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

If you would like to provide feedback on this newsletter, please send us an email.



Machinery of Government changes

On 23 December 2014, the Prime Minister announced that all skills and vocational education policy regulation and programmes, including training, apprenticeships, skills assessment services, foundation skills for adults and adult migrant education, would be moved to the new Australian Government Department of Education and Training. This move is expected to take place in mid February.

The Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, will have responsibility for skills and training matters.

Working on the principle of ‘people following function’, there will be few if any changes to the staff in the skills divisions so you can expect to continue dealing with the same people. Staff will be given new phone numbers and new email addresses once they arrive at Education. All teams will contact their stakeholders to provide their new contact details once these are available.

The Skills@Work team looks forward to continuing to provide you with regular and informative newsletters from its new home at the Department of Education and Training!

Industry Skills Fund – now open for applications!

The Australian Government’s $476 million Industry Skills Fund – Growth Stream is assisting industry to invest in training and support services and to develop innovative training solutions. It will help business to build a highly skilled workforce, ready to take advantage of new growth opportunities and adapt to technological change.

The fund will provide up to 200,000 training places and support services over four years, with funding provided through a co-contribution model.

Applications for the Industry Skills Fund – Growth Stream are now being accepted. Please visit the website for further information on eligibility and how to apply.

National Training Complaints Hotline – now open

The new National Training Complaints Hotline gives students, apprentices and employers an avenue to lodge complaints and concerns about the vocational education and training system. These complaints are then directed to the organisation best placed to consider the complaint.

The Hotline is a joint initiative of the Australian and state and territory governments.

Launched by the Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, on 20 January, the Hotline is now open between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm nationally, Monday to Friday.

If you would like to register a complaint, please call 13 38 73. Alternatively, you can email a complaint to skilling@education.gov.au.

Further information about the Hotline, including frequently asked questions, is available online.

Unique Student Identifier – well over 500,000 have been created already!

Every year, many Australians build and sharpen their skills by undertaking nationally recognised training. A USI ensures that student records are not lost, and allows students to find and collate their VET achievements into a single, authenticated transcript. Further to this, keeping accurate, accessible training records will allow government to target the skills needed by Australian industry. This is important for Australia’s businesses and future prosperity.

This year, a USI is needed for every student before a training organisation can issue a statement of attainment for any nationally recognised training. A USI is now a part of meeting VET data collection and reporting requirements.

For training organisations, having the USI as part of your enrolment processes will put you ahead of the game. Most training organisations have already integrated the USI into their systems. Training organisations that are yet to request access to the USI Registry System are strongly encouraged to complete the Online System Access Request Form. For online resources that can help you with integrating the USI, please see the USI support materials.

Employers delivering nationally recognised training in 2015 are also encouraged to get their staff to create their USI now. It will make your enrolments easier and your reporting also more streamlined.

For students, having a USI ready at enrolment will save delays in getting your certificate or statement of attainment at the end of your training. So, the key is to become USI-ready as early as possible.

Students, if you’re doing any nationally recognised training this year, create your USI now. You’ll save yourself time by having it ready for enrolment day. You’ll also be on the way to having a lifetime record of all your training that you can access online anytime and anywhere.

Contact the USI Office for further information.

National consultations launched

The Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, launched the National Consultations on VET Reform in Melbourne on 15 January 2015.

Throughout January and February, face-to-face consultations are being held in every capital city, along with a series of webinars.

The purpose of the consultations is to discuss and listen to feedback from stakeholders on two themes:

A wide variety of stakeholders are being encouraged to have their say on VET reforms, which will ensure that the training system is meeting the needs of Australian workplaces now and into the future.

You can visit the Assistant Minister’s media centre for updates as the consultations progress around the country.

For those consultations that have already occurred, the Department would like to thank all participants for their contributions.

For those who missed out on attending, feedback on VET reform priorities can be submitted via email to the VET Reform Taskforce.

Submissions on the Review of Training Packages and Accredited Courses Discussion Paper can be made through the Consultation Hub.

Please visit the website for further information on the sessions.

Skills Mission to India a success

The bilateral relationship with India continues to strengthen. The last six months have seen numerous high level visits to both countries encouraging greater collaboration between Australia and India, including the Australian Skills Mission to India.

