacts for young people and the wider Australian community.

In response, the report finds that while many employers identify cost as a significant barrier to investing in young people, wage subsidies on their own are not enough. Instead, the report finds that a combination of the following measures is needed to generate change:

1. Financial levers
Financial levers such as tax credits or rebates and training guarantee levies could be given consideration in the medium term as the evidence suggests they have a positive track record. Possible ways forward include considering more tailored subsidies for specific cohorts, investment via intermediaries and consideration of schemes to promote training investment by employers.

2. Revitalise existing support models for employers
There are a number of organisations already in place to support employers to bring on young workers. However, these are not reaching many employers, particularly in sectors without strong existing apprenticeship pathways. Some, like Group Training Organisations (GTOs), could play a greater role in building opportunities for young people. But they need greater support, and the system as a whole needs to be much easier to navigate for employers and young people alike.

3. Collaborative pre-employment (training) models to share the risk
Pre-employment programs have an important role to play in connecting employers and young people. There are some highly effective and innovative models that could be expanded and extended to new industries. The intention is that they are directly linked to employers, and help ensure risk is shared and does not weigh too heavily on an individual employer.

4. Use the apprenticeship approach to suit industry needs
It is clear that work-based learning and work integrated learning provide critical pathways for young people, particularly those who are from lower income backgrounds. Despite successful pilots of higher apprenticeships, these pathways are undeveloped across many sectors.

5. Procurement and contracting to drive skills development
Where large government contracts are concerned, there is an opportunity to utilise the procurement process to encourage employers to consider opportunities for young people as well as disadvantaged groups through their supply chain management. This approach is commonly used by Commonwealth and State Governments in large infrastructure projects. Application of this approach to emerging markets such as clean energy and IT represents a significant opportunity.

Past attempts to update the apprenticeship system and support businesses to establish strong training pipelines have repeatedly failed because they have overemphasised some policies at the expense of others, according to Gary Workman, Executive Director of the Apprenticeship Employment Network.

“Governments have tried lots of different things in an attempt to fix our training system,” Mr Workman said. “But individual measures usually fall short.”

“For instance, wage subsidies can act as a sugar hit by encouraging employers to hire apprentices, but without the right support to manage and retain the apprentice through to a completed qualification, they often crash back out of training. Ultimately this is a bad outcome for the employer and the apprentice, as well as the productivity of the whole country.”

Dr Lisa Fowkes, Director, Employment at Social Ventures Australia emphasised the need for a national approach to the problem of declining youth incomes:

“Employers are telling us that they need more skilled workers. Yet employer spending on training has gone backwards and young people are getting fewer opportunities to build their skills at work.

“Young people from lower income backgrounds are hardest hit. They have fewer opportunities than their parents did to get into the labour market and grow their skills and incomes over time and cycle through insecure work.

“This important analysis shows that Government investments in training can help – but it can’t be training for training sake, it needs to be directed to ensuring that more employers step up and create quality job opportunities for young people that allow them to learn while they work.

“We can also build on the success that Governments’ have had in setting apprenticeship targets in large infrastructure projects. It’s time that the approach was applied to sectors like IT and business services – and that Governments applied the same sorts of targets for youth employment to their own recruitment.”

Suzi Hewlett, Director of Skills for Australia at PwC said, “In compiling this report, we were focused on identifying actionable solutions. At PwC, we have seen the merits of establishing our own Higher Apprenticeship Program; the value in employers broadening their view about the talent pool they draw on to benefit their business is clear. However, we know that other employers lack capacity to create similar alternative pathways and find themselves having to navigate a complex, and often costly, system. That is why our research suggests that a combination of measures is needed to generate change.”

To access the AFR article featured in Monday 8 November's edition, please visit AFR (an AFR subscription is required to view the full article).

To access the full report, please visit AEN.

Webinar: What Will it Take to Create More, Better Quality Jobs for Young People in Australia?

What will it take 2
Presenting our latest report with PwC, the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) and the Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) on what's needed to remedy Australia’s skills shortage, this webinar is a follow up to the report released earlier this week.

Last year the Productivity Commission drew attention the declining incomes of young people in Australia. Since the GFC, young people are starting out further down the career ladder and are climbing it more slowly. It seems that the types of jobs many young people are getting are not giving them the opportunity to move forward.

SVA and the GAN (Australia) asked PwC to help us understand what it would take to encourage employers to create career paths for young people at scale. The findings of this research have been presented in our latest report, What Will it Take.

Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, 17 November co-hosted by SVA and the Global Apprenticeship Network to discuss the report findings and explore options for change, in a Q&A format.

Topic: What will it take to create more, better quality jobs for young people in Australia? Research findings and ways forward.

