Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 14, Issue 49

Friday, 17th December 2021
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Upcoming Events

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16 Feb 2022 - AEN & GAN Awards Presentation Dinner
Christmas Card 2021

WorldSkills Announce National Team for 2022

Earlier this week, WorldSkills Australia announced Australia's Skills Squad for the 2022 WorldSkills competition in China.
  • Industrial mechanics millwright: Lisiate Hull (SA)
  • Plumbing and heating: Lachlan Kinter (NSW), Hugh Davey (NSW)
  • Bricklaying: Jayden Jennings (NSW)
  • Cabinetmaking: Carly Bird (TAS)
  • Carpentry: Matthew Duffy (NSW), Brock Perry (QLD)
  • Jewellery: Charles Farrar (WA)
  • Hairdressing: Mary Evans (NSW), Anne Russell (NSW)
  • Beauty therapy: Maddison Williams (NSW)
  • Fashion technology: Michael Shin (QLD)
  • Automotive technology: Nicholas McLaren (NSW)
  • Cooking: Sarah Hunt (QLD), Sabrina Rees (NSW)
  • Car painting: Isabella Turrise (NSW)
  • Refrigeration and air conditioning: Ryan Hanns (ACT), Tom Clancy (WA)
  • IT network systems administration: Liam Spindler (NSW)
  • Graphic design technology: Kelsey Wade (SA)
  • Bakery: Rachel Crawford (ACT)
  • 3D digital game art: Thomas Van Breda (VIC)
  • Cloud computing: Daniella Kurnia Surya (WA)
  • Cyber security team event: Christopher Fitzsimons and Bujitha Ponsuge (WA), Matt Docktrell and Ben Armstrong (WA)
Congratulations to the competitors.

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.
Hume grants
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 and to apply, visit Hume Business Grants.

Digital Jobs Program

The Victorian Government’s Digital Jobs Program is currently accepting applications from businesses to host an intern for 12 weeks, who have undertaken 12 weeks of digital skills training in 10 various subject areas.
Digital Jobs program
GTOs are now able to engage an intern and place them with a host employer with an IT/digital vacancy. If the candidate is deemed suitable during the intern period, GTOs may proceed to sign up the candidate into a traineeship with the host employer. Please find further information on Employer Obligations.

The most popular subject areas undertaken by candidates is data analytics, cloud computing and cyber security. Please find profiles of the candidates who have undertaken digital skills training in round two. Internships are due to commence in late January 2022.

For further information and to apply, please visit Victoria Digital Jobs Program.

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program

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Out of Trade Banner
Since the program commenced in May 2020, a total of 853 participants have been supported with 762 currently in training.

    Currently, there are 34 participants on our active caseload:
    • Electrical - 10
    • Plumbing - 6
    • Carpentry - 7
    • Engineering - 2
    • 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.
    The following is a gender breakdown of total participants in the program:
    • Males: 722 participants (84.6%)
    • Females: 129 participants (15.4%)
    and year levels:
    • 1st year Apprentice: 46%
    • 2nd year Apprentice: 24.9%
    • 3rd year Apprentice: 18.52%
    • 4th year Apprentice: 9.9%
    The current Big Build Expression of Interest list currently has 129 participants, with 94 of those ready for work.
    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.

    VRQA Update

    Compliance monitoring: BAC apprenticeships and traineeships

    ​VRQA's authorised officers regularly contact and monitor apprentices, trainees and their workplaces. They are currently conducting compliance checks on apprenticeships and traineeships that have commenced under the Commonwealth Government's Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy scheme.

    History shows that incentives and wage subsidies sometimes lead a small number of employers to hire apprentices and trainees for the wrong reasons. In these cases, employers often do not provide their apprentice or trainee with suitable work, training or supervision to meet the requirements of their qualification. The VRQA has the power to investigate and stop employers who behave this way.

    To learn more about your obligations as the employer of an apprentice or trainee, please visit
    Managing your apprentice or trainee.

    VRQA have the authority to cancel training contracts, and place restrictions on an employer's ability to hire and train apprentices and trainees. In some instances, employers may be required to pay back some or all of the money they received from the State or Commonwealth governments. Where their investigations into BAC commencements reveal patterns of non-compliance in specific fields or qualifications, they may pursue targeted regulatory campaigns.