On 10 and 11 November 2014, the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, now Minister for Industry and Science, lead the largest skills delegation yet to India. The visit to Mumbai attracted 107 Australian industry and training sector representatives who have commented on the value of participating; from networking opportunities and building business relationships to understanding potential commercial opportunities between Australian and Indian industry and training providers.

During the visit, the Minister addressed the third India Australia Skills Conference (an initiative of the Australia India Education Council), Skills for Better Business, and the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Global Summit on Skill Development, Global Experience – Linking Skills with Productivity.

A suite of events occurred around the two large symposia, including a business leaders’ roundtable on skills for the resource and energy sector, hosted by the Minister, which examined opportunities for upskilling the Indian resources and energy sector workforce.

Nine Memoranda of Understanding on bilateral cooperation in the area of technical and vocational education and training were signed in the presence of Minister Macfarlane. The Minister also launched a pilot training and assessment programme to be trialled in India over the next 12 months by Australian registered training organisations partnering with Indian organisations.

An Australian Skills Team, comprising WorldSkills Australia representatives and Australian Training Award recipients, showcased the quality of Australia’s training system as they participated in a range of activities across three cities over three days. One such activity was a skills demonstration during the Skills Conference. Baker Morgan Clementson, a member of the Australian Skills Team, wrote a blog about her experiences in India, which you can read online.

Further information can be found in Minister Macfarlane’s media release.

The Australian Skills Team (L-R) Joshua Mason, Morgan Clementson, Jessica Martin, Mark Callaghan (CEO of WorldSkills Australia) and Fiona French

The Australian Skills Team

Morgan in a baking class

Be recognised nationally at the 2015 Australian Training Awards

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

Applicants may have the opportunity to reach the national stage in November 2015 and gain Australia-wide recognition for the work they do. Australian Training Awards direct entry categories include:

For individuals:

National Achievement Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award

For businesses:

Disability Training – Employer Award
Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award

For registered training organisations:

School Pathways to VET Award
International Training Provider of the Year Award.

Applications close on Friday 29 May 2015.

For more information, visit the website, phone 13 28 46 or send an email.

The 2015 Australian Training Awards will be held in Hobart on Thursday 19 November 2015. For regular updates about the Australian Training Awards:

Attention RTOs – AVETMISS data submission

The submission window for the collection of total VET activity data is now open.

January was a busy time for RTOs, and NCVER knows some of you have already validated and submitted your 2014 data - congratulations to the early birds!

If you are an RTO which has yet to submit its data, please be aware that the 27 February 2015 deadline for reporting your 2014 accredited training activity to NCVER is fast approaching.

If you have not already registered to use the AVETMISS validation software (AVS), now is a good time to do so. Don't forget to set your organisation's roles and responsibilities in AVS before attempting validation. Please see the user guide under the Resources tab for more information.

If you're unsure how to validate and submit your data, NCVER has developed fact sheets that set out where, when and how to report AVETMISS data. Alternatively, you can contact NCVER's Client Support team on 08 8230 8400 or 1800 649 452 or send an email for further assistance.

Trades Recognition Australia – RTO workshop – Preparing an expression of interest (EOI) submission

Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) will be running a workshop for those registered training organisations (RTOs) that are interested in conducting skills assessments on its behalf. The workshop will provide information on the expression of interest (EOI) process and how to prepare an EOI submission.

TRA RTO skills recognition services currently offer assessments for the following industries:

  • automotive
  • construction and property services
  • electrotechnology
  • hospitality
  • metals and engineering
  • miscellaneous technicians and trades workers (drillers and hairdressers).

The workshop is expected to be held in Canberra in early March 2015. Participants will need to arrange their own travel.

A workshop booklet will be circulated to all registered participants prior to the workshop date.

The workshop will:

  • provide an overview of TRA programmes
  • discuss the evaluation criteria used by TRA to select RTOs to deliver skills assessment services on its behalf
  • discuss the EOI evaluation process.

TRA representatives will be available to answer any questions participants may have about the EOI submission process.

For further information and to register your interest, please email TRA.

New research and data in the VET sector

Transitions of young Australians continue to change

If you're looking for a snapshot of recent research and data on young people in Australia, take a look at Youth transitions in Australia: a moving picture. Incorporating a summary from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth 2013 annual report, it includes:

  • how students' aspirations affect educational outcomes
  • the importance of schools in transition to post-school study and academic success
  • data on post-school qualifications and employment.

