The Group Training Association of Victoria Inc. trading as “Apprenticeship Employment Network” Annual Report covers the financial year from the 1 July to 30 June.
Annual Report 2020
As I present this Chair’s Report to members and acknowledge the contribution each of you have made to our sector over the last 12 months, I feel it is important to acknowledge the significant challenges facing many member companies and their communities across Australia.
The COVID19 Global Pandemic that has threatened our health and wellbeing has also devastated the National economy, creating perhaps the most difficult operating environment in the history of Group Training in Australia. As I write this report, Metropolitan Melbourne continues to endure industry restriction levels that have closed many businesses across the City. Conversely, many parts of Regional Victoria enjoy relative freedom and continue to support business and jobseekers in their local communities, albeit at a reduced capacity.
At a time when it would be so easy to divide our State and Industry, we have chosen to unite. I have observed Group Training Organisations in Victoria support and help each other, share ideas and experiences, and above all, show respect and empathy to key stakeholders.
The Association has again played a critical role in supporting Victorian Group Training Organisations across both Metropolitan and Regional settings. Executive Director, Gary Workman and his team have worked tirelessly to keep members connected and provided outstanding levels of support to member companies in an ever-changing environment.
In addition to this extraordinary workload, the Association has continued to lobby Government for additional support, successfully securing two out of trade support packages and Victorian GTO specific funding to aid Apprenticeship recovery. I acknowledge how fortunate we are to have a highly skilled and dedicated Executive Director, and thank Gary for his dedication and hard work over the last 12 months.
I would also like to thank our Board members, all of whom have made significant contributions to the Association whist leading their own Organisations through a pandemic.
Whist VET reform has been on the National agenda for many years, and the Federal Government has openly expressed an appetite to redesign the Employment Services system, any meaningful change has yet to be seen. COVID19 and its devastating effect on the Australian economy may well be the catalyst for rapid change in both areas. The Group Training Industry in Victoria has demonstrated a unique ability to adapt, and its members to unite, but we must be prepared for further change in the short term.
The Association will continue to take a proactive approach and lobby both State and Federal Government from points of difference. Our ability to deliver new and unique projects in the recovery stages of COVID19 is just one of our value propositions to both funding bodies and the broader business community. As employers of all shapes and sizes seek to re-engage the labour market, we have a critical role to play in ensuring Apprenticeships and Traineeships are promoted as a viable and critical employment option at all levels of Government and Industry.