AE News - Volume 9, Issue 22

Monday, 27th May 2019

Upcoming Events

11 AUGUST       - Field Officers Conference

7  SEPTEMBER  - OH&S Network

10 OCTOBER  - GTO Managers Network


Conference Wrap Up

The AEN held its Mid-year State Conference on the 16th and 17th of June at the Mercure in Ballarat.

With a turn-out representing the greater majority of members, a range of Government officials and industry experts, the event proved to be a great success.

The event's proceedings were kicked off by the Minister for Skills and Training, the Hon. Steve Herbert who announced an additional $3.7 million in funding.

From the funding $2.7 million will be used to extend the Apprenticeship Support Officer (ASO) program for another year and $1 million for Government to work with GTO’s, TAFEs and employers to identify ways to help apprentices complete their training.

Minister Steve Herbert also acknowledged retiring Skillinvest CEO John Ackland for his hard work and dedication during his 30 year career - dubbing him a “True Hero” of Group Training.

Our guest speakers also included the Victorian Skills Commissioner Neil Coulson, Andrew Hosken from the State Revenue Office, Carl Walsh from the Department of Education and Training and Chris Ingham from the VRQA who gave us valuable updates from the Victorian State Government.

We would like to thank our guest speakers for their attendance and contribution to the conference.

We would also like to thank the workshop presenters James Nash from Nash Training, Maria Alibrando and Melissa Kalemis from Alibrando Consulting, Marcus Lens and Richard Hogg from AEN (GTPaC) and Malcolm White from Communicat.  

At the conference dinner – AEN Chair Dean Luciani celebrated the retirement of John Ackland, CEO at Skillinvest and AEN Life Member, later this year.

Amongst the jestful banter, many kind words were shared about John’s 30-year career in the group training network by Geoff Carson and Sue Kent - fellow Life Members.

A small snapshot of the contributions John has made to the group training industry include;

• GTAV’s longest standing board member with 17 years on the board 

• GTAV Life membership in 2008

• GTAN board member for 5 years

• GTAN Life membership in 2011

• Numerous regional, state and commonwealth steering committees / working groups - too many to name

John has been a great supporter of group training and has always made himself available to the wider network to assist with any questions or issues.

Congratulations to John on a wonderful career – and we look forward to seeing him at future industry events.  

We would like to thank everyone who attended and look forward to seeing you all at future events.


Members can access all the presentations from the Conference Presentations section in the Members Area on the website.


Minister tours Train Manufacturer Alstom- Ballarat

On Thursday morning last week Minister Steve Herbert also toured the train manufacturer Alstom while in Ballarat. During the visit the Minister presented a number of certificates of appreciation including;

• Ballarat secondary college for establishing a school based engineering apprenticeship with BGT and Alstom

• 6 Alstom employees that provided mentoring support to BGT apprentices

Congratulations and thank you to BGT and Alstom for hosting Minister Herbert on Thursday morning last week.

Local News Links:


Ballarat city council video

Ministers press release:

The Andrews Labor Government is helping Victorian apprentices finish their training with $3.7 million in extra funding for vital programs to support their welfare.

Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert was in Ballarat last Thursday to announce the funding and to meet with local apprentices at Alstom Australia.

Alstom currently employs two apprentices, hosts a further three apprentices, employed by GTO Ballarat Group Training (BGT), and also supports five school based trainees from Ballarat Secondary College.

From the funding, $2.7 million will be used to extend the Apprenticeship Support Officer (ASO) program for another year.

The officers provide support and guidance to thousands of young apprentices during their first year of training with 25 Apprenticeship Support Officers based at TAFEs across the state.

On top of extending the support program, the Labor Government will invest $1 million to work with TAFEs, Group Training Organisations and employers to identify ways to help apprentices complete their training.

According to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, only 56 per cent of apprentices that commenced nationally in 2010 completed their apprenticeships.

The Labor Government is making sure every Victorian has access to the training they need to get a real job.

While in Ballarat, Mr Herbert attended the Group Training Association of Victoria’s mid-year conference.

Group Training Organisations contract apprentices and trainees and host them out to employers who might otherwise not take such a person due to the administrative burden.

They also provide much needed extra support to apprentices, trainees and employers.

Earlier this year, the Labor Government announced $9.3 million over three years for GTOs.

