Apprenticeship Employment Network

AE News Volume 12, Issue 11

Friday, 5th April 2019
Hi Reader!

Upcoming Events

10 Apr - OHS Network Meeting
8 May - Mental Health in the Workplace
21 May - Conflict Resolution
Click here for all upcoming events.

Federal Budget

The Federal Government on Tuesday night this week released a $525 million skills package as part of the 2019/20 Budget.

The skills package has delivered on the promise of boosting apprenticeships, with new incentive payments for employers and apprentices.

The budget announcement comes at the same time as the government released the Joyce Review of VET.

Employer Incentives

There will be a doubling of the employer incentive for taking on an apprentice to $8,000
The additional $4,000 will be made up of $2,000 after 12 months and $2,000 at completion.

It is in addition to the existing standard employer incentives of $1,500 at commencement and $2,500 at completion of the apprenticeship

Apprentice Incentives

Apprentices will receive a total of $2,000 ($1,000 after 12 months and $1,000 at completion).

Both the employer and apprentice incentives are designed to support up to 80,000 new apprentices over five years.

Eligible occupations will be Carpenters and joiners, Plumbers, Hairdressers. Air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics, Bricklayers and stonemasons, Plasterers, Bakers and pastry cooks, Vehicle painters, Wall and floor tilers, and Arborists. Eligible occupations will be reviewed annually.

An Integrated VET Sector

The government is committed to:
  • $44.0 million to streamline incentives for employers of apprentices and trainees, and modernise the skills needs list
  • $34.2 million to the six signatory states to the Skilling Australians Fund National Partnership Agreement to support new apprenticeships
  • $10.0 million to develop skills in areas of need by building innovative partnerships between schools, employers and the VET sector through a new competitive grants program
  • $8.5 million to address youth unemployment by providing 400 scholarships in regions throughout Australia as well as supporting the National Rugby League’s VET Apprenticeship Awareness program.

National Skills Commission

The government will establish a National Skills Commission to oversee the Commonwealth’s $2.8 billion annual investment in VET.

The Commission will work with States and Territories to develop a nationally consistent approach to the funding of VET qualifications. It will also drive research and analysis of future skills needs across industry.

Skills Organisations

The government will pilot national Skills Organisations in the areas of digital technologies and human services care. These will trial new, industry-led methods of qualification development and assessment, and develop standards for industry to accredit Registered Training Organisations.

National Careers Institute and Ambassador Program

A proposed National Careers Institute is designed to transform careers advice for individuals across their education, training and employment.

It will be headed by a National Careers Ambassador program to promote consistent national guidance on quality careers advice. It will map international experience to the Australian education and job context.

Foundation Skills

There will be a new foundational language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills program, with $62.4 million to provide individuals with the skills to move into further education or employment.

Training Hubs

The government will establish ten Training Hubs across Australia to support industry pathways in areas of local skills shortages that complement the completion of secondary education.

The four year, $50 million, project will target youth unemployment in regional areas by linking industry, schools and employers.

Fact sheet: Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow.

Prioritising Mental Health

The Government is investing $737 million over seven years for mental health, including $461 million to help young people. This funding will reduce waitlists for youth mental health services, address youth suicide and provide a range of new community support services.

For further information on all the budget announcements please visit Budget 2019-20

For specific VET budget details please visit Education and Training Portfolio Budget Statements 2019–20 (page 20-29)

Labor Budget Reply

On Thursday evening Labor presented its Budget reply and committed to a number of VET initiatives including:

  • Supporting 150,000 new apprenticeships by matching the increased employer and apprentice incentive payments that were promised by the government in Tuesday’s Budget from $4000 to $8000 and will introduce a new $2000 apprentice incentive payment.
  • Pay the upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE places, with 20,000 of these places for aged care to support the NDIS.
  • Major infrastructure investment and the associated pledge that one-in-ten positions would be apprentices.
  • Advanced entry adult apprenticeships will fast-track quality trade apprenticeships for up to 20,000 adults who need to retrain because of restructuring in the economy. Workers will be given credit for existing skills and provided gap training at TAFE.
  • Double to $200 million the ‘Building TAFE for the Future Fund’
  • There will also be measures to encourage pre-apprenticeships with ‘Apprentice Ready’, a scheme to help 10,000 young job seekers into apprenticeship by providing 20-week pre-apprenticeship training.
For full details please visit the Labor Budget Reply.

