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VET reform

The Australian Government is focused on building a more effective and efficient vocational education and training (VET) system delivering job-ready skills that employers want. To meet this goal, the VET Reform Taskforce in the Department of Industry has been actively working with stakeholders over the last few months via state and territory-based workshops and webinars to hear the views of industry, employers, students, training providers and VET service providers on the strengths and weaknesses of the VET system, and ideas for reform. In total, its face-to-face workshops and webinars in March and April reached over 3000 people.

Summaries of each state/territory workshop will be on the VET reform website shortly.

The Minister for Industry, the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, and his state and territory government colleagues held the inaugural Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Industry and Skills Council meeting on 3 April 2014. At the meeting, ministers agreed on six objectives for national VET reform and identified the following three key priorities for action:

  • ensuring that industry is involved in policy development and oversight of the performance of the VET sector, and streamlining governance arrangements and committees
  • examining the standards for providers and regulators to ensure they better recognise the different level of risk posed by different providers, enable the regulators to deal more effectively with poor quality in the sector to improve confidence, and meet the Government’s deregulation objectives
  • reducing the burden on the VET sector arising from the constant updates to training packages.

Outcomes of the meeting can be found in the communique.

For more information, visit the VET reform website, email the VET Reform Taskforce or phone 13 38 73.

The Unique Student Identifier is almost here – be ready!

With the Student Identifier Bill 2014 reintroduced into Parliament on 27 March, the Unique Student Identifier (USI) initiative is back on track for full implementation from 1 January 2015.

In 2015, nearly 5000 public and private registered training organisations (RTOs) will be collecting data for an estimated 3 million students for the national data collection. The USI will put students at the centre of a big step in improving the value of this data. It will provide students with access to and control over their future training records and help to streamline data exchange between students, training providers and other relevant stakeholders.

The key to smooth implementation will be early preparation for RTOs. To help RTOs, their staff and students prepare for introduction of the USI, the USI Taskforce will be providing information, answering questions, trialling and supplying supporting materials and tools progressively over the next nine months leading up to full implementation.

Third party testing of the USI system for SMS vendors and in-house IT developers is also available now! Take this opportunity to test your systems for web service authentication, connectivity and functionality with the USI system. Email the USI Taskforce if you’d like to be involved.

The USI system will be available before full implementation and RTOs and students are encouraged to begin applying for and collecting USIs ahead of the formal commencement date.

For more information on the USI initiative, please visit the USI website.

Applications now open for 2015 student mobility grants

Applications are now open for the 2015 round of the Department of Education’s student mobility programs. These programs provide grants to Australian students to undertake a study experience overseas as part of their course.

Grants are available for higher education and vocational education and training students to undertake short-term study or semester-long experiences around the world.

Around 5400 students are being supported through these programs in 2014, including around 1000 VET students. Australian higher education and public and private RTOs can apply for funding for their students.

The following programs are currently open for applications:

  • AsiaBound Grants Program  (AsiaBound). Asia focussed.  Includes AsiaBound VET which provides grants for short-term projects for VET students studying at Certificate IV and above.
  • Vocational Education and Training Outbound Mobility Program (VET Outbound). Provides grants for short-term projects for VET students studying at Certificate IV and above.
  • International Student Exchange Program (ISEP)
  • Endeavour Cheung Kong Student Exchange Program (ECKSEP)
  • Study Overseas Short-term Mobility Program (STMP).

Details of the programs and eligibility can be found in the guidelines.

Any other enquiries can be directed to the Department’s student mobility team.

The closing date for submission of applications is Monday 16 June 2014.

2014 Australian Training Awards applications are closing soon!

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 this year and gain Australia-wide recognition for their work.

There are 18 awards, including seven ‘direct-entry’ awards:

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

Disability Training Initiative Award
Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award

Registered training organisation
School Pathways to VET Award
International Training Provider of the Year Award*.

Applications for the above direct entry categories close on Friday 30 May 2013. For more information on all awards to be presented at the 2014 Australian Training Awards, visit the website or phone 13 38 73.

A short video discussing the Awards process, as well as interviews with some 2013 winners, is now available on You Tube.

* Applications for this award are made directly to the Australian Training Awards in all states except Western Australia where applications must be made to the WA Training Awards.

This year’s Australian Training Awards will be held in Adelaide on 21 November 2014. For regular updates about the Australian Training Awards, please follow the Australian Training Awards on Twitter @AusTrainAwards.