Does scored VET in Schools help or hinder access to higher education in Victoria?

Developed to offer another pathway to university, VET in Schools programmes were broadened in the early 2000s to enable subjects to be scored and therefore count towards both nationally recognised training and university entrance score. This important study is the first attempt to examine any impacts of taking a scored VET subject.

Entry to vocations: building the foundations for successful transitions

How can VET in Schools programmes be strengthened to provide young people with vital pathways to careers? This report brings together key findings from three years of research and highlights important themes and structural changes for strengthening VET in Schools which have been tested with stakeholders from government, boards of study, industry, schools and VET providers.

Young people in education and training 2013

Where are young people, aged 15 to 19, studying, and how many are there? While the overall participation rate in education and training remained steady in 2013 at 81.3 per cent, fewer young people took part in VET with more opting for higher education. This statistical publication provides data on VET in Schools students, school students, higher education students, apprentices and trainees and other students who undertake publicly funded VET.

NCVER has also published VET in Schools data and key performance and programme measures for school-aged youth in vocational education and training 2013.

Free LLN assessment – participate in trials of the new Foundation Skills Assessment Tool (FSAT)

ACER is developing the comprehensive Foundation Skills Assessment Tool (FSAT) for the Australian Government. Trials of FSAT have now commenced and new skill areas, including Listening and Learning from the Australian Core Skills Framework and skills from the new employability skills framework, the Core Skills for Work (CSfW), have been released.

The trials will continue until at least the end of February 2015.

Providers receive reports of each learner's performance against the skill in the relevant framework. Participation in the FSAT trials is suitable for your 2015 pre-training LLN assessment! There are also some free half-day workshops about the new CSfW and its assessment in FSAT being planned for late February or early March. These sessions will enable you to become more familiar with both the CSfW and FSAT.

For further information or if you are interested in taking part in the trials, please visit the FSAT website.

Review of the Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service – have your say

The Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service is a long-time provider of Australian Apprenticeships information, resources and support.

An independent review of the Service is currently being conducted with input being sought from staff in organisations involved in any aspect of Australian Apprenticeships.

You can have your say by completing a brief survey.

For further information please contact the Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service on 1800 338 022.

Workshops for the Engineering Excellence project

An important part of the project, being run by the Australian Industry Group, is to share the findings with other RTOs, in order to spread what they have tried to achieve, including:

  • tailoring training plans that allow for the development of skills in the workplace as well as with the partner organisation before assessment
  • developing agreed processes for RTOs to seek confirmation of competency from employers
  • developing work-based activities employers can give to their apprentices to help develop their competencies
  • assisting employers to develop internal processes to manage competency-based progression and completion
  • addressing relevant internal administrative processes, such as timetabling, to enable implementation.

During February and March 2015, a series of workshops will be held in each state to discuss the project and share some of the tools we have developed. These workshops will be tailored for RTOs training and assessing apprentices.

The Engineering Excellence project has direct relevance to metal trades, but any other trade dealing with competency based wage progression, such as building and construction or automotive, may be interested in adapting what has been developed. Other stakeholders such as employers, group training organisations, Apprentice Field Officers/ training consultants and Australian Apprenticeship Centres are also welcome to attend.

Half day workshops will be held, with lunch provided. Current dates are:

  • Adelaide - 18 February 2015
  • Melbourne - 19 February 2015
  • Hobart - 24 February 2015
  • Devonport - 25 February 2015
  • Sydney - 3 March 2015
  • Wollongong - 4 March 2015
  • Perth - 5 March 2015
  • Brisbane - 10 March 2015
  • Townsville - 11 March 2015.

Venues will depend on numbers registering. To register please email AiG’s Peter Canavan.

A framework for vocational learning

On 12 December 2014, Education Ministers endorsed Preparing Secondary Students for Work – A framework for vocational learning and VET delivered to secondary students. This framework is now available on the Education Council website.

The Working Group responsible for the framework will continue in 2015, in order to develop materials to support the framework’s implementation. The Group will convene early in the year to discuss an expanded Terms of Reference and a 2015 work plan.

VETnetwork Australia is hosting an interactive professional learning session on the new framework in Canberra on 25 February 2015. Please see the Upcoming events section (below) for further details of the session, as well as how to register.

