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Skills@Work is compiled and distributed by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry. All articles are submitted by the originating organisation and are published with their approval.



The future of VET reform

The Australian Government is working with industry to boost national productivity and competitiveness. At the heart of the Government’s Competitiveness Agenda is the need to invigorate Australian businesses. Strong businesses create jobs. But to be strong, Australian businesses must have access to the skilled workforce they need to turn good ideas into great commercial outcomes.

To do this, the VET system must be more responsive to the needs of industry.

The Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, and the Minister for Industry, the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, have recently made some significant announcements about the future of the VET sector.

At the Velg National VET Conference in Brisbane on 11 September 2014, Minister Macfarlane outlined the action he is taking to put industry and employers in the driver’s seat of the VET sector and to refocus the training system on delivering outcomes.

The “skills and training sector is firmly in the national spotlight this week as the Government is announcing the most significant reforms to the vocational education and training sector in several decades” said Minister Macfarlane.

Announcements include:

Important links:

The Prime Minister and Minister Macfarlane’s joint media releases from 8 September 2014:

For further updates on the VET Reform Taskforce, please visit the Taskforce's website.

Australia’s skills relationship with India continues to grow

Recently the Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, visited India to strengthen ties in several areas supporting mutual efforts towards greater economic and social progress, including in technical vocational education and training (TVET). He reiterated Australia’s commitment to supporting India’s skills agenda – including the plan to up-skill 500 million people by 2022 – and policy reforms. The valued India-Australia bilateral skills relationship provides opportunities for the Australian TVET sector to share its knowledge on quality training and expertise on developing an industry led TVET system.

In the presence of the Prime Minister and his Indian counterpart, the Hon Narendra Modi, on 5 September 2014, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian Government’s Department of Industry and the Indian National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) was signed. The MoU formalises the already strong bilateral relationship between the Department and the NSDC, and is designed to facilitate further engagement on TVET. It encompasses collaboration on occupational standards in priority industry sectors between the two countries, with a view to strengthening engagement between industry organisations and government to promote greater skills mobility within the region.  It will also inform the development of skills systems in both countries.

Collaboration work on occupational standards between Australia’s Industry Skills Councils and India’s Sector Skill Councils was also given a boost during the Prime Minister’s visit. At a reception with Mr Abbott, two Memoranda of Understanding in the area of telecommunications were signed. This builds upon collaboration work between other ISCs and SSCs in the areas of automotive, healthcare and IT for which Memoranda of Understanding were signed during an Indian skills delegation visit to Australia earlier this year.

Image (L - R): Australian High Commissioner to India, Patrick Suckling (who signed the MoU on behalf of the Department), Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Dilip Chenoy, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NSDC, signing the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Technical Vocational Education and Training between the Department and NSDC.

India Skills Mission 2014 – save the date!

On the back of the Prime Minister’s visit to India to strengthen ties in vocational education and training (VET) between the two countries, is an exciting opportunity for training providers and industry stakeholders to participate in the 2014 India Skills Mission. It is envisaged that the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, Minister for Industry, will lead the delegation to the vibrant, bustling and most populated city in India – Mumbai.

The Department of Industry, on behalf of the Minister, would like to invite industry and training representatives to participate in the delegation to join their Indian VET counterparts at the following two events:

  • the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Global Skills Summit on Monday 10 November
  • the third India Australia Skills Conference, Skills for Better Business, on Tuesday 11 November.

These two events provide the unique opportunity of bringing together Australian and Indian industry representatives to explore collaboration and partnership prospects that focus on skills development.

With Australia to be a focus country for the CII Global Skills Summit, interest generated in the Australian VET system and the services we can export will be high – come along and capitalise on this!

The India Australia Skills Conference, an initiative of the Australia India Education Council, will complement the Global Skills Summit and will provide delegates with:

  • an understanding of training in India post introduction of the corporate social responsibility tax
  • an insight of globalised skilled workforces from India’s perspective
  • details on some successful collaboration models
  • a network opportunity.

How to register

Further information will be made available in the coming days about a dedicated website and registration to attend the Australia India Skills Conference will open shortly. To receive email notification when the website is launched, please email Fiona Martin at the Department of Industry.

Are you ready for the USI?

A quick update on progress of the Unique Student Identifier

The new national Unique Student Identifier (USI) initiative is about to expand our understanding of Australia’s VET sector.

From early 2015 almost three million Australians who have enrolled in vocational training will receive a USI.

Implemented and managed by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, the USI is major step forward in helping Australian students by providing online access to a record of their training achievements that will help them get a job or promotion, as well as get credit toward further study.

Online access to consolidated records of their training will be extremely useful to students undertaking training a number of times over their life, especially if they train with different providers and in different states and territories. The USI will help them to assemble evidence of their training for job applications and further training.

It will also assist training organisations working with clients to complete credit transfers, establishing completion of prerequisites and some forms of recognition of prior learning.

The USI provides benefits for administration of the national training system as well as benefits for students and training organisations. With the USI, many more sources of data (although depersonalised) can be linked and analysed to examine trends in program expenditures and effectiveness.

The Department’s Jason Coutts is the Acting Registrar and he is pleased to be taking on this critical function under the USI legislation.

Jason and his team are working to establish the Office of the USI Registrar, which will provide operational support to the USI Registrar going forward.

You can learn more about this exciting initiative by visiting the USI website or by emailing the USI Taskforce.

WorldSkills Australia National Competition results

The 2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition results are in after a massive competition in Perth from 18 to 20 September.

The nation’s largest and most prestigious skill and trade showcase was held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre over more than 17 000 square metres of competition and exhibition space.