Read the full media release here


Victorian TAFE Boards have been announced

On Thursday afternoon this week the Victorian Government announced the Board appointments for Victoria’s TAFEs.  65 people have been recommended for Ministerial appointments with women making up 54 per cent of the directors. The appointments are effective from 1 July.

An independent panel was set up to provide advice to the Department of Education and Training on the best people to serve across the 12 TAFEs.

An Expression of Interest process saw 513 people apply to become Board members with 239 candidates interviewed.

The directors appointed have a mix of skills in corporate governance, finance, legal, and business; together with links to the local community and industry.

Along with the ministerial appointments, the Boards will consist of the institute CEO and a staff-elected member.

An interim chair has been appointed to each Board. The interim Chair’s first priority is to oversee the election of the Board Chair who will then lead the co-option of the remaining directors to have proper oversight of the process.

The new structure moves away from the historical appointment of entire boards by government, meaning TAFE Boards are more democratic and representative of their students, staff and local communities.

The Department of Education and Training is now working with the Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) to ensure all directors have the training and skills to fulfil their Board duties and obligations.

For further information please click here


NCVER Update

Apprentices and trainees

Apprentices and trainees 2015 - December quarter

Nationally, the number of apprentices and trainees in-training as at 31 December 2015 was 278 600, a decrease of 11.8% from 31 December 2014. This latest release of quarterly data also shows a decline in commencements, completions, cancellations and withdrawals compared with the December quarter 2014. Data for states and territories are also available.

Media releases

Total apprentice and trainee numbers fall, but number of starting tradies could be stabilising

Overall 171 200 people started apprenticeships and traineeships in 2015, 10.1% fewer than in 2014, but trade commencements showed signs of stabilising at year's end according to the latest apprentice and trainee data.

Transferable skills and the role of VET

Transferable skills are becoming increasingly important in helping people move between jobs as economies change and industries are restructured. This research identifies growing and declining occupations across Australia, assesses how the VET system develops transferable skills and explores how workers facing retrenchment understand how their skills may be relevant and applicable to a wide range of occupations.

Cross-occupational skill transferability: challenges and opportunities in a changing economy

This research will also be examined in a free webinar on Thursday 11 August from 1:00pm ACST. 

Register now to secure your place.


When one door closes: VET's role in helping displaced workers find jobs

The VET system can play a critical role in helping retrenched workers find new jobs. This At a glance brings together key findings from research commissioned by NCVER that investigates skill transferability between declining and growing industries and the key points raised at NCVER's National Research Forum 'When one door closes: VET's role in re-skilling displaced workers' hosted last November.

When one door closes: VET's role in helping displaced workers find jobs


WPC group and Mercedes Benz – International apprenticeship scholarships awarded.

On Tuesday Morning last week Hon. Steve Herbert, Minister for Training and Skills visited the Mercedes-Benz Melbourne

The scholarships, presented by the Minister, were awarded through the Skilling Australia Foundation and made possible with the support of the Perpetual Foundation of the Kingston Sedgfield Charitable Trust.

Two apprentices at Mercedes-Benz Melbourne headed off on their International Scholarship to extend their training in the USA this week. Mattin Nguyen, 23, and John Galvez, 22, are each working toward a Certificate III in light vehicle mechanical technology. They arrived in California this week where they were met by Garth Blumenthal, General Manager Fletcher Jones Mercedes-Benz.


VCAL awards 2016.

On Monday this week the Minister for Education James Merlino presented the 2016 VCAL awards to students at a ceremony held at Melbourne’s Federation Square.

VCAL provides an alternative pathway through senior secondary education for students attracted to applied learning, with many students completing apprenticeships while others move onto further study and training including university.

Between its introduction in 2002 and 2015, VCAL enrolments increased from 545 to 23,784, with 447 providers, including schools, TAFE institutes and adult and community education centres.

The VCAL Awards acknowledge students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and made a significant contribution to their schools and communities.

Mr Merlino presented awards in 21 categories to students, teachers and schools from across Victoria.

For further information please visit


The Needanapprentice website currently has 14 job ads and 11 resumes online.

If you haven't done so already, we encourage you to register your details on the website to gain access to the apprentice listings and post your vacancies.

Registration is free and only takes a moment to complete and you could be filling your vacancies right away.

If you need any assistance with registering, posting a vacancy or would like further information please contact the AEN office on 9639 3955 or email