Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 15, Issue 2

Friday, 11th February 2022
Hi Reader!

Upcoming Events

3 Mar - Annual Apprenticeship Luncheon
3 Mar - CEO/GTO Managers' Meeting
23 Feb - QA Standards Network
10 Mar - OHS Network Meeting
29 Mar - Safe & Respectful Workplaces (GTO Op/Snr Mgrs)
31 Mar - Safe & Respectful Workplaces (GTO Field Officers)
Awards banner
The 2021 GAN & AEN Awards Presentation Dinner is nearly here! Over 230 GTOs, host employers, finalists, and stakeholders will be in attendance to celebrate the dedication and achievements of apprentices and trainees, GTOs and businesses committed to the development of apprentices and trainees.

Thirty-nine finalists representing 11 Group Training Organisations, with the award winners, will be announced on:

Date: Wednesday 16 February 2022
Time: 6.00 – 10.00pm
Venue: The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Dress Code: After 5

All registrants will receive an email prior to the event detailing arrangements on the night. The event will operate under COVIDSafe settings, i.e. guests must be fully vaccinated or have a valid medical exemption, and masks worn indoors at all times except when seated at tables.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the event!

Annual Apprenticeship Luncheon - 3 March

Its back! After missing in 2021, AEN will host our Apprenticeship Luncheon again in 2022. Guests will hear from Craig Robertson, CEO of the Victorian Skills Authority on the role of the VSA, future directions of VET and apprenticeships in Victoria. Come and join in the conversation on how apprenticeships and traineeships are being utilised as a solution to youth unemployment as well as meeting future employer workforce needs.
Event Details
Date: Thursday, 3 March 2022
Location: Melbourne Sheraton
Time: 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Full program details are available on AEN Apprenticeship Luncheon event page.
Event Pricing (incl. GST)
AEN & VTA Members
Non Members

AEN Members
: Please login prior to purchasing tickets to access member rate.
Purchase 8 or more tickets to receive 10% off your booking.

A CEO/GTO Managers' meeting will follow the luncheon at the same venue.

To register for the event, please visit AEN - Events Calendar.

Access to Free RATs

From 24 January 2022, eligible customers can get up to 10 free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) over a 3 month period with a maximum of 5 in a month. This means they can test themselves for COVID-19.

Customers do not need to contact Services Australia to claim their free RATs. They can pick these up from a participating community pharmacy.

Find out where to collect your free RAT from a local community pharmacy on the Pharmacy Guild of Australia website. Keep in mind, supply is subject to availability.
Free rats
To get free RATs, eligible customers must hold one of these cards:
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
  • Health Care Card
  • Low Income Health Care Card
  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold, White or Orange card.
Customers will need to show either of the following at the pharmacy:
  • your digital health care or pension card in the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app
  • your physical card.
This means they can use their digital copy if they have lost their physical card.

Customers can get a carer or guardian to pick up their RATs if they are eligible but can’t get them themselves. They will need to show their card when they go to the pharmacy.

To protect others from COVID-19, customers should only go to a pharmacy if they are well.

Customers should go to their state or territory testing clinic if they have COVID-19 symptoms or are a close contact. They will be tested for free.

Women in Trades Programs Rolling out in 2022

Women in trades 2
The Women in Trades – Multi Industry Pre-Apprenticeship Support Project is supported by Apprenticeships Victoria and aims to provide women aged from 15 to 65 with the opportunity to participate in a ‘hands on’ trial in a range of trade occupations over 6-12 weeks with the aim of supporting 120 women into apprenticeships.

This is a great opportunity for all women to experience a different range of trades which may help with deciding what career path they would like to take.

Previous research confirmed that approximately 50% of participants made a more definitive decision based on their experience in similar programs.

Several Group Training Organisations (GTO), supported by TAFEs across Victoria, will be running programs covering several trades between 1 February 2022 until 30 June 2022.

Apprenticeship Group Australia (AGA)
AGA will be running programs in Building and Construction, Plumbing and Electrotechnology and will be running the programs from both their Melbourne Metro and South Gippsland sites.

The programs will run over 10 weeks and participants are expected to attend 3 training days per week. Programs will run on:
  • 7 February 2022 - Deer Park
  • 7 February 2022 - Gippsland
  • 4 April 2022 - Deer Park
  • 4 April 2022 - Gippsland
For all enquiries relating to these programs, please contact Marie Rovito at

CVGT Australia
CVGT Australia will be running programs in Carpentry/Cabinet Making, Automotive, Electrical and Plumbing in association with Bendigo TAFE.

The program will run over 6 weeks and participants are expected to attend 2 – 2 ½ training days per week. Programs will run on:
  • 14 February 2022 - Bendigo TAFE
For all enquiries relating to these programs, please contact Allison Gook at

Kestrel Recruitment
Kestrel Recruitment will be running programs in Carpentry/Cabinet Making, Electrical, Plumbing and Painting in association with Wodonga TAFE.

The program will run full time (4 days a week) for 8 weeks and participants are expected to attend form 9:00am – 3:00pm. Program will run on:
  • 14 February 20222 - Wodonga TAFE
For all enquiries relating to this program, please contact Scott Dunlop at

Westvic Staffing Solutions
Westvic Staffing Solutions will be running a program in Building and Construction in association with both South West TAFE and Federation University.