Federal VET Review – Strengthening Skill - Report Released

On 28 November 2018, the Prime Minister announced an independent review of Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector to examine ways to deliver skilled workers for a stronger economy. The review was led by the Honourable Steven Joyce, a former New Zealand Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. Mr Joyce delivered the final report to the Government in March 2019.
Strengthening Skills - Independent Review of Australia's Vocational Education and Training Sector

On 2 April 2019, Government released its Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package which responds to recommendations of the review. More information about delivering a world class vocational education and training system is available.
For further information and to access the full report please visit VET review webpage.

Australian Women’s Leadership Symposiums

The Australian Women's Leadership Symposiums are a national series of events focused on the experiences of women leaders in the contemporary workforce.

Taking place in every state and territory capital between May and August, the Symposiums are an unparalleled gathering of the best and brightest female talent.

Keynote speakers include Tina Arena AM, Ita Buttrose AO OBE, Clare Bowditch, Michelle Cowan, The Right Hon Dame Jenny Shipley, Jacqui Lambie, Jessica Rowe and many, many more.

The symposiums will feature a range of presentations, panel discussions and interactive sessions covering a range of topics, including:

- To change or to disappear: 3 strategies as a leader to survive in an ever-changing business environment
- Breaking the competency trap and developing adaptive leadership
- Womenkind: Unlocking the power of women supporting women
- Let’s talk about non-traditional roles
- Lessons learnt in the world of politics
- Be heard and remembered: How to use your stories to influence effective change in the workplace

An attendance discount of 25% is currently available by entering code ANSY19 at the time of booking (available until each symposium sells out). For more information and to book visit the Australian Women's Leadership Symposium webiste.

Victorian Daylight Savings Ends on Saturday

A reminder that Victorian Daylight Savings ends this Saturday.

Move your clock backwards one hour at 3am (Daylight Saving Time).

For further information please visit Business Victoria - Daylight Savings

Comparing the Swiss and Australian VET Systems

For too long, Australia has had an obsession with students going to university. More than 65% of our youth go straight into university from secondary school without understanding the employment and career pathway options that are available.

This isn’t the best outcome for many kids. It’s also a disaster for many businesses, which are crying out for apprentices to fill skills shortages.

In Tuesday night’s budget, the federal government promised half a billion dollars to fix this state of affairs. Encouragingly, the package seems to have been informed by a thorough review conducted by Steven Joyce into strengthening skills in Australia. The report emphasises the importance of a skills matching approach which would “retain the best features of a responsive local system while ensuring nationally consistent funding”.

This is important remedial work on our current system. It’s no use if kids are learning skills which don’t lead to jobs. The Swiss system is considered the international gold standard, and the Joyce Review recommends many of the key elements that make it work.

The system is based around business requirements: these needs determine what vocational training places are available. Local apprentices are matched to opportunities.

In Australia, we’re still geared to teaching skills regardless of whether there are matching jobs available in the local employment market. The result is too many trained workers in certain areas and not enough in others. If you’re not keen on leaving your home town, it’s important you learn skills that are needed there.

Another recommendation of the Joyce review is around educational pathways. At the end of year 10, kids can choose to leave school. They then have to find their own way into a trade with a little bit of counselling. By contrast, in Switzerland, vocational education and training starts in year 8, alongside regular schooling. Career guidance and counselling is provided from the age of twelve and caters for multiple work experience trials, where kids get to experience a range of professions as they decide what direction they’ll choose when they turn fifteen. Apprenticeships aren’t just common for traditional “blue collar” trades, but also for “white collar” professions such as engineering and banking.

