Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 15, Issue 3

Friday, 18th 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)
6 Apr - Safe & Respectful Workplaces (GTO Field Officers)

Celebrating the Achievements of Apprentices, Trainees and Group Training Organisations

Awards dinner
The Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) and the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) Australia were proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Victorian Apprenticeship Awards at a ‘catch up’ gala dinner at The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne, on Wednesday 16 February.

The ‘catch-up’ awards dinner, rescheduled due to the pandemic, celebrated the dedication and achievements of apprentices and trainees, GTOs and businesses committed to the development of apprentices and trainees. The night represented eleven group training organisations (GTOs) and was attended by thirty-nice finalists, industry leaders and special guests from Department of Education and Skills, Apprenticeships Victoria, Jobs Victoria, the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, WorldSkills Australia and the Victorian TAFE Association.

The awards span from outstanding commitments to studies at school and in the workplace to the significant contribution and performance of women, Indigenous representatives, people with a disability in trades, and the achievement of overcoming challenges to the contribution of making the workplace a safer environment.

These awards celebrate the ways that all apprenticeships and traineeships develop the work-ready skills needed to pursue professional, rewarding careers.

In response to the short-term impacts of COVID-19 in 2021, guests commended all finalists of the 2021 apprenticeship awards, and their employers who have shown great resilience, initiative, and ability to thrive in their industries, with support of their local group training organisations.

AEN award categories and winners are:

School-based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year
Nathanial Walker, BGT Jobs + Training

Inspiration Award: Women in Trades
Sarah McDonald, Victorian Group Training

Inspiration Award: Overcoming Adversity
Madison Spong, gforce recruitment + training

Inspiration Award: Indigenous Student of the Year
Rodney Sutherland, gforce recruitment + training

Inspiration Award: Disability Achievement
Massimo Zurzolo, WPC Group

Stop Taking A Risk (STAR) Award
Demita Boyd, BGT Jobs + Training

Trainee of the Year
Rodney Sutherland, gforce recruitment + training

Apprentice of the Year
Bryce Noble, Ai Group Apprentice & Trainee Centre

Congratulations to all the finalists and award winners

A big thank you to all of our sponsors – Australian Super, Apprenticeship Support Australia, AATIS, Apprenticeships Victoria, Builders Academy Australia, Jobs Victoria, Kangan Institute, Marsh Advantage Insurance, MAS National, Victorian TAFE Association and Safetyfirst.

Photos will be available next week on the AEN website.

Annual Apprenticeship Luncheon - 3 March

Its back! The AEN is hosting the 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

AEN & VTA Members - $140pp
Non Members - $180pp

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.

Safe and Respectful Workplaces - Workshops for GTOs

women onsiste
Currently less than 2% of the Aussie craft trades workforce is female. Despite societal progress on gender equality, this number has remained stubbornly low for over 40 years.

In 2019, the Minister for Training and Skills and for Higher Education approved funding for Women Onsite.
The mission at Women Onsite is to support committed women of all ages and from all walks of life into apprenticeships or traineeships. As the central contact point between unions, employers, policy and industry, they are uniquely positioned to drive positive change for Victorian Tradeswomen. Part of their role in creating change is to work with the teaching systems and employers to build capacity and ensure they are meeting their OH&S requirements to keep women safe, including from gendered violence.

In collaboration with Women Onsite, the AEN is coordinating two workshops for GTO members:

Target audience: GTO operations/senior managers
Date: 29 March 2022
Time: 10.00am - 2.00pm
Venue: AEN training room, 83 Hobsons Road, Kensington 3031

Target audience: GTO Field Officers
Date: 6 April 2022
Time: 10.00am - 2.00pm
Venue: AEN training room, 83 Hobsons Road, Kensington 3031

Event Pricing (incl. GST)
AEN Members
Free (with coupon code) *
Non Members

* Members: If you do not have a coupon code, please contact Anna Bejanoff at

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

Helping More Asylum Seekers and Refugees Into Local Jobs

asylum seeker
The Victorian Government has expanded its unique program for asylum seekers and refugees, allowing even more new arrivals to access free and subsidised skills and training.

Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney recently announced the expanded eligibility criteria for the Asylum Seeker VET and Reconnect programs, allowing Temporary Humanitarian Stay (449) visa holders to access Free TAFE, subsidised training and other support services.

The new program means people who have been forced to flee their home due to war, victims of human trafficking, forced marriage and slavery-like offences, and those from other circumstances can find a meaningful career in industries like hospitality, health and aged care, education and more.

There are about 1,821 people on Temporary Humanitarian Stay (449) visas in Victoria, including recent arrivals from Afghanistan.

Training is key to the settling process, in addition to settling services provided by AMES Australia, including quarantine assistance, housing, healthcare and more.

The Asylum Seeker VET program has helped nearly 5,400 people into training at TAFEs, RTOs and Learn Local in Skills First courses and other supported training.

The Reconnect program helps about 1,700 people each year by providing wrap-around supports including foundation skills, employment assistance and career counselling.

For further information, please visit Asylum Seeker VET Program.

New Funding to Advance Women in STEM

The Federal Government is continuing to break down barriers to the advancement of women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with an additional $6.7 million in funding.

The investments will ensure the continued success of the Superstars of STEM program, as well as backing the important work of the Women in STEM Ambassador, including the national awareness raising initiative – Future You.

Making the announcement on International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the funding demonstrated the Government’s commitment to supporting women and girls and built on the $147 million of investments to support gender equity in STEM.

The Government will invest $2 million in the Superstars of STEM program, delivered by Science & Technology Australia, allowing it to develop an additional 120 women Superstars into future leaders.

The Government is providing an additional $2.4 million to support the Women in STEM Ambassador initiative.

Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith’s Future You campaign, designed for children 8 to 12 years old and their parents, has also reached 3.1 million children, parents and carers across Australia since its launch in October 2020.

Notably, only 20 per cent of girls reported being interested in STEM jobs before 2018, but today upwards of 68 per cent of girls are now interested in a STEM career.

The Government will invest an additional $2.3 million to expand this national digital awareness-raising initiative.

For more information on the work of the Women in STEM ambassador, please visit Women in STEM.

To learn more about the Superstars of STEM program, please visit Science and Technology Australia.

International Women’s Day - 8 March 2022

International Women's Day. Vector illustration with women different nationalities and cultures.
Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

For further details, please visit IWD 2022.

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.

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.

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 873 participants have been supported with 782 currently in training.

    Currently, there are 26 participants on our active caseload:
    • Electrical - 9
    • Plumbing - 8
    • 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.
    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.
    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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