Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 10, Issue 43

Friday, 1st December 2017
Hi Reader!

Due to technical difficulties we were unable to send out last week's newsletter so we have a bumper issue for you this week.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events for 2017. Watch this space for 2018 events!

2017 AEN Annual Awards

Apprentice of the Year 2017
On Wednesday evening last week we held our annual awards evening with over 120 guests.

The night showcased some fantastic examples of young apprentices and trainees, members and staff within the Victorian GTO industry.

The award categories covered Apprentice of the Year, Trainee of the Year, Outstanding OHS Award, GTO Service Excellence Award and Industry Service Awards (10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service).

Congratulations to the following:

Trainee of the Year – Sponsored by VicSuper

The winner received a $500 gift voucher.

Merinda Dryden, NECA Education & Careers – Winner
Craig McCauley, CVGT Australia – Finalist
Ryan Smith, Westvic Staffing Solutions – Finalist

Merinda Dryden – NECA Education & Careers
Certificate III in Business

Merinda commenced her traineeship with NECA after completing her year 12 studies, she commenced working at the Department of Justice and Regulation in the HR department. In a short period of time, she excelled in her role, developing excellent communication skills, & quickly adapting to a changing environment.
This was her opportunity to succeed in her chosen field but to also represent her community, being a young aboriginal woman, Merinda wanted to work in an area that she would bring knowledge of her culture. In 2016 Merinda was crowned Ms NAIDOC, appeared on Lateline to discuss Aboriginal children in Foster Care and took part in a Reconciliation program discussing respectful integration of the Aboriginal Culture in the community.
Upon completing her traineeship she was offered a role with the Victorian Aboriginal Childcare Agency.

Apprentice of the Year – Proudly Sponsored by AustralianSuper

The winner received a $500 gift voucher.

Matt Shipard, Ai Group – Winner
Michael Prout, BGT – Finalist
Peter Hodson, CVGT Australia – Finalist

Matt Shipard – Ai Group Apprentices & Trainees
Certificate III in Engineering & Mechanical Stage 4
In 2014 Matt commenced his apprenticeship with Ai Group as a Maintenance Fitter securing a position with Nestle Uncle Toby’s in Wagaunah. He is now in the process of completing his second qualification in Engineering Fabrication. Matt has developed excellent leadership skills and is a mentor to new apprentices, he is highly regarded, and displays excellent work ethics, which makes him an outstanding member of his team.
In August 2016 Matt was awarded Ai Group Apprentice of the month, in 2017 he was awarded Apprentice of the Year at the Wodonga Youth Award.
Outside of Work he participated in the Cancer Council relay for Life, he also went on a mission trip to Papua New Guinea and is a volunteer fire fighter for the Goombargana Rural Bush Fire Brigade.

OHS STAR Award – Proudly Sponsored by EML

Paris Panteli – Ai Group

GTO OH&S Excellence award – Proudly Sponsored by EML

Isaac Chui – Westvic Staffing Solutions

GTO Service Excellence Award – Proudly Sponsored by Marsh Insurance

Skillinvest – Lift Off Program re engagement program for students in year 7, 8 & 9, designed to transition students back into education through a flexible safe and non-threatening environment.

ATEP – On The Road To Work Multi Industry, School Based & Pre-apprenticeship Program. Developing innovative ideas to engage participants with long term unemployment and to acquire the and work experience in securing apprenticeships.

Industry Service Awards

Presented to staff in recognition of service to the group training industry. On the evening we presented 43 awards for staff that achieved 10, 15, 20 & 25 Years.

10 Years

Alison Craig – MMTC
Nicole Steendam – MMTC
Ann Marr – NECA Education & Careers
Gary Vidler – NECA Education & Careers
Brendan Clarke – NECA Education & Careers
Neil Helsdon – NECA Education & Careers
Phil Honeywood – NECA Education & Careers
Rosalie Lake – CVGT
Steven Stubberfield – CVGT
Gina Stewart – AiGroup
Ren Trinchera – Ai Group
Paul Konig – Skillinvest
Linda Loft – Skillinvest
Ali Akkus – AGA
Alan Pump – AGA
Olivia Chapman – AGA
Dawn Comerford – AGA
Michael Dixon – AGA
Grant Sarolea – AGA
Anthony Magnuson – AGA
Karen Duffy – AGA
Murray Willett – CVGT

15 Years

John Taufer – NECA Education & Careers
Johanna Jones – CVGT
Leonard Dobbin – CVGT
Kate Clark – Skillinvest
Steve Barr – AGA

15 Years

Kevin Breen – AGA
Elizabeth Board – AGA
Alan Brown – AGA
Paula Henry – ATEP
Peter Treseder – AustalianSuper

20 Years

Tam Lumsden – Westvic Staffing Solutions
Susie Stafford – MMTC
John Clarke – NECA Education & Careers
Stephen Lewis – AGA
Lidia Mooney – AGA
John Lynch – CVGT
Robert Trew – CVGT

25 Years

Kelly McCusker – NECA Education & Careers
Philip Seeber – NECA Education & Careers
Paul Scofield – AGA
Anthony Zaghet – AGA

30 Years

Ian Grenfell – CVGT
Congratulations to all the finalists and winners of this year’s awards.

