Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 12, Issue 15

Friday, 3rd May 2019
Hi Reader!

Upcoming Events

8 May - Mental Health in the Workplace
21 May - Conflict Resolution
29 May - Developing Creativity
Click here for all upcoming events.

AEN Mid-Year Conference 6 & 7 June RACV Goldfields Creswick Early Bird Closes 8th May

Registrations are now open for our mid-year conference being held on 6 & 7 June at RACV Goldfields Creswick near Ballarat.

The 1.5 day conference is jam packed with up to date speakers including;
  • Department of Education
  • VRQA
  • Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
  • Victorian Labour Hire commission
  • Minister for Training and Skills, Hon. Gayle Tierney
  • Commonwealth Department of Education
  • Women in Trades Australia
For further details and to register to please visit the AEN Calendar.

Earlier bird registrations close Wednesday 8 May.

Victorian Labour Hire Scheme Opens Registrations

On 29 April this week the Victorian Labour Hire Authority opened registrations.

Labour hire providers have six months to obtain a licence or else face significant penalties.

The Victorian Government is implementing the scheme to bring a new level of integrity and scrutiny to the labour hire industry and keep workers safe and free from exploitation.

The independent Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work – a key election promise – uncovered widespread abuse, underpayment and exploitation in the sector, which includes commercial cleaners, fruit pickers and meat workers.

The Authority has held more than 30 information sessions since March to help providers understand their obligations.

The sessions have involved industries such as security, cleaning, meat processing, fruit and vegetable harvesting and processing, vocational training, finance, consulting and IT, healthcare, manufacturing, accommodation, construction and transport.

A further public information campaign to inform both contractors and the host businesses who use labour hire workers will begin this week.

To obtain a licence, contractors including GTOs will be required to pass a “fit and proper person test” and show compliance with workplace laws, labour hire laws and minimum accommodation standards.

They will also need to report annually on their activities.

Host employers that use unlicensed providers face maximum fines of more than $500,000.

Also please note the registrations are annual and will need to be renewed at the date of initial registration approval.

To operate legally in Victoria from 30 October 2019, labour hire providers must have applied for, or have a labour hire licence.

For more information and to apply for a licence today visit Labour Hire Authority.

Protecting Victorian Workers From Deadly Silica Dust

This week the Victorian Government launched an unprecedented compliance and enforcement blitz targeting over 300 high-risk workplaces – focusing on stonemasonry workshops to prevent the deadly lung disease silicosis.

The comprehensive action plan, unveiled by Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy, includes:
  • A state-wide ban on uncontrolled dry cutting of materials that contain crystalline silica dust
  • Free health screening for Victoria’s 1400 stonemasons
  • A tough new compliance code for businesses working with silica
  • An awareness campaign to highlight the risks of working with engineered stone.
Silica dust is a hazardous substance impacting workers in construction, mining and quarrying.

Stonemasons are at higher risk due to the cutting and polishing of artificial stone benchtops which contain high concentrations of silica.

Banning dry cutting of materials containing crystalline silica will dramatically reduce the risk of workers developing silicosis as wet cutting reduces the likelihood of harmful exposure to silica dust.

The Government is also leading a push to develop a national silicosis strategy and reduce the Australian silica workplace exposure standard from 0.1 mg/m3 to 0.02 mg/m3 over an eight-hour day.

Silicosis is a proclaimed disease, meaning workers or dependents of a worker with silicosis are entitled to compensation without having to prove that work contributed to the disease. WorkSafe received 28 claims for silica-related conditions in 2018 and 15 workers have died from the disease since 1985.

The Government has also requested WorkSafe examine ways for improving access to compensation for workers with silicosis, including expediting compensation claims for lost wages and pain and suffering.

WorkSafe will also review the list of proclaimed diseases for stonemasons and those working with engineered stone with a view to adding lung cancer and auto-immune diseases that can occur from silica exposure.

For further details please visit Work Safe Victoria.

Celebrating Excellence at the VCAL Achievement Awards

The State's top Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) students have been celebrated at an awards ceremony held at Deakin Edge in Federation Square this week.

Minister for Education James Merlino presented VCAL Achievement Awards to young people who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and made a significant contribution to their schools and communities.

The Awards also recognise the contribution of VCAL teachers and partner organisations in the development and delivery of innovative VCAL programs.

This year there were 36 award recipients from across Victoria, recognised for their achievements in 22 categories, ranging from fundraising to community outreach and environmental projects.

The VCAL Achievement Awards highlight the opportunities for practical learning available to Victorian students that will set them up for a wide range of future pathways.

Congratulations to all the finalists and award winners.

For further details please visit Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

What Characterises Upper Secondary Vocational Education and Training?

Vocational education and training can play a central role in preparing young people for work and responding to the labour market needs of the economy.

While often neglected in the past, an increasing number of countries are recognising that high-quality vocational education and training can make a major contribution to economic competitiveness.

In an unpredictable future where jobs will either disappear or transform, vocational education and training, together with work-based learning, can respond to this challenge by offering an excellent opportunity to nurture the skills employers require.

For more information, read the OECD and ILO's report : What Characterises upper secondary vocational education and training?

Information from the ATO to Support Apprentices at Tax Time

Recently the ATO released information to assist apprentices complete the annual taxation.

The information explains the various aspects of an apprenticeship and what you may be eligible to claim.

Please see the Occupation and Industry Specific Guides for more information.

NCVER Update

VET for secondary school students: a snapshot of the past 20 years

Latest research shows participation in VET programs by secondary students has trended upwards over the past two decades, from 60,000 in 1996 to over 240,000 in 2017.

VET for secondary school students: acquiring an array of technical and non-technical skills provides a snapshot of these students and their participation in programs by qualification type and level, field of education, and apprenticeships and traineeships over the last 20 years.

It also finds that students have opportunities to develop non-technical skills as part of these programs.

It is part of a larger program of research that extends on the previous report: VET in Schools students: characteristics and post-school employment and training experiences.

The role and function of small VET providers.

This research builds on previous NCVER work to better understand the value that small VET providers contribute to the Australian VET system.

Nominations Open For 65th Victorian Training Awards

65th Victorian Training Awards
Apprentices, students, teachers, employers and training providers can now nominate for the 65th Victorian Training Awards.

Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education, Gayle Tierney, has opened nominations for the awards this week, which recognise and honour the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations in the Victorian TAFE and training sector.

“The Victorian Training Awards don’t just celebrate success—they inspire it.”

“This is your opportunity to nominate an outstanding individual or organisation in the VET sector that deserves extra recognition.”

There are 16 categories including six for individuals, four for employers, four for training organisations as well as an Industry Collaboration Award and the Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Winners will be announced at the Victorian Training Awards gala ceremony in Melbourne in September, with winners receiving $5000 in prize money.

Some winners will also have the opportunity to represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards in Brisbane in November.

For further information please visit Victorian Training Awards.

To nominate for the 2019 Victorian Training Awards visit the Award Nominations & Registration page.

Applications close at midnight on Friday 3 May.

Upcoming AEN Events

8 - Mental Health in the Workplace
21 - Conflict Resolution
29 - Developing Creativity

6 & 7 - Mid-Year Conference - Registrations now open

Field Officers Conference 2018

Thanks to our Industry Partners

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