Velg Training’s VET mentoring programmes

A suite of eight programs is available to support the varying roles within an RTO including managers, trainers and assessors and administrators. Ongoing professional development is vital to maintain an individual’s skill, knowledge and expertise relevant to the VET sector. Velg Training’s mentoring programmes allow knowledge to be communicated and built upon over the year to enhance your organisation’s continuous improvement process whilst maintaining your individual currency requirements.

There is an online video to demonstrate and advertise the programme.

For more information on individual programs, please visit Velg's website.

How Alexandra secured her future after secondary school

Alexandra Reeve admits that, like many before her, she was a little lost after completing secondary school.

The Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador tried multiple courses at university and had plans to be a nurse, social worker and a police officer at different stages.

Alexandra eventually secured a traineeship, a move where she got paid to study whilst working for the Victorian Government Minister for Education and gaining a Certificate III in Business.

Alexandra detailed her experience in a blog post that will be useful for the many teenagers who completed secondary school in 2014.

To learn more about the opportunities an apprenticeship or traineeship can provide, like Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors on Facebook and follow @AusApprentice on Twitter.


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Innovation & Business Skills Australia (IBSA)

Financial Services training package consultation workshops

IBSA will host a number of consultation workshops and webinars to ensure proposed changes and updates are relevant and reflective of industry requirements. You are invited to attend and provide your feedback.... more

Business Services training package - have your say!

It’s time for you to have your say! IBSA has undertaken a number of projects to review sectors within the Business Services training package.... more

Manufacturing Skills Australia

MSA 2014-2015 Training Package Continuous Improvement Plan – updated January 2015

Release 2 of the MSA Continuous Improvement Plan includes minor changes to estimated endorsement timelines.

Information about the MSA training package development and QA procedures, and the interim endorsement process, is also available (PDF, 642 KB).

MSA training package work in progress

For details and information on the status of MSA training package development projects, please refer to MSA's website.

  • MEA Aeroskills training package – endorsement in progress
  • MSA07 process manufacturing and production management qualifications – compliance project
  • MEM31215 Certificate III in Engineering – Industrial Electrician – submitted for endorsement
  • MEM05 – compliance and redevelopment
  • LMT07 – compliance and redevelopment.


Review of RII training package assessment resources

SkillsDMC has revised and updated the assessment resources for the 20 most sought after units of competency in the RII Resources and Infrastructure Industry training package. These updated resources feature improved guidance for assessors and are customisable to users’ specific needs. They are delivered electronically so you can start using them immediately – no need to wait!

These assessment resources can be purchased now through the SkillsDMC online shop. Further information about the RII training package is available on the SkillsDMC website.



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These three new Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors all participated in Group Training Australia’s 2014 Today’s Skills: Tomorrow’s Leaders programme, which identifies and develops leadership potential in apprentices and trainees. Twenty one participants are selected each year to attend the five day programme in Canberra.

You can read more about the Today’s Skills: Tomorrow’s Leaders programme on GTA’s website.

"The best decision of my life!"

Joshua Brumm
Diesel motor mechanic
Certificate III in Automotive Diesel Engine Technology

A lifelong fascination with trucks and boats was always going to lead Joshua Brumm to a career working with them.

Despite this, like many school leavers assessing their career options, Joshua had some trepidation about committing several years to an Australian Apprenticeship.

Having gained a Certificate III in Automotive Diesel Engine Technology in 2014, the Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador says it was "the best decision of my life."

“Starting an Australian Apprenticeship straight after high school allowed me to achieve my goals at work and in life,” Joshua said.

Continue reading Joshua’s success story.

Confidence, qualification result of traineeship

Emma Forrester
Customer service officer
Certificate III in Business

Emma Forrester faced the same dilemma that many teenagers encounter – what to do after secondary school?

The 20-year-old said she was “very unsure” of what career to pursue.

“University was an option, but I did not want to make a financial and long-term commitment to something that I may not end up enjoying,” Emma said. Emma is now undertaking her second qualification and is an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador.

Continue reading Emma’s success story.

More confidence from traineeship

Grace Brennan
Secondary school teacher
Certificate III in Education Support

Grace Brennan’s path to becoming a teacher demonstrates the opportunities that apprenticeships and traineeships provide.

A physical education teacher traditionally attends university for three to four years before working in a school. But for the Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador, a traineeship has allowed her to gain experience in a secondary school much sooner.