For further information please visit

National Training Awards

On Thursday evening last week the National Training awards were held in Canberra. Victoria did extremely well picking up a number of awards on the night. Including two that had a strong connection to Victorian group training.

Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year Award

Winner: Dustin Cross, Victoria

Raised on 40-acres of land, 21-year-old Dustin Cross always dreamt of becoming a farmer. As a result, in year 11, Dustin started a School Based Traineeship before transitioning to a full-time traineeship with farm owners Janmac Pastoral Company, studying a Certificate IV in Agriculture at Longergong College (Skillinvest) . Dustin’s passion for agriculture continues outside of work and study, and he is now undertaking an advanced Diploma in Agribusiness Management and plans to take the next step toward becoming a farmer by seeking employment as a stock agent.

Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award

Winner: Bethany Simpson, Victoria

Certificate III in Business Administration
When a 16 year-old Bethany Simpson was working part time at her parent’s Boulevard Motor Inn’s restaurant in Mildura, a customer told her parents about the School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship (SBAT) program. Prior to starting Year 11, Bethany and her parents explored the opportunity, leading Bethany to start a Certificate III in Business Administration with training provider, Murray Mallee Training Company.

Bethany also excelled in VCE subject Business Management, thanks to skills and knowledge she developed through her SBAT. Bethany was then accepted into the La Trobe VCE Plus program, where she studies a business degree part time at La Trobe University alongside completing Year 12.

Now 17, Bethany says undertaking a SBAT was definitely a smart choice to do alongside Year 11 and 12, revealing her “passion for business”, insights into working in a business environment, a qualification and skills she needs to enter the workforce.

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners across the 18 award categories.
To access the full list of finalists and winners of this years National training awards please visit

To access the Ministers press release

To access the Victorian Governments press release please visit

Consultation Paper on the Scope of the Victoria's Labour Hire Licensing Scheme

Victoria’s labour hire licensing scheme will apply to all providers of labour hire services in Victoria.

However, it is important to ensure that the scheme does not capture arrangements for supply of workers to a third party which would not be commonly understood as labour hire arrangements. Accordingly, the legislation or regulations may limit its application, or carve out certain types of arrangements from the operation of the scheme.

The licensing scheme is expected to improve transparency of the labour hire industry, improve compliance with workplace and other laws and protect vulnerable employees from exploitative behaviour. Licensing is expected to establish an even playing field for labour hire providers by making it harder for unscrupulous operators to participate in the market.

Views are sought on several proposed limitations on the scheme’s application, or exemptions from the scheme’s requirements.

Feedback is also sought on any other potential exemptions considered necessary or desirable.

The AEN is reviewing the paper with support from various government departments, and supports the current position within the paper (pages 4-5) that Group Training Organisations would be exempt from the labour hire licensing schemes for apprentices and trainees.

For further information please click here.

Victorian Government's Apprenticeship and Traineeship Taskforce Releases Recommendations

On Monday morning this week the Victorian Skills commissioner Mr Neil Coulson announced the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Taskforce's recommendations.

Rebalance and Relaunch, the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Taskforce Report

The Apprenticeship and Traineeship Taskforce was established to examine opportunities and current barriers to the uptake of apprenticeships and traineeships in Victoria.

The Taskforce comprised of key government, education, industry, business and union representatives including AEN which saw Mr Coulson speak to over 120 individuals, including employers and individual apprentices and trainees.

With looming skills shortages, an ageing workforce, and variability in the quality of Vocation Education and Training graduates, the report draws attention to the priority that needs to be placed on growing the Apprenticeship and Traineeship system.

The report’s recommendations are underpinned by three themes:
  • Build a culture of co-investment by supporting employers who invest in apprenticeships and traineeships
  • Renew the focus on quality by investing in training and assessment based on industry demand; and
  • Elevate the status of apprenticeships and traineeships by promoting the benefits to employers, young people and the broader community.
To access the full report please visit
To access the ministers press release please visit

Launch of the VET Information Strategy

The Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, the Hon Karen Andrews MP, launched the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Information Strategy at the 2017 Australian Training Awards in Canberra on Thursday evening at the National Training Awards.

Minister Andrews said, 'For too long, perceptions surrounding VET have been out of step with reality'.