The results speak for themselves. Unemployment in Switzerland was 2.6% in 2018, against Australia’s 5%. What’s more, youth unemployment in Switzerland is at similar levels to the very low adult rate. In Australia the unemployment rate for young people aged 15-24 years is around 11.5%, approximately 6% higher than our national overall unemployment rate.

There’s another important feature of the Swiss system, which the Joyce Review includes in its recommendations: life long learning. In Switzerland, an apprenticeship is the first step on a journey that can lead anywhere – including into the c-suite. Many Swiss CEOs and Chairmen started their career through the VET system. In a 2018 speech to the International Congress on Vocational & Professional Training, US Secretary for Education Betsy DeVos confessed her surprise that both the CEO of UBS, Sergio Ermotti, and Lukas Gahwiler, the chairman of UBS Switzerland, started their careers as apprentices.

The Swiss system is designed to encourage people to undertake an apprenticeship first, regardless of their ultimate goals, and 70% of all school leavers follow this path. It is not unusual for a person to go on to university after completing an apprenticeship. It’s simply the logical next career step for some.

We’ve got some hard yards to do in Australia to get back to this kind of common sense. Along with much of the rest of the world, Australia parted ways with the Swiss in the 1960s and 70s, when we started increasing places available at academic universities, and reduced support to the VET system. Just under half of Australian school leavers now choose the VET path. Most of them will never consider going on to study at university.

The university pathway also turns out not to be ideal for many. The Joyce Review notes concerns that “students who would otherwise thrive in VET careers are being directed towards higher education options where they may not succeed”. There are high drop out rates in the first year of university among some groups of school leavers. Others find their university degree was simply unnecessary and end up following a vocational pathway.

It is encouraging that both major parties are prioritising vocational education in the lead up to the federal election. Australia already has a good vocational education sector, which just needs some support to become world class. If the recommendations of the Joyce Review are adopted we will be well on our way to competing with the Swiss. Let’s hope then that this common sense approach receives bipartisan support. It’s Australia’s time to become an education powerhouse.

The association is finalising a report that will provide further details on the study tour and key findings that will be available shortly.

For further information please visit the Daily Telegraph article.

Entries Open For The 2019 WorkSafe Awards

Victorians with a passion for the health and safety of workers are encouraged to enter this year’s WorkSafe Awards.

The awards highlight the incredible achievements of businesses and individuals to improve health and safety in the workplace and help those workers who have been injured on the job.

They’re also an opportunity for workplaces to share their success stories and show how they are leading the way.

The nine categories for the awards focus on innovative inventions, workplace safety solutions, leadership and initiatives that help injured employees return to work.

The categories for this year’s awards are:
  • Health and Safety Representative of the Year
  • Health and Safety Invention of the Year
  • Best Solution to a Specific Workplace Health and Safety Issue
  • Best Solution to a Manual Handling Issue
  • OHS Leadership/Achievement Award
  • Commitment to Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing
  • Leading Return to Work Practice by an Employer
  • Return to Work Coordinator Excellence
  • Worker Return to Work Achievement Award.
Nominations for the awards are open now and all Victorian-based employers and workers are eligible to enter with winners announced on 31 October as part of WorkSafe Health and Safety Month.

Everyone has a responsibility to keep workplaces safe, with up to 30 people killed on the job in Victoria each year. Already this year eight families are mourning a loved one who didn’t come home from work.

Details on how to enter can be found at the WorkSafe website.

CVGT Announce New Management Structure

This week CVGT announced a New Management Structure which will see the board take over management.

Chair Graham Fountain will assume executive responsibility of the company. Deputy Chair Dave Richardson will serve as interim board chair until a new managing director is appointed.

"A future managing director of CVGT and refreshed leadership team will take us into an increasingly competitive and reshaped national employment marketplace," Mr Fountain said.