The program will run part time for 6-8 weeks and participants are expected to train 3-4 days a week. Programs will run on:
  • March 2022 - Warrnambool
  • March 2022 - Ballarat
For all enquiries relating to this program, please contact Tegan Malady at

For further details, please visit Women in Trades – Multi Industry Pre-Apprenticeship Support Project.

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program

Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program Logo
Out of Trade Banner
Since the program commenced in May 2020, a total of 872 participants have been supported with 781 currently in training.

    Currently, there are 30 participants on our active caseload:
    • Electrical - 8
    • Plumbing - 7
    • Carpentry - 5
    • Other trades - 4
    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.

    Free Expert Advice to Build Safer Construction Industry – WorkSafe Victoria OHS Essentials Program

    Construction is one of the state's most high-risk industries, but help is at hand for employers to build safer workplaces. On average, nine people every day were injured working in construction last year and sadly, 33 lives have been lost in the industry since 2019, including 12 last year alone.

    WorkSafe's OHS Essentials Program is available to help make construction workplaces safer. It provides independent consultants who give free, confidential and tailored safety advice for small to medium businesses.

    The construction industry accounted for about 14 per cent of all accepted injury claims in Victoria in 2021, with the 3222 construction claims accepted by WorkSafe, the third highest of any industry.

    The most common injuries were musculoskeletal (1004), wounds, lacerations and amputations (717) and tendon, muscle and ligament trauma (591).

    The leading causes of injury last year were body stressing (1084), slips, trips and falls (1007) and being hit by a moving object (731).

    WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Narelle Beer urged all small to medium-sized businesses to consider signing up to the OHS Essentials program.

    "Construction may be a high-risk industry, but every worker has the right to get home safe at the end of the day," Dr Beer said.

    "The OHS Essentials program is a great way for business owners to receive free, independent and personalised advice on how to control the health and safety risks at their workplace."

    To find out more about the OHS Essentials program, please visit WorkSafe's OHS Essentials Program.

    Commonwealth Scholarships Program for Young Australians

    The Commonwealth Scholarships Program for Young Australians (up to $13,000) offers scholarships to unemployed youth to undertake Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, including workplace-based internships with local businesses.

    Applications for Round Four of the Program opened on Thursday, 27 January 2022. To be eligible to apply, scholars must reside in one of the following 10 regional locations:
    • Grafton (NSW)
    • Gosford (NSW)
    • Wanneroo (WA)
    • Armadale (WA)
    • Shepparton (VIC)
    • Townsville (QLD)
    • Maryborough (QLD)
    • Port Pirie (SA)
    • Burnie (TAS)
    • Alice Springs (NT)
    Priority is given to the following applicants:
    • have exited the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in the previous two years, regardless of age;
    • Indigenous young Australians;
    • young Australians with a disability; and
    • young Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
    Under the Program, scholars are given the opportunity to complete a VET course from Certificate III to Advanced Diploma level in an Approved Program of Study that leads to an occupation in demand. Scholars participate in industry-based work placements that directly link study to real jobs through completing a 20-business day paid Internship.

    For further details, please visit Commonwealth Scholarships Program for Young Australians.

    Hume Business Employment Grants

    Just a reminder that applications are still open for the Hume Business Employment Grants.
    Hume would like to see more applications coming through from local businesses and need your support.

    If you have any clients coming up to 26 weeks of employment or if you have any clients about to finish their traineeship or apprenticeship, please get in touch with the employer and let them know about the 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.

    NSW Skills Conference - 15 June

    AEN NSW conf
    NSW Skills Conference is on Wednesday 15 June at Dockside Darling Harbour. This year there are some great speakers lined up and we hope you can continue to support and attend.

    AEN NSW & ACT would like to continue to offer Victorian GTOs a discount to attend the conference. They are currently offering all AEN Member GTOs registrations at AEN Member rates. Should you wish to access the discounted rate you must initially register as an “AEN MEMBER”, then when prompted during the process enter “AENMEMBEREB” as the discount code.

    For details on the conference including the program, please visit the new website Skills Conference.

    Upcoming Victorian Public Holidays

    • Monday 14 March - Labour Day
    • Friday 15 April - Good Friday
    • Saturday 16 April - Saturday before Easter Sunday
    • Sunday 17 April - Easter Sunday
    • Monday 18 April - Easter Monday
    • Monday 25 April - Anzac Day

    NCVER Update

    Upskilling and reskilling: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employers and their training choices.
    NCVER update
    Australian employers are looking at training their workforce to help recover financially from the impacts of COVID-19 and grow in the post-pandemic economy.
    The lockdowns and restrictions imposed from 2020 to mid-2021 to curb the spread of COVID-19 affected Australian business profoundly. Aside from experiencing economic disruptions, businesses had to change their operational activities and the way they provided their products and services to cope with the decrease in demand and survive financially.

    Developing digital skills is a key training need highlighted by the research. The increase in social restrictions, online shopping and more staff working from home have forced businesses to digitise their operations, with around a third adopting new technology. The other training areas identified were on how to operate safely in the COVID-19 environment, health and safety, and infection control.

    For the VET sector to meet these and other longstanding training needs, programs that enable employers to operate in a COVID-19 safe way, support adoption and use of new digital technologies, and allow the optimum delivery of blended training (online and face-to-face) will be critical.
    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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