Panellists:
  • Gary Workman, Executive Director, AEN/GAN (Australia)
  • Suzi Hewlett, Director, PwC’s Skills for Australia
  • Professor John Buchanan, University of Sydney Business School
Hosted and facilitated by Dr Lisa Fowkes, Director - Employment, SVA

Date: Thursday, 17 November 2021
Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm AEDT
Cost: Free
Registration: Please click on the following link to register for the webinar.

Australian Training Awards – Thursday 18 November

aust training awards
The Australian Training Awards are the peak national awards that showcase best practice in vocational education and training (VET). They recognise and celebrate excellence and are an important mechanism for promoting the benefits of vocational education and training.

Winners from each state and territory training awards compete for a national award title. This has led to Australia-wide awareness and respect for skill-based careers and skills excellence.

To view all the finalists, please visit Australian Training Awards.

The presentation event will be held virtually on Thursday 18 November 2021 from 6pm (AEDT) with formalities beginning at 6:30pm (AEDT).

The virtual event link will become available on the Australian Training Awards website closer to the event date.

Continuing to Improve the Labour Hire Industry

The Victorian Government is continuing to improve the integrity and transparency of the labour hire sector, with new figures showing the extensive measures that are being taken to clean up the industry.

The Labour Hire Authority’s (LHA) recently released Annual Report shows a crackdown on dodgy operators, strict reviews of licence applications and a significant take up in the Labour Hire Licensing Scheme.

To prevent the exploitation of labour hire workers, the LHA conducted 2,431 education and compliance inspections across Victoria last financial year. Officers made thousands of enquiries into non-compliance with workplace laws, such as payments below award wages, unlawful deductions from wages and breaches of occupational health and safety laws.

The LHA assessed and reviewed 2,435 labour hire licences and applications, resulting in nine application refusals, one licence suspension, 95 licence cancellations and 95 licence variations.

For further information, please visit Labour Hire Authority.

New Child Safe Standards

The Victorian Government has announced new Child Safe Standards to better protect children and young people from abuse. The new Standards commence on 1 July 2022, giving organisations time to plan, prepare and comply.

The Commission has published some initial guidance to assist organisations to transition to the new Standards.

Free Child Safe Standards Community of Practice Webinar

The next Child Safe Standards Community of Practice will be delivered online and will focus on the new Child Safe Standards. It will include background to the new Standards and what’s new and what’s changing.

When: Monday 22 November, 1.00pm – 2.30pm
Topic: The New Child Safe Standards

Presenters:
  • Liana Buchanan, Principal Commissioner
  • Commission Youth Network members
To register, please visit Webinar Registration - Zoom.

Learn Local Awards 2021 Finalists Announced

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A pool of 25 finalists has been announced in the 15th annual Victorian Learn Local Awards, recognising excellence in the adult community education sector.

Finalists have been named across eight categories, whose achievements illustrate how adult and community education changes the lives of Victorians. Additional categories at this year’s event recognise innovation, leadership and local partnerships.

The finalists represent the diversity of skills and training provided by the sector across different vocations in all parts of metropolitan and regional Victoria, including Mildura, Horsham, Ballarat, Shepparton and Gippsland.

The Learn Local Awards is presented by the Adult, Community and Further Education Board and shine a spotlight on the industry and its learners, trainers and leaders.

Learn Local providers offer a unique, community-based learning option, with a focus on the individual needs of learners. They are particularly suited to adult learners of all ages looking to develop their digital, literacy, numeracy and employability skills for study, work and life.

There are more than 240 not-for-profit community organisations registered as Learn Locals across Victoria, which deliver pre-accredited training and other programs to nearly 30,000 people each year.

For further information about the Awards, please visit Learn Local Awards. Winners will be announced in December.

Department of Education, Skills and Employment - Annual Report 2020–21

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment Annual Report 2020–21 was tabled in Parliament on 19 October 2021.

The report provides information about the Department’s achievements, corporate arrangements and performance.

Hume Business Employment Grants

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.

OctoberVET Ballarat 2021

The fourteenth OctoberVET Ballarat is online, on Thursday 25 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.
AVETRA
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.

Partial Scholarships for Women in the Training and Development Sector

Partial scholarships of $1,000 - $5,000 per person are available for emerging, middle and senior women leaders to undertake leadership development programs commencing in 2022.

Women & Leadership Australia's programs offer tangible and transformative support for women leaders at all levels.

Applications close 15 December.

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 351 apprentices and trainees have commenced with a new employer.
Currently, there are 33 participants on our active caseload:
  • Electrical - 12
  • Plumbing - 6
  • Carpentry - 5
  • Other trades - 10
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.

VCCI – Apprentice Mental Health Workshop

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 VCCI's last FREE interactive workshop where they will talk through the issues that matter most to both senior leaders and frontline managers.
  • Thursday 9 December, 9:00am - 12:30pm
For further details, please visit Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
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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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