'The fact is that VET qualifications lead to successful, meaningful, professional careers with great salaries and outstanding career prospects'.

The VET Information Strategy will address misconceptions around VET and promote the opportunities that an individual can gain by completing a VET qualification.

Its roll out will include a range of initiatives centred around a united tagline for the VET sector, real skills for real careers and promote a collaborative approach by stakeholders, and corporate and community partners.

The sector is encouraged to unite in their shared responsibility to help all Australians, particularly the next generation, understand VET is a personally, professionally and financially rewarding career choice—and just as prized as a university degree.

One of the immediate changes visible to the public is a reinvigorated My Skills website featuring new and improved entry points for potential customers of VET, the new tagline and digital content, including the real skills for real careers video featuring real people who have found success as VET graduates and who are part of the national VET Alumni program.

For further information, please visit the MySkills Website.

NECA Celebrates 25 Year Anniversary

On Friday evening last week NECA education and training celebrated their 25th anniversary in Brunswick.

Past and present staff were in attendance and a number of staff were presented service awards on the evening by AEN.

NECA Education and Careers estimate that they have supported over 3500 electrical apprentices since 1992 and thousands more through their RTO training.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the night - especially the following staff service award recipients.

Ann Marr - 10 years
Brendan Clarke - 10 years
Neil Helsdon - 10 years
Phil Honeywood - 10 years
John Taufer - 15 years
John Clarke - 20 years
Kelly McCusker - 25 years
Philip Seeber - 25 years


New National Vocational Education and Training (VET) Data Policy Closes Data Gap

A new National Vocational Education and Training (VET) Data Policy was agreed by Skills Ministers at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Industry and Skills Council meeting on Friday 24 November.

Skills Ministers are committed to progressing reforms that help students make better decisions and simplify regulation for registered training offices (RTOs). This Policy sets the framework for other data reforms that will be progressed through the Performance Information for VET (PIVET) initiative, which will transform the data available to consumers, governments and regulators over the next three years.

The new Policy is the result of a sector-wide public consultation process and closes information gaps by reducing reporting exemptions. It also updates data use information, and consolidates VET data collection and use of VET information into a single reference document.

The new Policy takes effect from 1 January 2018, with a six-month transition period until 1 July 2018. RTOs may have to take action to update student enrolment processes and the wording of their Privacy Notice and Student Declaration.

RTOs are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the changed requirements under the new Policy including reporting exemptions, which are available on the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training’s website.

Victorian Government – New Laws to introduce Jobs Cop

Earlier this week the Premier announced that the Government would introduce a Bill to Parliament next year that will mandate the use of local content and local apprentices on our most significant public projects – from road and rail projects to schools and hospitals – ensuring every major contractor is held to account.

The Victorian Local Jobs First Commissioner – or Jobs Cop – will be created to monitor and enforce the laws and oversee compliance of local workforce and content targets. A new regime will be developed to target non-compliance.

As Victoria’s advocate for local content, the Jobs Cop will work closely with industry and departments to open-up opportunities for small and medium firms on government projects.

There will also be a new requirement on all government agencies to buy local uniforms and locally-manufactured personal protective equipment, such as high-vis vests, hard hats and safety goggles, instead of importing gear from overseas.

For further information please read the media release.

NCVER Update

National Student Outcomes Survey

The National Student Outcomes Survey collects information on VET students’ reasons for training, their employment outcomes, satisfaction with training, and further study outcomes. For subject completers (students who successfully complete part of a course and then leave the VET system), the main reason for not continuing with the training is also collected.

Students included in the survey are those who completed their training in the previous calendar year.

Since 1999, the survey has collected information on the outcomes of government-funded VET students. In 2016, the scope of the survey was expanded to report on the outcomes of all graduates - including fee-for-service students (those who paid for the training or whose employer paid for the training) from private training and community education providers. The expanded scope was applied to the 2017 survey for graduates and, for the first time, subject completers.

For survey timings and more information see the NCVER VET statistics explained page.
To access the report please click here.

Financial Information

This report gives an account of how the government-funded VET sector is financed, based on data provided by the Australian, state and territory government departments responsible for administering government funds for Australia’s VET system.

In 2016, operating revenues decreased by 16.8% to $8144.4 million compared with 2015, while revenue from:
  • the Australian Government decreased by $1246.7 million (27.3%)
  • state and territory governments decreased by $424.7 million (12.8%)
  • fee-for-service activities increased by $33.0 million (2.9%).
To learn more, download the report or view the infographic click here.

EML Launch New Website

EML have recently redesigned their website as part of their focus to continuously evolve customer services, and to provide a trusted source of information for the people they are here to help.

The goal is to make navigation easier, so you can find the information you need faster, and access practical support to make your workplace safer.

To access the new website please click here.

Thanks to our Industry Partners

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