The 2nd APEC Youth Skills Camp

In 2010 the Chinese Government received funding from APEC to launch the APEC Skills Development Promotion Project (2010-2014). One of the key activities of this project is the biennial APEC Youth Skills Camps in China.

The objectives of these camps include:

  • strengthening understanding and friendship among APEC youth
  • facilitating exchange and cooperation in APEC vocational training and skills development
  • improving the attractiveness of vocational training to APEC youth and promoting the development of APEC youth skills.

Following the success of the first camp in 2012, the 2nd APEC Youth Skills Camp will be held in Beijing, Zhengzhou and Guangzhou from 21–30 May 2014 with the theme Investing in Youth Skills for a Better Future.

The Australian Government has invited four recent Australian Training Award winners and finalists to participate. They are:  

  1. Joel Schwartz (Vic), winner - 2013 Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year (Automotive Mechanical Technology)
  2. Henry Kemp (WA), runner up - 2013 Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year (Electrotechnology Electrician)
  3. Madeline Wells (Tas), finalist - 2013 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year (Tourism)
  4. Jessica Taggart (NSW), finalist - 2012 Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year (Health Services Assistance).

Accompanied by Jacky Cheng from Western Australia, the winner of the 2013 Teacher/Trainer of the Year (Visual Arts), the group will participate in a mix of cultural activities (including the Great Wall, and visiting a Shaolin Temple), visits to vocational training schools and the China World Skills training facility and group activities.

Their attendance at the camp is fully funded by APEC, and organised by the Department of Industry.

This is a fantastic opportunity for Australia and the Australian VET system to be represented in our region by our top VET students and trainer.

Updated VET e-standards published

An updated set of technical standards for creating accessible and reusable e-learning content has been published for the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

The annual e-standards review was undertaken by the New Generation Technologies business activity on behalf of the National VET E-learning Strategy.

More information on the updated standards is available on the website of the Flexible Learning Advisory Group.

Ready, set, refrigerate!

Ten of Australia’s best refrigeration technicians from across the country have earned their position to compete at the 2014 WorldSkills Australia National Refrigeration Competition following their medal-winning performances in the 2013 round of regional competitions.

Returning to Melbourne in 2014, the National Refrigeration Competition will be held in conjunction with Australia’s only international air conditioning, refrigeration and building services (ARBS) exhibition at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 20–22 May.

The national competitors will be judged on a series of detailed criteria such as accuracy and timing, by a cohort of national experts in the industry. In addition to battling it out for the prestigious gold medal, the competitors will also be vying for a coveted position as a member of the 2015 Team Australia Skillaroos, where they will go on to compete at the 43rd WorldSkills International Competition being held in São Paulo, Brazil, in August next year.

WorldSkills Australia is thrilled to introduce the 2014 National Refrigeration competitors:

  • Michael Arena, Australian Capital Territory, Canberra Institute of Technology, Fyshwick Campus
  • Beau Kupris, New South Wales (Sydney West), TAFE NSW - South Western Sydney Institute, Granville College
  • Adrian Quan, Northern Territory, Charles Darwin University, Casuarina Campus
  • Jay Riddett, New South Wales (Hunter), TAFE NSW - Hunter Institute, Tighes Hill Campus
  • Michael Snook, Western Australia (Perth South), Polytechnic West, Carlisle Campus
  • Nathan Stephens, Queensland, SkillsTech Australia, Acacia Ridge Campus
  • William Stewart, Western Australia (Perth North), Polytechnic West, Carlisle Campus
  • Michael Touloumdjian, South Australia, TAFE SA, Regency Campus
  • Jordan Wallworth, Victoria, Box Hill Institute, Elgar Campus
  • Mark Young, Tasmania, TasTAFE, Claremont Campus

The medallists of the National Refrigeration Competition will be announced at the official presentation ceremony, to be held on 22 May. Find out who will be crowned the 2014 national champion by staying tuned to the WorldSkills Australia website.

Bronson Harrison signs-up as Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador

St George Illawarra Dragons forward Bronson Harrison will promote Australian Apprenticeships as a viable career option after signing-up as an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador for the Australian Government.

Bronson has played more than 180 matches with the Wests Tigers, Canberra Raiders and the Dragons and employs two Australian Apprentices at Lee Bryce Construction, a company he owns with his brother Cheyne.

The 28-year-old has also recently taken over the role of Apprentice Mentor at the Dragons in the National Rugby League’s Trade Up with the NRL program.