The three day event showcased the skills of almost 500 of Australia’s best trainees, apprentices and students in more than 50 skills and trade areas.

The Hunter region won the Evatt Shield for best performed region while New South Wales was the most successful state.

Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador and 2012 gold medallist Stephen Beelitz shared his experience as a judge in a blog post.

The gold medal winners at the National Competition are as follows:

Automotive Services

Auto Electrical
Kane Girard, New England – New South Wales

Autobody Repair
Trent Yeo, Melbourne – Victoria

Automotive Mechanics
Kurt Trask, Brisbane – Queensland

Heavy Vehicle Mechanics
Kristofer Maxwell, Tasmania – Tasmania

Vehicle Painting
Blair Watters, Hunter – New South Wales

Building and Construction

Electrical Control
Jim D’Elboux, Macquarie – New South Wales

Electrical Installation
Luke Davies, Brisbane – Queensland

Nicholas Roman, Illawarra – New South Wales

Landscape Construction
Daniel Conaghan, Sydney West – New South Wales

Painting and Decorating
Sharlene Kidd, Perth North – Western Australia

Mitchell Cook, Canberra – Australian Capital Territory

Dylan Di Martino, Melbourne – Victoria

Beau Kupris, Sydney West – New South Wales

Harley Clements, Perth North – Western Australia

Wall and Floor Tiling
Jarett Lim, Perth South – Western Australia

Client Services

Beauty Care
Stacy Romanowski, Sydney West – New South Wales

Fashion Technology
Julia Wood, Perth North – Western Australia

Jessica Peters, Sydney West – New South Wales

Gemma Edwards, Mid Coast – New South Wales

Computing and Business

Business Services
Alexandra Knight, Wide Bay – Queensland

Printing and Graphic Arts
Ellen Savige, Victoria Country – Victoria

Web Design
Harlan Wilton, Sydney West – New South Wales

Hospitality Services

Joshua Mason, Sydney – New South Wales

Restaurant Service
Samantha Johnson, Sydney – New South Wales

Retail Baking – Bread
John Reminis, Illawarra – New South Wales

Retail Baking – Pastry
Adele Di Bella, Sydney – New South Wales

Retail Butchery
Byron Allsopp, Wide Bay – Queensland

Metals and Engineering

Construction Steel Work
Jed Sparks, Southern Queensland – Queensland

Engineering Excellence Team Challenge
Todd Fitzsimmons and Brock Goodwin, Hunter – New South Wales

Kelvin Marquand, Ballarat/Wimmera – Victoria

Jyothi Forman, Melbourne – Victoria

Jake Barton and Luke Diaz, Geelong – Victoria

Sheetmetal Work
Thomas Crittenden, Hunter – New South Wales

Matt Sawers, Illawarra – New South Wales

Kallon McVicar, Illawarra – New South Wales

For the full list of medal winners and for more information about the event, please visit WorldSkills Australia’s National Competition website.

2014 Australian Training Awards – finalists so far!

On 21 November this year, the vocational education and training (VET) sector will come together to celebrate and recognise individuals, businesses and registered training organisations for their outstanding contribution to skilling Australia at the 20th annual Australian Training Awards in Adelaide.

The majority of the awards are the culmination of the state and territory awards with winners from each state and territory eligible to compete at the national level in aligned categories. There are also seven award categories available by entering directly to the Australian Training Awards.

Finalists in 11 of the 18 categories have now been announced, with the remainder to be announced in mid-October. The Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will be announced at the Australian Training Awards presentation dinner event in Adelaide on 21 November.

2014 Australian Training Awards finalists so far include:


National Leadership Award (direct entry)

Michelle Weaver (Queensland)
Kate Dempsey (Victoria)
Patrick Gavaghan (Victoria)

Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award (direct entry)

Jocylyn Cross (Tasmania)
Jillian Ashley (New South Wales)
Freya Merrick dos Santos (Victoria)

VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award

Carmen Gumley (Tasmania)
Nikki Higgins (Northern Territory)
Judith McDonald (Australian Capital Territory)
Steven Atkins (New South Wales)
Karni Liddell (Queensland)
Julie Wray-McCann (Victoria)
Kathryn Schache (Western Australia)
Rosemary Coulter (South Australia)

Vocational Student of the Year Award

Alison Rogers (Tasmania)
Aimee Williams (Northern Territory)
Rebecca Lyons Wright (Australian Capital Territory)
David Bridge (New South Wales)
Rachel Dudok (Queensland)
Christopher Avery (Victoria)
Genaro Auriemma (Western Australia)
Jack Kay (South Australia)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award

Christopher Medcraft (Tasmania)
Yupunu Marika (Northern Territory)
Sally Moylan (Australian Capital Territory)
Jameela Smith (New South Wales)
Annalina Kepper (Queensland)
Miranda Borlini (Victoria)
Regina Richardson (Western Australia)
Ashley Edwards (South Australia)

Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year Award

Caitlyn Webb (Tasmania)
Bradley Malby (Northern Territory)
Mark den Hartog (Australian Capital Territory)
Joshua Lodge (New South Wales)
Ashleigh Taylor (Queensland)
Aziz Raonaq (Victoria)
Emma Hay (Western Australia)
Jacquelin Gray (South Australia)

Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award

Bradley Fairlie (Tasmania)
Liam May (Northern Territory)
Eylish Perry (Australian Capital Territory)
Savannah de Oliveira (New South Wales)
Gemma Hartwig (Queensland)
Caitlin Maher (Victoria)
Taylor Wood (Western Australia)
Ross Maxwell (South Australia)