“I am involved in various sporting activities ranging from coaching teams to organising events,” Grace said.

“I enjoy the practical side that traineeships offer.

“My traineeship has been a great opportunity to further my education.”

Continue reading Grace’s success story.


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VET FEE-HELP approved provider training

Dates through to July 2015, Canberra and webinars

The Department of Education and Training will be conducting training for approved VET FEE-HELP providers throughout 2015. This training is suitable for recently approved or existing VET FEE-HELP providers that wish to refresh their knowledge. For more details and schedules of dates and venues please visit the Department of Education and Training's website.

Preparing Secondary Students for Work – a framework for vocational learning and VET delivered to secondary students

25 February 2015, Canberra

VETnetwork Australia will host an interactive professional learning session on the new framework titled Preparing Secondary Students for Work – a framework for vocational learning and VET delivered to secondary students.

The session will include:

  • detailed presentations on the framework and its implementation nationally. What is the impact of the new framework?
  • current research in relation to the success of VET and vocational learning. Does the new framework correlate with this research?
  • facilitated discussion on current issues and challenges in vocational learning and VET. How can the VET sector collaborate to address these challenges?

For more details and to register, please visit VETnetwork Australia's website.

VETnetwork Australia’s full professional learning calendar for 2015 is now available.

Future Directions Conference – Australian International Airshow 2015

27 February 2015, Avalon Airport

Places are filling fast for MSA’s Future Directions Conference at the Australian International Airshow, to be held at Victoria’s Avalon Airport. The conference will feature speakers from Australia’s leading aerospace manufacturers and maintainers, along with Rachel Dudok, 2014 Vocational Student of the Year and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador.

The conference will explore some of the manufacturing skills training issues confronting the aviation industry, as well as future initiatives and directions. It will also identify skills we might need to access the opportunities of the future.

For more information on the conference and to register, please visit MSA’s website.

A focus on literacy and numeracy for VET teachers and trainers

11, 12 and 13 March 2015

VETnetwork Australia is running a series of professional learning events in March 2015. Titled A Focus on VET Literacy and Numeracy, these events aim to develop a better understanding of language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) for VET teachers and trainers.

These dynamic events will feature keynote presentations from David Tout, Senior Research Fellow and Manager, Vocational Adult and Workplace Education, Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) and Ros Bauer, winner of the Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award at the 2013 Australian Training Awards.

Content will focus on:

  • why addressing literacy and numeracy (L&N) is essential
  • developing an awareness of the role L&N skills and their impact on participation and outcomes in VET
  • engaging disengaged learners and communities, including remote communities
  • tricks of the trade: teaching and assessing VET whilst remembering the L&N story
  • hints and tips about teaching L&N.

The locations and dates are:

  • Perth - 11 March 2015
  • Adelaide - 12 March 2015
  • Melbourne - 13 March 2015.

For more information, including details on how to register, please visit VETnetwork's website.

2015 AWPN National Conference

18 – 20 March 2015, Melbourne

The Australian Workplace Practitioners’ Network (AWPN) invites you to attend the 2015 AWPN National Conference to be held at the Jasper Hotel in Melbourne. The theme for the conference is Refresh Rebrand Re-engage: Foundation Skills at Work.

The conference will focus on how policy makers, VET professionals and industry can work together to build the highly skilled and innovative workforce needed to compete in global markets. What are the new Australian Government policies and programs and how do they work? How can we work together to ensure industry has the skilled and productive workforce it needs? How can we best support an industry-led, sophisticated and flexible VET system?

Topics for the 2015 conference will include:

  • new Australian Government policies and programs
  • foundation skills strengthening - creative approaches to addressing the foundation skills needs of existing workers
  • employer perspectives on workforce development and foundation skills strengthening
  • researching foundation skills policy and practice
  • models for developing practitioner skills and knowledge
  • professional opportunities and challenges of practitioners.

Who should attend?

Foundation skills strengthening is a shared responsibility, whether you are an experienced LLN specialist, a recently qualified vocational trainer or a workplace supervisor.

Newcomers to the field will gain much from the event. All interested parties are welcome, including:

  • new and experienced LLN specialists
  • new and experienced vocational trainers and assessors
  • training managers
  • resource developers
  • employers and employer groups
  • Industry Skills Councils
  • industry peak bodies
  • unions
  • government
  • policy makers.

