Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 14, Issue 48

Friday, 10th December 2021
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Upcoming Events

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16 Feb 2022 - AEN & GAN Awards Presentation Dinner

Commonwealth Government Announces Additional Workforce & Skills Programs

On Wednesday this week, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, announced new measures to equip Australia’s workforce with the skills needed to grow Australia’s prosperity now and into the future.

The measures announced come after the first State of the Skills Report delivered by the National Skills Commission (see further story below).

Minister Robert said the Commonwealth Government will deliver a range of measures designed to build workforce capability, support job mobility and ensure challenges such as workforce shortages, the accelerated pace of change with increased use of digital technology, and more flexible ways of working were addressed.

‘We will spend $8 million to increase the number of Job Fairs in regional and metropolitan areas and connect more Australians with local jobs. We will expand the successful Launch into Work program by investing $74.7 million over 4 years to prepare job seekers for vacancies through work experience, training, and mentoring. We will also expand the 1800 CAREER service to Australians aged 25 and older who are self-managing their search for work using the Government’s online employment services.

We will work to fast-track entry into the workforce through the apprenticeship and traineeship sector by investing $10.5 million over the next three years to work intensively with the New South Wales and South Australian governments to pilot novel approaches to accelerate qualification completion time.’

‘We will also look to those who have migrated to Australia, and how we can support them to take up work in areas of demand which our domestic workforce is unable to fill. We will spend nearly $20 million through to 2023-24 to deliver faster, cheaper skills assessments which will acknowledge the valuable skills migrants have brought with them and their ability to contribute to the Australian workforce. Our targeted migration settings will continue to be considered holistically, informed by Australia’s broader domestic workforce objectives to ensure they complement each other.’

Minister Robert said the new measures would complement the Government’s existing programs, with all job seekers and those looking to reskill and upskill benefitting.
‘Our vision for skills reform and a funding model that provides national consistency for students, underpinned by improvements to the collection, timeliness and transparency of data across the Vocational Education Training (VET) system, will ensure we’re training Australians with the right skills to get the jobs in demand,’ Minister Robert said.

‘We will also ensure jobactive providers take a stronger, more proactive brokerage role in identifying local employment opportunities and referring job seekers to suitable work. Both job seekers and jobactive providers must be outcome-focused, with providers working closely with their region’s Employment Facilitator to develop strategies that better connect job seekers with local business needs, and support job seekers to upskill so they are ready to take up work when opportunities arise.

‘From 1 January 2022 through to June 2024, we will provide over $49 million to double the number of places in The Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers Program and increase the number of Skills and Training Incentives available, to assist older Australians to adopt a lifelong approach to learning, upskilling and reskilling, all while reducing their reliance on income support.

Minister Robert said the Australian Government is committed to providing strong incentives and support for older job seekers to remain engaged in the labour market.

‘Aged pensioners who choose to re-enter the workforce or increase their work hours will benefit from an easier return to the Age Pension if they exceed the income limit due to their employment and will be able to keep their Pensioner Concession Card for two years,’ Minister Robert said.

Minister Robert said the Morrison Government would also invest $10 million to develop an integrated data tool which would deliver a comprehensive, near real-time, regional view of Australia’s workforce, skill, and labour market.

‘The tool will deliver workforce, skills and labour data at a regional level to help businesses understand the supply and demand for staff, assist them in their workforce planning, and match available skills and training to their needs,’ Minister Robert said.

‘What I am announcing today ensures workforce policy and sector-specific workforce plans are data-driven, equip and enable Australians to take up available work, remove barriers to participation, activate industry and target migration to complement the domestic workforce and fill skills and labour gaps.

‘It identifies the critical role business and industry needs to play in investing in their existing staff and contributing to Australia’s current and future workforce, and ensures that all Australians have opportunities to train, reskill, or upskill, and find meaningful work.’

For further details, please visit DESE.

Building Equality in Construction

More women will enter Victoria’s construction industry thanks to the Victorian Government’s world-leading policy to improve gender equality in the building, infrastructure and civil engineering sectors. The Government’s 'Building Equality Policy' (BEP) is an Australian first and will disrupt gender stereotypes in the country’s most male dominated industry.
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The BEP will apply to new government projects and mandates female representation in at least three per cent of each trade role, seven per cent of each non-trade position and 35 per cent of management, supervisor and specialist labour roles.