Australian Apprentice of the Year Award

Richard Wilkinson (Tasmania)
Shawn Du Venage (Northern Territory)
Jessica Baczynski (Australian Capital Territory)
Mark Hardy (New South Wales)
Peter Newbold (Queensland)
Melinda Lethbridge (Victoria)
Geoffrey Franklin (Western Australia)
William Ducrou (South Australia)


Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award (direct entry)

Just Better Care Canberra (Australian Capital Territory)
TNT Express (New South Wales)
Bechtel (Queensland)

Disability Training Initiative Award (direct entry)

Brite Institute (Victoria)
Train 2 Learn (Victoria)
Activ Pathways (Western Australia)

Small Employer of the Year Award (to be announced mid-October 2014)

Employer of the Year Award (to be announced mid-October 2014)

Industry Collaboration Award (to be announced mid-October 2014)

Registered Training Organisations

School Pathways to VET Award (direct entry)

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute (New South Wales)
St Columban's College (Queensland)
Bendigo Senior Secondary College (Victoria)

Small Training Provider of the Year Award (to be announced mid-October 2014)

International Training Provider of the Year Award (to be announced mid-October 2014)

Large Training Provider of the Year Award (to be announced mid-October 2014)

For more information about the Australian Training Awards, visit the website, phone 13 28 46 or email the Australian Training Awards team. Follow the Australian Training Awards on Twitter @AusTrainAwards.


Apprentices and competency based progression

Competency-based wage progression is becoming widespread for apprentices as more industrial awards are changed to provide for it. It now applies to many apprentices working in metal trades, building trades and printing trades among others.

The Australian Industry Group, in partnership with selected RTOs from across Australia, has been working on processes for ensuring competency based wage progression meets the needs of all partners to an apprenticeship – employers, RTOs and the apprentices themselves.

Called Engineering Excellence, and funded by the Department of Industry under the Accelerated Australian Apprenticeships programme, the Ai Group project has focused specifically on the metal trades, but the processes that have been developed have broader application.

Early next year the Engineering Excellence partners will be offering information sessions for RTOs, GTOs and other stakeholders to share the findings from the project and showcase some of the tools that have been developed.

If you wish to register your interest in attending a session or would like to discuss competency based wage progression further, please email the project manager, Peter Canavan.

How I am building a house out of shipping containers

Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador and 21-year-old boilermaker Mitch Hansen has described how he is building a house out of shipping containers in the Northern Territory.

Remarkably, Mitch works on the project on his days off from his full-time role with BHP Billiton – Gemco, with the help of his father and grandfather.

To read about this unique family construction project, read Mitch’s Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador column.

Why I started a non-profit organisation called TradeUP Australia

Sarah Jayne Flatters (pictured, left) is a 25-year-old electrician from Perth who, upon completing her Australian Apprenticeship, started TradeUP Australia.

TradeUP Australia is a volunteer-based non-profit organisation that aims to encourage more women to see skilled trades as a viable career option.

Sarah Jayne has penned a blog post about the first year of TradeUP Australia with highlights including linking up with fellow Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador Emma Stevenson (pictured, right) and attracting more than 200 people to workshops.

Sarah Jayne’s Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador column is now available online.

‘Australian Apprenticeships – My Gain’ videos

The Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service has produced a series of videos where apprentices and trainees respond briefly to set questions about their job and job hunting experiences.

The Australian Apprenticeships – My Gain videos are aimed at young people contemplating career pathways and where to look for job opportunities. Videos are recorded in partnership with organisations involved in making apprenticeships and traineeships work.

A great example is Josh who is completing an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner with his training conducted at Chisholm Institute in Melbourne. Meanwhile, in Western Australia, CCI Apprenticeships Solutions helps Charlotte and her employer through a veterinary nursing traineeship.

More apprenticeships and traineeships resources are available through the Australian Apprenticeships Pathways website.

Practice aptitude quiz survey

Practice aptitude quizzes, produced by the Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service, are a popular resource for use with students and jobseekers.

The quizzes provide a general illustration of the literacy, comprehension and maths standards required when undertaking entry level training in around 30 industries.

A short survey is now open seeking feedback on the resource. Responses will help evaluate the quizzes and direct their future development.


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AgriFood Skills Australia

2015 Environmental Scan – national consultations

Each year, AgriFood Skills Australia develops its environmental scan – the ‘early warning system’ for Australia’s vocational education and training system and governments on industry’s skill and workforce development needs. Based on real-time views and evidence from across the country, it sets out the factors impacting on the shape and capability of the agrifood workforce, and how well the VET system, its products and services are responding – and importantly, what needs to happen.

The single most important factor in determining the agrifood industry’s future will be its education and skills base and how well we use new knowledge and innovation to build a highly productive, dynamic and adaptive workforce. Many see the next few years as transformative. Grass roots insights and immediacy of industry intelligence are what sets the environmental scan apart from other reports in the VET system. For this reason, the scan is not about recycling already published statistics or economic analyses found elsewhere, which by their very nature are historical. Rather, it’s about your views and conversations with industry, those doing the jobs, employing the workforce and providing support services to industry – all of whom experience firsthand the issues needing to be written about and to which the VET system needs to respond.

There are three ways to contribute your views to this year’s environmental scan:

  • attend a face-to-face workshop – workshops are being held in each State
  • complete an online survey
  • make a written submission.

For more information, to register to participate in the consultations in your home state or to otherwise provide AgriFood Skills Australia with your views, please visit AgriFood's website.

Review of arboriculture qualifications

A review is currently underway of the arboriculture qualifications framework and associated units of competency within the Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management training package. The review has been initiated as a response to a number of submissions to the AgriFood Continuous Improvement Register and subsequent discussions with industry which indicate that the current qualifications framework does not accurately reflect job roles currently performed in the arboriculture industry.