"CVGT has strong organisational foundations but this represents a new direction."

The board thanked chief executive Paul Green and deputy chief executive John Lynch for their 'unquestionable commitment and positive legacy.'

"CVGT would not have the strong organisational foundations and emergent national footprint that it has today without their long-standing operational leadership," Mr Fountain said.

The association would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Paul and John on their work with CVGT over the past 26 years.

Call for Expressions of Interest TAFE Institute Board Directors

Metropolitan and Regional Boards
Opportunity to help build the TAFE of the future

The Victorian Government's Skills First reforms enshrine TAFE as the centrepiece of a contemporary, high quality vocational training system in Victoria. TAFE Boards play a critical leadership and governance role in implementing and extending these reforms.

The Hon. Gayle Tierney, Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for Higher Education invites expressions of interest for TAFE Board director roles.

Individuals with skills, knowledge and experience in the following areas are encouraged to apply:
  • Corporate governance & leadership
  • Higher education and vocational training
  • Strategic thinking & innovation
  • Community & industry engagement
  • Strategic risk management & audit
  • Cultural diversity
Board directors are eligible for remuneration in accord with the Appointment and Remuneration Guidelines published by the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Selection Process and Checks

All applications should be submitted through Derwent TAFE Boards page.
Recommendations of suitable candidates will be provided to the Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for Higher Education for consideration. Successful candidates will be required to undergo probity checks, including a national police check. They will also be required to declare any private interests and awareness of any potential conflicts of interest.

Appointments to Victorian Government entities should, as far as practicable, reflect the diversity of the Victorian community. Indigenous Australians, women, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds people with a disability, bisexual, transgender diverse, lesbian, gay and intersex people are encouraged to apply.

Deadline for submissions: 12:00pm (noon) Monday 15 April 2019.

For more information on how to apply visit the Derwent website.

AATIS Information Session

The Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service (AATIS) will be hosting information sessions for those who work with potential apprentices and trainees.

These sessions will include an overview of AATIS helpful resources, our updated Steps to an Australian Apprenticeship, and a soon to be released product!

Register your attendance now to ensure your spot, and to receive reminders and notifications about these events.

Melbourne Session
Karstens Melbourne Tuesday, 14th May 2019

For further information or to register please visit Eventbrite.

NCVER Update

This week NCVER released a new report: Higher apprenticeships in Australia: what are we talking about?

This research explores the views of industry and other stakeholders on the potential broader use of higher apprenticeships. The report highlights some of the complexities that need to be considered and provides examples of where higher apprenticeships and other similar training programs are being developed and trialed in various industries around Australia

To access the full report please visit NCVER website.

Extension for New Trainer and Assessor Credential Requirements to 1 July 2019

Updated credential requirements for trainers and assessors set out in the Standards for RTOs 2015 were due to take effect on 1 April 2019, bringing the requirements in line with 2016 changes to the Training and Education Training Package.

Recent feedback from the VET sector indicated that a number of trainers and assessors were still undertaking gap training and may not have met the new requirements for 1 April 2019.

In response to this feedback, Skills Ministers agreed to delay the introduction of these requirements to 1 July 2019, so that trainers and assessors can continue to train while undertaking gap training for a further three months. The Standards for RTOs are being amended accordingly.

Please note that no further extensions to the new credential requirements will be made.

Those who hold a diploma or higher level qualification in adult education may not need to undertake any further gap training to meet the requirements.

RTO trainers and assessors are responsible for confirming current skills and relevant industry skills and experience.

Information on the current trainer and assessor credential requirements is available from the VET regulators at:
Further information about new trainer and assessor credential requirements that apply from 1 July 2019, is available at here.

Additional queries may be directed to the Australian Government Department of Education and Training by emailing

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

10 - OHS Network Meeting

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

Field Officers Conference 2018

Thanks to our Industry Partners

Follow us

facebook twitter youtube linkedin google-plus