For further information and registration, please visit the conference website.

AITD2015 – Learning and Development Conference

13 – 14 May 2015, Sydney

The Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD) presents the leading annual conference for training, learning and development and organisational development professionals!

Speakers include Ben Betts, Anne Bartlett-Bragg, Marc Ratcliffe, Alistair Rylatt and more.

Join your professional community for this significant event! For more information, visit AITD's website.

2015 National Adult LLN Assessment Conference – Australian Council for Educational Research

14 – 15 May 2015, Adelaide

Early bird registrations are now open, key note speakers have been announced and two full-day pre-conference workshops have been added to the programme!

Keynote speakers include:

  • the Hon Gail Gago MLC, SA Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills
  • Professor Geoff Masters AO, CEO, ACER
  • Ros Bauer, Adult Literacy Services Australia. Ros was the winner of the Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award at the 2013 Australian Training Awards
  • Tony Dreise, Principal Research Fellow, Education Policy and Practice Indigenous Education, ACER
  • Anthony Kittel, CEO and Managing Director of REDARC Electronics and one of the National Foundation Skills Strategy Project Workplace Champions.

For further information and to register, please visit ACER's conference website.

2015 NCVER ‘No Frills’ conference

6 – 8 July 2015, Sydney

Call for papers open!

Researchers, VET practitioners and industry representatives are invited to present at the 24th National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference 'No Frills' in Sydney this July.

NCVER is seeking presentations that showcase quality research based on sound evidence, a focus on findings and recommendations that can be applied to the wider VET sector.

Co-hosted with the University of Western Sydney and TAFE NSW's South Western Sydney and Western Sydney Institutes, the conference will highlight (but is not limited to) research across three themes:

  • Youth: engaging, inspiring and supporting students to realise their potential
  • Pathways: transitioning through education and training into the workforce
  • Skills: working with industry and employers to improve education and training.

Submissions close 16 February 2015.

For more information about the conference, and details about how to submit an abstract, please visit NCVER’s 'No Frills' website.

2015 Australian Training Awards

19 November 2015, Hobart

The Australian Training Awards presentation dinner event will be held in Hobart, Tasmania, on Thursday 19 November 2015.

Details of the venue and ticketing will be available on the website.

Professional development for training providers – NSW

Visit the NSW State Training Services website to view upcoming Smart and Skilled approved professional development opportunities for Registered Training Organisation staff in 2015.


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Free ISC foundation skills resources now in one place

On behalf of the Australian WELL Practitioners Network/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.

Revision/update of Making the Connections – now available

The highly successful Making the Connections professional development resource, designed to assist VET practitioners integrate foundation skills and language, literacy and numeracy into their training, has now been revised and updated by MSA. This revision takes account of significant related developments in VET and foundation skills in the last two years, including the roll-out of the FSK Foundation Skills training package, and the TAE skill setTAESS00009, ‘Address Foundation Skills in Vocational Practice.’

Numeracy by Measure, Numeracy in Practice and Numeracy in Focus

Numeracy by Measure is a free professional development resource to build practitioner awareness of workplace measurement skills to better meet the skills needs of adults in the workplace including:

  • understanding measurement in the workplace context
  • understanding measurement skills areas
  • building workplace measurement skills
  • unpacking measurement skills using the Australian Core Skills Framework.

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 by Measure includes:

  • a Numeracy by Measure guide with professional development activities
  • ‘snapshots’ that unpack the measurement skills in authentic job tasks including bicycle fitting, cabinet fitting, health monitoring, show fitting, smallgoods packing and tyre wall markings.

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.

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

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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 Australian, 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 65,000 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.


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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.

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.

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

Ideas That Work has developed 25 language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) videos for the What Works for LLN training and professional development video library. These videos contain practical LLN tips and good practice examples to help build vocational trainers’ and assessors’ capacity to support learners with LLN needs.

The What Works videos available to view or download for free from the What Works for LLN website.

The What Works videos are grouped into three series:

  1. Introduction to LLN series (nine videos)
  2. Practical LLN tips for trainers and assessors series (16 videos)
  3. Introduction to workplace LLN series (new videos coming in 2015).

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.

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

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.


back to top

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 March 2015. Submissions are due by 18 February 2015.