The review is being conducted in three phases. Phase one was completed in December 2013 with the endorsement and publication of an updated Certificate II in Arboriculture. The qualification was amended to move climbing units from the core to the elective bank in order to provide an outcome for ground-based workers. Additionally, two imported units in the core of the qualification were superseded and needed to be replaced.

Phase two is currently underway. This involves review and development of training package components for entry level and trade level jobs. Job role statements for entry level job roles have undergone broad industry consultation and validation, following which a set of draft components including a further updated Certificate II in Arboriculture will be released for broad consultation. The job role statement covering trade level jobs will be released for broad consultation shortly, prior to the development of a revised Certificate III in Arboriculture.

Phase three of the project, to review job roles for supervisory and higher level strategic workers and review and develop related components, will commence once job role statements for lower level jobs are complete.

Further information is available from AgriFood’s website. If you would like to receive consultation materials, please email AgriFood. You can also join AgriFood's online community and sign up to receive AHC training package alerts when new materials are released.

Review of retail baking qualifications

A review of the retail baking qualifications framework and associated units of competency within the Food Processing training package is currently underway. The review has been initiated as a response to a number of submissions to the AgriFood Continuous Improvement Register from industry associations and enterprises indicating that the current qualifications framework does not accurately reflect current retail baking jobs.

Following initial desktop research and targeted industry consultation, a set of job role statements has been developed describing jobs in the retail baking sector and associated skills and knowledge. These job role statements have undergone broad industry consultation and following review, will be released for validation. Once validated, the job role statements will inform required development work to ensure retail baking qualifications meet industry’s needs.

More information is available on AgriFood’s website. If you would like to receive notification when consultation materials are released in future, please email AgriFood. You can also join AgriFood's online community and sign up to receive FDF training package alerts when new materials are released.

Other training package development projects

Scoping projects are underway to develop job role statements for the following industry sectors:

  • Veterinary nursing
  • Captive animals
  • Companion animal services
  • Permaculture
  • Wine industry operations.

The job roles statements developed through these projects will be used to inform qualification design during transition to the National Skills Standards Council Standards for Training Packages. If you would like to be involved in consultation on job roles in the identified sectors, please email AgriFood. Don’t forget to note which project or projects you would like to be involved in! You can also join AgriFood's online community and sign up to receive training package alerts when new materials are released.

Eyre Peninsula ANRI wins South Australian Training Award

AgriFood was very excited to receive the Industry Collaboration Award for The Eyre Peninsula AgriFood National Regional Initiative at September’s South Australian Training Awards.

The Initiative has engaged over 500 people in the Eyre region to date and lists the Tuna to Grain Cross-Industry Skilling Project, Employer of Choice, Be the Best Boss and Be Drought Prepared workshops as four of the 20 successful projects run under the Initiative in the Eyre region.

More information is available on AgriFood's website.

Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council

The following is a summary update on the current CPSISC training package re-design projects.

CPP – Property Services training package projects

Certificate IV in Building Design Drafting
New qualification and units are in final stages in preparation for endorsement. For further information, please visit the Drafting project web page.

Re-design of the Cleaning Operations and Carpet Cleaning Qualifications Framework
The Project Reference Group (PRG) met on 28 May 2014 and approved the Project Plan. The project’s development strategy is now available. For further information and to download the development strategy, please visit the Cleaning project web page.

Re-design of Certificate III in Pest Management
First draft units, qualifications and skills sets have undergone stakeholder consultation and feedback. For further information, please visit the Pest Management project web page.

Re-design of the Surveying and Spatial Information Services qualifications
The Project Reference Group held its first meeting on 8 September 2014 and approved the Project Plan. For further information and to download a copy of the Project Plan, please visit the SSIS qualification redesign project web page.

CPC – Construction, Plumbing and Services training package projects

Re-design of the CPC08 Building Surveying Qualifications Framework
Final draft qualifications and units of competency now being prepared in preparation for final endorsement. For further information, please visit the Building Surveying project web page.

Re-design of CPC70109 Graduate Certificate in Fire Systems Design Management
Qualification and units are in their final stages in preparation for endorsement. For further information, please visit the Fire Systems Design Management project web page.

Re-design of the Certificate III in Signage
First draft units and qualifications are now under development and the development strategy is now available. For further information and to download the development strategy, please visit the Signage project web page.

Re-design of the Certificate III in Shopfitting
First draft units and qualifications are under development. The development strategy is now available. For further information and to download the development strategy, please visit the Shopfitting project web page.

Re-design of the Certificate III in Carpentry and related qualifications
This project is currently in the initial research and consultation stage and a development strategy is being developed. For further information, please visit the Carpentry project web page.

Projects soon to commence

  • Redevelopment of the White Card Unit
  • Re-design of the Property Development, Sales and Management qualifications.

Innovation and Business Skills Australia

New e-learning resources released

IBSA is pleased to announce the release of new SCORM-compliant e-learning resources for a range of BSB07 Business Services and TAE10 Training and Education units.

Providers can integrate IBSA’s e-learning resources into their existing Learning Management System, or implement IBSA’s very own Learning Management System.

New releases include:

  • Support employee and industrial relations procedures (BSBWRK411A)
  • Manage employee relations (BSBWRK510A)
  • Design and develop assessment tools (TAEASS502B)
  • Review human resources functions (BSBHRM404A)
  • Support the recruitment, selection and induction of staff (BSBHRM405A)
  • Develop and manage performance-management processes (BSBHRM512A)
  • Manage workforce planning (BSBHRM513A)
  • Maintain business technology (BSBITS401B)
  • Assess competence (TAEASS403B)
  • Plan, organise and deliver group-based learning (TAEDEL401A)
  • Plan, organise and facilitate learning in the workplace (TAEDEL402A)
  • Coordinate and facilitate distance-based learning (TAEDEL403A).