    VRQA Annual report
    Recently, VRQA released their 2020/21 annual report . To access the report, please visit 2020–21 VRQA Annual Report.

    More Jobs and Economic Growth Forecast For Victoria

    The Victorian economy is expected to generate thousands of jobs in the coming months, with forecasts in last week’s Victorian Government Budget Update showing positive signs ahead for the state.

    Victoria is on a rapid road to recovery, with economic activity expected to return quickly to the growth path forecast in the Victorian Budget 2021/22 by mid-2022.

    The unemployment rate is expected to average 4.5 per cent in 2021-22 – lower than forecast in the Budget – and remain at that low level in 2022-23.

    In regional Victoria, the unemployment rate remains at a near-record low of 3.3 per cent, well below the national regional average of 4.2 per cent.

    The temporary setback in Victoria’s economic recovery due to the Delta strain is expected to shift the peak in annual GSP growth from 2021-22 to 2022-23, when growth is forecast to rise to 4.5 per cent, compared to the 3.25 per cent forecast in this year’s Budget.

    The Government has allocated more than $13 billion in business support since the pandemic began, helping more than 260,000 Victorian businesses.

    Net debt remains lower in each year than was forecast in the Victorian Budget 2020/21. At this time last year, net debt was forecast to increase to around $155 billion by June 2024, but it is now forecast to be more than $13 billion lower.

    Supporting jobs and the health system has affected the bottom line in the short term, with a $7.9 billion increase in this year’s forecast operating deficit since the Budget.

    The update shows the Government is on track to deliver its medium term, four-step fiscal strategy of restoring economic growth and creating jobs, returning to an operating cash surplus, returning to operating surpluses then stabilising debt levels.

    Key economic indicators including retail sales, surveyed business conditions and business and consumer confidence all remained much higher than their lows in 2020.

    For further details, please visit State Budget.

    Implementing Victoria’s New Pandemic Framework

    As part of the Victorian Government’s new pandemic management framework, The Victorian government has made a formal pandemic declaration applying to the State of Victoria from 11:59pm, Wednesday 15 December 2021 until 11:59pm, Wednesday 12 January 2022.

    The declaration is made under section 165AB (1) of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and replaces the current State of Emergency declaration, which expired at 11:59pm on 15 December and will not be extended.

    The pandemic declaration was made after consultation with and consideration of advice from the Chief Health Officer (CHO) and Minister for Health. In making the declaration, the Premier was satisfied on reasonable grounds there was a serious risk to public health throughout Victoria arising from the coronavirus pandemic disease.

    In advising the Premier to make a pandemic declaration, the CHO noted the widespread community transmission of coronavirus in Victoria and the presence of active cases in the community – a significant proportion of whom require supported care.

    The initial pandemic declaration can be renewed within four weeks, if the Premier is satisfied on reasonable grounds the pandemic continues to be a serious risk to public health. After the first declaration, further pandemic declarations can be extended every three months.

    Once a pandemic declaration has been made, the Minister for Health has the power to make pandemic orders he considers reasonably necessary to protect public health. These powers are similar to the CHO’s power to make public health directions and are in line with powers available in other jurisdictions across Australia.

    Pandemic orders are made after the Minister for Health considers the CHO’s advice and other factors he considers relevant, including social and economic factors. The orders will be published on the Pandemic Orders Register on the Department of Health website.

    Parliament and the Independent Pandemic Management Advisory Committee will oversee the operation of the new pandemic management framework.

    NCVER Update

    VET student outcomes 2021

    The latest data from Australia’s largest survey of vocational education and training (VET) students show employment outcomes improved in 2021.

    Over 231 000 VET students completed the Student Outcomes Survey, which was run in mid-2021. Results show that higher proportions of students who undertook training in qualifications, short courses, and individual subjects had an improved employment status after training in 2021 than in 2020.

    Of those students who completed a qualification, 60.6% had an improved employment outcome after training. While this is significantly higher than in 2020 (up from 56.0%), it is down from the 65.8% recorded in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

    The survey also revealed the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on students’ learning, finding that over half of qualification completers had their training shift to online learning in 2020. This presented challenges for many, with 46.3% of those affected facing at least one challenge with the transition to online learning.
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