In effect from 1 January 2022, the BEP also mandates that four per cent of labour hours for apprentices and trainees will be required to be performed by women.

The Government has invested $3.5 million to support the implementation of the policy and a further $1.5 million for the delivery of medium and long-term actions from the Women in Construction Strategy 2019-22.

Over the past 30 years, women have consistently comprised only two-to-three per cent of the construction workforce, with the coronavirus pandemic having a disproportionate impact on women’s workforce participation, employment and economic security.

The new requirements are being introduced through Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework (SPF) for works valued at $20 million or more over the life of the project.

There will be a two-year transitional implementation period and action on non-compliance will kick in from January 2024.

Victoria’s Building Industry Consultative Council (BICC) has worked collaboratively on the development of the policy and will continue to provide support and guidance to help industry understand their obligations and comply.

For further details, please visit Building Equality Policy.

National Skills Commission - The State of Australia's Skills 2021

NSC report
The NSC report 'The state of Australia's skills 2021: now and into the future' finds the shape of Australia’s workforce is changing as our labour market responds to big forces like an ongoing shift to services and higher skilled jobs, advances in technology and growing automation.

The NSC report finds the shape of Australia’s workforce is changing as our labour market responds to big forces like an ongoing shift to services and higher skilled jobs, advances in technology and growing automation. The November Labour Market Update has also been developed to support the report.
Some of the most important and rapidly growing skills needs over the coming years are:
  • care – the group of skills responding to demographic change, such as the ageing of the population
  • computing – a group of skills needed to respond to the digital world and the increasing use of digital technologies across the entire economy
  • cognitive abilities – the group of advanced reasoning and higher order skills computers cannot easily replace, especially non-routine cognitive skills
  • communication – the group of skills needed to collaborate and engage within and across workplaces.
The report also identifies data and digital skills as the fastest growing skills required by employers. Other examples of skills that are increasing in importance include enterprise resource planning (ERP), social media, infection control, patient care and graphic and visual design. These skills are changing the way we do our jobs.

While current COVID‑19 outbreaks presents uncertainty around the near‑term outlook for the labour market, the biggest long‑term impact of COVID-19 on jobs may be to accelerate structural changes already underway. This includes increasing online activity and the need for post-secondary qualifications.

To access the full report, please visit National Skills Commission.

Australia’s Emerging Skills

NSC Emerging skills
As technology changes, it can have an impact on how we do our jobs. When businesses take up new technologies and ways of working, they will require workers with new and different skills.

Understanding the changing nature of jobs is one way of ensuring we have the right skills, not just now, but into the future.
One way to examine how jobs are changing is to look for skills that are emerging or trending. Emerging skills are those showing up in jobs for the first time in the last five years. Trending skills are ones we already know about but have grown in importance over the last five years.

To access this report, please visit National Skills Commission.

AEN Office: Christmas/New Year Closure

From the Board and staff of the AEN, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

The office will be closed from 23rd December until 10th January 2022.
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It's been great working with you in 2021 and we look forward to seeing you in 2022!

Upcoming Victorian Public Holidays
  • Saturday 25 December - Christmas Day
  • Sunday 26 December - Boxing Day
  • Monday 27 December - Additional public holiday for Christmas Day
  • Tuesday 28 December - Additional public holiday for Boxing Day
  • Friday 1 January 2022 – New Year's Day
  • Tuesday 26 January 2022 – Australia Day

NCVER Update

Engaging more employers in nationally recognised training to develop their workforce
NCVER report

This report examines the factors in the current VET environment that influence employers’ decisions when choosing training options, particularly nationally recognised training.

Findings show that employers want training that is relevant to their skills needs, fits in with their business cycles, is delivered by expert trainers, and is cost effective. Closer partnerships between employers and registered training organisations, including co-creation of training packages, are important.
While employers use a mix of training types, nationally recognised training is seen as the logical fit for initial training for entry into the workforce and for upskilling in critical new technical skills, including those that need to be formally acknowledged or recorded for certification purposes.

NCVER Annual report 2020-2021

The NCVER annual report details important company information, activities, and achievements from the past financial year.

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program

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Out of Trade Banner
This program has now supported 851 participants since May 2020, and 357 apprentices and trainees have commenced with a new employer.
Currently, there are 29 participants on our active caseload:
  • Electrical - 9
  • Plumbing - 5
  • Carpentry - 4
  • Other trades - 7
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.

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.
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Head on over to GAN Australia and subscribe now.

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