IBSA’s new e-learning resources feature:

  • online access to IBSA workbooks and assessments
  • updated content and audio
  • a new range of updated activities
  • video content from Your Business Success
  • formative assessment activities with capability to report learners’ assessment results
  • a fresh new look, feel and functionality
  • RTO guides and facilitator resources for each unit.

To support your business, flexible terms are available with monthly and quarterly payment options.

If you wish to purchase e-learning resources, please email IBSA or call 03 9815 7000 to speak to an Account Manager.

New BSBSUS501A learning and assessment materials released

IBSA is pleased to announce the release of updated learning and assessment materials for BSBSUS501A Develop workplace policy and procedures for sustainability; including a student workbook (spiral-bound or hole-punched) and a facilitator and assessor guide (on CD).

The third edition of this resource incorporates substantial changes to Assessment Task 1 and minor changes to Assessment Tasks 2 and 3, as well as updated student workbook and facilitator guide content.

You can purchase the third edition of BSBSUS501B products or view samples on IBSA's website.

If you wish to purchase in bulk, please email IBSA or call 03 9815 7000 to speak to an Account Manager.

Did you know?

IBSA has over 200 entertaining and interactive e-learning modules, workbooks, and Facilitator and Assessor Resources to support the BSB07 Business Services and TAE10 Training and Education Training Packages.

For a full list of available units, visit the IBSA online store or the IBSA product catalogue.


WorldSkills Australia

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The WorldSkills Australia National Competition was held in Perth in September. The competition allowed many Australians to demonstrate their skills and trade. However, competitions such as these are not possible without the judges and team leaders. This month, we feature three people whose contribution to the running of the national competition assisted in making it such a fantastic success!


Mathew Hall: Fitter and turner
Certificate III in Engineering (Mechanical Trade)

Mathew Hall returned to the WorldSkills Australia National Competition as a judge in 2014.

Mathew won a silver medal at the 2010 competition and was part of the bronze-medal winning Australian manufacturing team at the 2011 international competition.

The fitter and turner from Stawell, Victoria, won the Victorian Apprentice of the Year title in 2009 and is a former Australian Training Awards’ finalist.

Mathew, an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador, says he is grateful for the skills learned through his Australian Apprenticeship and WorldSkills competitions.

“Undertaking an apprenticeship allowed me to work in the town I grew up in,” Mathew said.

“I worked at Stawell Engineering for more than five years – gaining experience in general engineering maintenance, on-site work in mining and other industries around the area.”

To learn more about Mathew’s success story, visit the Australian Apprenticeships website.

Team leader

Dayne Robinson: Florist
Certificate III in Floristry

Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador Dayne Robinson won a gold medal at the 2012 WorldSkills Australia National Competition and was part of the 2013 Team Australia Skillaroos.

In 2014, Dayne was a team leader for the floristry category at the 2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition.

An inherent flair for creativity was the key reason behind Dayne’s decision to undertake an Australian Apprenticeship in floristry.

“I am lucky enough to work in a creative and beautiful work setting every day,” Dayne said.

To read more about Dayne’s excellence, visit the Australian Apprenticeships website.


Josh Tunbridge: Sign writer
Certificate III in Off-Site Construction (Signwriting / Computer operations)

Josh Tunbridge was involved in this year’s WorldSkills Australia National Competition as a judge in the signwriting category.

The 29-year-old from Wollongong remains employed with the family business which he plans to own in the future when his father retires.

“Not only do I like the fact that my Australian Apprenticeship has given me a career that I love, but the bonuses – like WorldSkills – have been amazing,” Josh said.

“The WorldSkills experience has helped me focus on the importance of teamwork and leadership skills and that has made me a better tradesman.”

To learn more about Josh’s success, visit the Australian Apprenticeships website.


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Apprenticeships and traineeships information sessions

Dates throughout October and November 2014

The Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service websites provide practical and easy to use resources and information about Australian Apprenticeships.

Information sessions are provided regularly to help people get the most out of the Service’s websites, for example by highlighting the huge range of sample job and training descriptions, and the industry based job pathway charts and practice aptitude quizzes available on the Australian Apprenticeships Pathways website. The one hour sessions are provided free of charge.

The sessions benefit people in a broad range of job roles including careers advisers and staff involved in the promotion and administration of apprenticeships and traineeships in organisations such as Australian Apprenticeships Centres, registered training organisations, group training organisations and employment services providers.

The sessions will be delivered in the following locations, with other cities to be added soon.

  • Sydney – 10 October 2014
  • Gold Coast – 14 October 2014
  • Brisbane – 15 October 2014
  • Melbourne – 21 October 2014
  • Wollongong – 23 October 2014
  • Dandenong – 28 October 2014
  • Traralgon – 29 October 2014
  • Perth – 30 October 2014
  • Darwin – 5 November 2014
  • Frankston – 11 November 2014
  • Adelaide – 19 November 2014
  • Shepparton – 26 November 2014
  • Albury/Wodonga – 27 November 2014
  • Wagga Wagga – 28 November 2014

For more details and to register, please visit the Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service's website.

E-learning professional development workshops for RTOs in construction and property services

Dates throughout October and November 2014

CPSISC is once again holding a round of free e-learning professional development workshops for its RTOs, to demonstrate the latest products and techniques available within the VET sector. The workshops will provide interactive forums to demonstrate and discuss the latest technologies and best practice being used by RTOs to implement training packages in the construction and property services industries.

Workshops run from 9.30 am – 4.00 pm as follows:

  • Sydney – 15 October
  • Melbourne – 16 October
  • Brisbane – 22 October
  • Canberra – 23 October
  • Adelaide – 6 November
  • Perth – 7 November

For more information, and to download a registration flyer, visit the CPSISC website.

VET FEE-HELP approved provider training

Dates throughout 2014

The Australian Government’s Department of Education will be conducting training sessions for approved VET FEE-HELP providers throughout 2014. This training is suitable for both recently approved and existing providers wishing to refresh their knowledge.

Details and schedules of dates and venues are available on the Department of Education's website.

Australian Council for Adult Literacy annual conference

2–4 October 2014, Gold Coast

The Queensland Council for Adult Literacy is hosting the 37th annual conference of the Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL), Literacy: a learning spiral for life, in October 2014.

You are invited to come and join ACAL on the beautiful Gold Coast for this conference which will focus on the literacy or numeracy learner and discuss:

  • How do literacy and numeracy theories and research outcomes inform our practice?
  • How do national or state policies affect the individual learner?
  • How can we ensure that teachers and trainers have the knowledge and skills to meet individual needs?

ACAL is inviting interested parties to participate in the conference by giving a presentation, a workshop or a colloquium, or by joining in the discussion and networking.

A pre-conference forum, Frameworks: do they inhibit or enhance the literacy spiral?, will be held on 2 October. The forum will focus on frameworks such as Foundation Skills, the Australian Core Skills Framework, Core Skills for Work, Core Skills for Employment and Training, Skill Sets and the VET Practitioner Capability Framework, what they are, how they fit together, and how they relate to literacy and numeracy programmes and individual learners.

The conference’s international keynote speakers will be:

  • Dr Stephen Reder, Professor of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University
  • Professor Diana Coben PhD, Director of the National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults at the University of Waikato, New Zealand and Emeritus Professor of Adult Numeracy at King’s College London, UK.

Further conference information, keynote speaker profiles and the call for presentations, is on the conference's website.

AVETMISS reporting requirements – free webinars

16 and 27 October 2014

All registered training providers are required to report their 2014 training activity data to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research’s (NCVER) National VET Provider Collection in early 2015. Applying the Australian VET Management Information Statistical Standard (AVETMISS), RTOs must provide the information they have collected during 2014, including new enrolments, re-enrolments and completions.

If your RTO is new to the collection and reporting of AVETMISS-compliant data, you may wish to participate in one of NCVER’s free, hour-long webinars. Topics to be covered in the webinars include:

  • What is AVETMISS reporting? What data do I need to collect?
  • How do I find an AVETMISS compliant software system?
  • How do I know if my data is AVETMISS compliant?
  • When, how and who do I submit my data to?
  • How can I use AVETMISS data to inform my business practices?
  • What help is available?

Places are filling quickly so please register your interest through NCVER’s Portal.

Group Training Australia national conference

12–14 November 2014, Hobart

The conference theme of Jobs, Careers and Communities recognises the important contribution that group training makes to individuals and communities across the country.

Join the group training network in Hobart to explore and discuss the opportunities and challenges ahead.

For programme information and registration, please visit the conference's website.


GTA and the Department of Industry sincerely apologise for the oversight in referencing the late Peter Underwood, Tasmania's former Governor, in the earlier promotion of the 2014 Group Training national conference.

Australian Training Awards

21 November 2014, Adelaide

The Australian Training Awards presentation dinner event will be held in Adelaide, South Australia, on Friday 21 November 2014.

Registrations are now open through the website.

Professional development for training providers – NSW

Visit the NSW State Training Services website to view upcoming events and professional development for New South Wales training providers in 2014.


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What Works for LLN - free online library of language, literacy and numeracy training and professional development videos

New videos have been released!

Ideas That Work has released seven new language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) videos for the What Works for LLN training and professional development video library. These new videos contain practical LLN tips and good practice examples to help build vocational trainers’ and assessors’ capacity to support learners with LLN needs.

There are now 25 What Works videos available to view or download for free from the new What Works for LLN website.

The What Works videos are grouped into three series:

  1. Introduction to LLN series (the original nine videos)
  2. Practical LLN tips for trainers and assessors series (nine NEW videos)
  3. Introduction to workplace LLN series (new videos coming in 2014).

These LLN videos can be used for:

• your own professional development as a VET practitioner or workplace trainer
• supporting the delivery of LLN specific units such as TAELLN401A / TAELLN411 ‘Address adult language, literacy and numeracy skills’
• LLN professional development for RTOs and their non-training staff
• learners undertaking qualifications such as TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

Downloading the What Works for LLN videos:

  • You can go straight to the What Works library or target your video search by selecting one of the search categories on the home page.
  • The 25 videos can be downloaded individually or you can select the ‘Download entire series’ button to download all the videos in that series.
  • The seven new videos can be downloaded as a ‘Series’ in about 10 minutes as MP4 files. Just click ‘Download entire series’ or any ‘Download video’ button and sign up to download individual videos or the new ‘Practical LLN tips for trainers and assessors series 2.’

These videos were funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry.

To view or download a copy of these free What Works for LLN resources, please visit the website.

Access ready-made content through VET Commons today!

The VET Commons ready-made plugin is live and ready to use:

  • Simply add an activity or resource in your Moodle course
  • Select Ready-made Content and Add
  • Search VET Commons, preview resources and add them to your course.

What’s so good about VET Commons?

  • Easy access to free and paid ready-to-use content directly from your Moodle course
  • Source, search, locate and match content without the technical stress
  • Over 10 000 free images and learning objects
  • Digital content for your specific needs, including:
  1. images
  2. videos
  3. audio
  4. case studies
  5. presentations
  6. quizzes
  7. assessments
  8. eBooks, and more
  • Option to purchase just what you need – the chapter or the book
  • Save even more with an annual subscription.

Make your life easier!

Cengage Learning partners with VET Commons

Cengage Learning has partnered with eWorks to offer PDFs of its top ten vocational titles through the VET Commons ready-made plugin:

The Cengage team prides itself on speaking the same language as teachers, making content easy for you and your students to understand. Pick and choose what you need or sign up for an annual subscription and save on copyright licences.

Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, software and services company for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide. Cengage develops quality content specifically for your courses and especially for your sector. Access its content today through the VET Commons ready-made plugin.

VOCEDplus – latest research on VET, skills and workforce development issues

RSS subscribe button image

Stay in touch with current research, policy and practice across a broad range of areas affecting the VET sector in Australia and internationally.


Produced by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) and funded by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, VOCEDplus is a free online resource offering international coverage of issues as well as an Australian focus. It currently holds over 57,000 entries, many providing instant access to full text via your desktop, with around 400 new titles added each month. Where possible, NCVER will supply items as requested according to its Conditions of Use.

You can search VOCEDplus using basic or advanced search or browse options. Topics covered include:

  • teaching and learning in the tertiary sector
  • assessment
  • professional development for practitioners
  • labour market trends
  • the relationships between education and work
  • skills and workforce development needs
  • pathways between VET and higher education
  • education industry partnerships in education and training
  • social inclusion.


Subscribe to new titles or Twitter on the home page for automated notifications.

Subscribe to VOCEDplus Highlights.

Subscribe to specific RSS feeds wherever you see the ‘Subscribe’ symbol above.

‘Purpose build’ feeds on your own topics, e.g. a feed on practitioners in VET can be set up in your browser using the following steps:

  1. From the Home Page click on Advanced Search
  2. Add the words practitioners to the top search box
  3. Click on the drop down menu and select the Title field
  4. Click on Search
  5. Click on Providers of education and training in the Subject facet box on the left of the results page
  6. Click on your browser’s RSS icon and subscribe to the feed.
  7. VOCEDplus services.

Expert reference service – for details visit the Client Service Charter or Ask a Librarian.

Citation tool – My Selection acts like a shopping cart, select records from search results or full record pages, email or save records in formats (e.g. author-date citation modelled on the Harvard style; tagged format for import into EndNote).

Value added products – these include:

To find out more, visit VOCEDplus.

Government Skills Australia – foundation skills resources

Government Skills Australia (GSA) has completed a range foundation skills resources to support the development of learning, reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy in work and training contexts. The resources include:

  • industry-specific foundation skills brochures outlining current policy initiatives and the key foundation skill demands within that industry at a range of employment levels e.g. low–mid–high level ‘core’ skills demands across a range of work roles
  • a suite of 11 short videos highlighting the need for specific core skills across a range of industries e.g. reading procedures and instructions in the workplace, oral communication skills for workplace meetings and numeracy skills for creating tables, graphs and charts
  • a professional development resource comprising a facilitator guide to outline a background to foundation skills initiatives, strategies to address foundation skills issues in a range of work and training contexts and industry-specific foundation skills data on the foundation skills demands of units of competency.

Please visit the website to download the resources or email a request for a printed copy.

Professional development resource – Meeting the Foundation Skills Demands of Training and Work

Government Skills Australia (GSA) has developed Meeting the Foundation Skills Demands of Training and Work as a professional development resource to raise awareness of foundation skills issues amongst workers and learners in the Australian context. Its primary aim is to support the key messages outlined in a range of foundation skills documents developed by GSA to support the newly endorsed foundation skills training package.

The guide is accompanied by short videos that build awareness of the language, literacy and numeracy or ‘core’ skill demands of tasks embedded in work roles within the government and community safety industries.

Vocational course developers, trainers and assessors are provided with information about how to identify the foundation skills embedded in both work and training contexts. They are easily disguised in a variety of tasks and roles so often go unnoticed. It also offers some strategies to develop an understanding of what foundation skills are, where they can be found and how they can be addressed in practical terms.

You can view and download the resource from GSA's website.

New one-stop-shop for digital content

Teachers and trainers who are new to e-learning, or those already using e-learning content developed through the National VET E-learning Strategy, are set to benefit from the newly launched National VET Content website.

This new site brings together thousands of freely available learning objects from the following national collections: Flexible Learning Toolboxes, Generic Skills, E-learning Innovations, Industry Integration of E-learning, and the National Digital Learning Resources Network.

You can find out more by visiting the Flexible Learning website.

Manufacturing Skills Australia (MSA) – have you seen the new literacy and numeracy resources?

MSA’s Putting the Jigsaw Together numeracy resources and the Making the Connections workshop for vocational education and training (VET) trainers have proved to be extremely popular. Over 900 RTOs, individual trainers and educators nationally have accessed the resources since their release.

Putting the Jigsaw Together is designed as a series of tool kits to support VET trainers with practical strategies to assist apprentices to develop their numeracy skills. Making the Connections is a two day workshop providing the key concepts of language, literacy and numeracy and foundation skills in VET training. Identifying core skills in a unit of competency and working with the Australian Core Skills Framework is included in the resource.

These resources are now available for FREE download at MSA's website. For further information contact Kathy Higgs, MSA Foundation Skills Project Officer, on 02 9955 5500 or via email.

Free ISC foundation skills resources now in one place

On behalf of the WELL/Foundation Skills network, IBSA has compiled into a single repository all the free foundation skills resources developed by each of the Industry Skills Councils to support VET practitioners. IBSA hopes you find it useful, and looks forward to receiving feedback.

Please visit the website for more information and to access the resources.

Tap Into Learning Today (TILT)

Are you looking for new ways to engage with adult learners? Perhaps you are interested in finding out more about Australia’s adult community education (ACE) sector? If so, the Tap Into Learning Today (TILT) website is for you.

The TILT website is Australia’s national communication strategy for ACE.

TILT provides information and resources for the ACE sector. It enables ACE providers to promote their services and engage adult learners in their communities. Through the website, providers can find resources and strategies to access potential learners, including templates for promotional materials and information about funding and professional development opportunities.

TILT also provides an avenue for individuals to find learning opportunities in areas such as community engagement and foundation skills. Links to key contacts, and the ability to locate ACE providers in their local areas are provided to direct individuals to the support they need.

The TILT Community Calendar is a great way to find out about ACE-related events. While you are there, check out some of the case studies and success stories of ACE projects in Australia through AceTV.

To find out more about TILT please visit the website.

Numeracy in Practice and Numeracy in Focus

Numeracy in Practice is a free professional development resource to support the development of practitioner numeracy proficiency skills and numeracy training skills including:

  • overcoming maths anxiety
  • building numeracy proficiency skills
  • building specialist adult numeracy teaching skills
  • building knowledge of numeracy in the workplace context.

This resource has been developed in response to the NCVER report Seeking the N in LLN. This report found that there may be a need to increase the capacity of the VET workforce to meet the numeracy skills needs of existing workers.

Numeracy in Practice includes:

  • a Numeracy in Practice guide with professional development activities
  • a numeracy proficiency assessment tool
  • six ‘snapshots’ exploring different workplace numeracy skills.

Numeracy in Focus is a free professional development resource to build practitioner workplace numeracy awareness including:

  • identifying maths anxiety
  • understanding the importance of numeracy
  • raising awareness of numeracy in the workplace context
  • raising awareness of workplace numeracy in the VET sector.

Numeracy is an important core skill. All practitioners must be up to date and confident in their own numeracy skills, their numeracy training skills and their understanding of typical workplace numeracy activities.

This resource is designed to be used by practitioners who:

  • have basic numeracy skills but need to update in respect to changing technology and numeracy practices
  • have basic numeracy skills but need to contextualise to the world of work
  • have numeracy skills but need to increase their numeracy confidence
  • are reluctant to assess and teach numeracy skills in the workplace
  • are not sure if their numeracy skills are sufficient to complete the Graduate Certificate in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice.

These resources were developed by Oggi Consulting and funded by the Australian Government.

For more information on these resources, email Tina Berghella at Oggi Consulting.

Free CPSISC energy efficiency resources

CPSISC received funding under the Australian Government’s Clean Energy and Other Skills Package. This Commonwealth funding has allowed CPSISC to undertake a series of interlinked projects to support VET and other higher education providers to build the skills, knowledge and capability to deliver clean energy services, products and advice to the Australian community and businesses.

The project has seen the development of a suite of resources to support the professional development needs of RTOs. The free downloadable resources also support the delivery and assessment of four new ‘Energy Efficiency’ units of competency recently endorsed and included in the CPC08 (Version 9) Construction, Plumbing and Services training package and the CPP07 (Version 14) Property Services training package.

These free energy efficiency resources available for download include:

  • Energy efficiency - fact sheets
  • Learner and assessment guides to support delivery and assessment of energy efficiency
  • Energy efficiency - RTO professional development kit (contains a professional development kit and PowerPoint presentation for RTOs).

To download a copy of these free resources, please visit CPSISC's website.


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Australian Apprenticeships - provides quick and easy access to information regarding Australian Apprenticeships, including Australian Apprenticeships programs, employer incentives and support for apprentices during their apprenticeships.

Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service and Australian Apprenticeships Pathways - provide apprenticeships and traineeships information and resources.

Australian Training Awards - the peak, national awards for the vocational education and training sector, recognising individuals, businesses and registered training organisations for their contribution to skilling Australia.

business.gov.au - offers businesses simple, practical and convenient access to all the government information, programmes and services they need to make running their business and skilling their employees easier.

Industry Skills Councils - bringing together industry, educators and governments, and uniting them on a common industry-led agenda for action on skills and workforce development.

LiteracyNet - information about Australian adult literacy activities and links to a range of additional program, professional development, resource and research sites (including training programs).

MySkills.gov.au - provides information about vocational education and training to future and current students, jobseekers and employers to help them make informed choices about training.

National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) - a not for profit company responsible for collecting, managing, analysing, evaluating and communicating research statistics about vocational education and training.

National Skills Week - provides a platform to highlight the opportunities and career pathways available through vocational education and training.

StudyAssist.gov.au - one stop shop for information on government assistance while studying. Students can use the website to determine their options for financing their tertiary study. The course search function allows students to look for courses offered by approved VET FEE-HELP providers.

training.gov.au - the official national register of information on training packages, qualifications, courses, units of competency and registered training organisations, developed for experienced training sector users.

WorldSkills Australia - working to promote and build a skills culture by inspiring young people, celebrating skills excellence and providing opportunities to showcase trade and skill talent through competitions held on a regional, national and international level.


If you would like to provide feedback, supply an article for inclusion in the next edition or join our list of subscribers, please email skillsatwork@industry.gov.au. The next edition will be published in November 2014. Submissions are due by 17 October 2014.