“My experience in employing two of my own Australian Apprentices puts me in a good position to offer guidance and advice to Dragons players,” Bronson said.

“Australian Apprenticeships provide great learning opportunities and the tools to have a successful life.

“There are many occupations that can be realised through an Australian Apprenticeship.”

Bronson joins a number of other NRL players who are Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors including Andrew Ryan, David Tyrrell, Matt Ballin and Bryan Norrie – as well as other high-profile ambassadors including Neil Perry, Kevin Sheedy, Scott Cam and Renya Xydis.

Bronson said the aim of the Trade Up with the NRL program was to ensure young players developed skills needed away from the field and became respected people away from rugby league.

You can read the real-life success stories of more than 120 Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors from across Australia on the Australian Apprenticeships website, ‘like’ Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors on Facebook and follow @AusApprentice on Twitter.

Congratulations Scotty!

Congratulations to Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador Scott Cam who won the 2014 Gold Logie Award for his role as host of Channel Nine’s The Block.

Scott also took home a Silver Logie for Most Popular Television Presenter.

The television personality, who started his career as an Australian Apprentice in the carpentry trade with his older brother, said he would hollow out the bottom of the trophy and turn it into a stubby holder.

You can read Scott’s Australian Apprenticeships success story as well as his recent post about the role of Australian Apprentices on The Block.

Staying Connected in VET eZine launches!

Velg Training has launched the first edition of its biannual online magazine, Staying Connected in VET eZine, a publication to educate, inspire and empower Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector.

It is a full-colour, responsive and engaging publication that will take you through the next few months of changes to the VET sector. The publication is hosted online via Issuu, where readers can download, email or share via their social media networks.

For more information and to access your complimentary copy, please visit Velg's website.

iNotice – Smartphone app for care workers and caregivers

iNotice is a free, easy to use app designed for care workers and caregivers working to a care plan supporting a person to stay safely in a home environment. iNotice will assist to heighten awareness of a variety of signs and symptoms that may be linked to a person’s medication management. The app supports the early recognition of indicators and provides relevant prompts. For care workers there is additional guidance about what action may be taken within their scope of practice and their organisation’s policies and procedures.

iNotice includes an iPractice feature which comprises realistic home care scenarios to encourage app practice to learn more about common signs and symptoms and the appropriate actions needed.

Users should carefully evaluate all content for their own purpose. Information contained in this app is not to be used as a substitute for medical or professional health care advice or to diagnose, treat or cure any health related symptom. It contains information to ‘trigger’ or heighten awareness for care workers and caregivers.

iNotice may be downloaded for free from the App Store for iPhone or iPod touch and from Google Play™ for Android™.

This app has been developed by NSW Community Services & Health Industry Training Advisory Body and Aged & Community Services NSW & ACT. The project was possible due the funding made available by Health Workforce Australia, an Australian Government initiative.

Toolbox of the Month: Build Green

The Build Green Toolbox is an online learning resource that is designed to help tradespeople in the building and construction industry obtain skills and knowledge to:

  • effectively analyse, implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices and their effectiveness on the work site
  • support sustainable building practices by minimising waste on the building and construction site.

Read more about Build Green on eWorks' website.

Accessible modern video for all

An accessible modern video player, with alternatives for older browsers, is now available, thanks to the expansion of a National VET E-learning Strategy emerging technology trial.

Over two years, Victoria’s Kangan Institute undertook a two-stage trial that resulted in the creation of an HTML5 video player that warranted further development towards WCAG 2 AA (accessibility) compliance.

Late in 2013, Kangan Institute and the Strategy’s E-standards Experts Group collaborated to further develop the video player to be keyboard and screen reader accessible, and enabling the viewer to change colour contrast and typeface for closed captions.

Further information is available on the Strategy’s website.

How does an Australian Apprenticeship lead to a rewarding career?

Do you know someone who is weighing up their career options?

Tell them to check out the fantastic personal stories of more than 120 Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors who have found career and personal success through completing an Australian Apprenticeship.

To learn about the amazing opportunities an Australian Apprenticeship can provide, like Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors on Facebook and follow @AusApprentice on Twitter. You might even see some well-known faces!


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SkillsDMC RII Resources and Infrastructure Industry training package workshops - book now!

In November 2013 the RII Resources and Infrastructure Industry training package transitioned to the new Standards for Training Packages.

Since the transition SkillsDMC has fielded a large number of enquiries about changes that were made and their impact on implementing the training package. In recognition of this need, an implementation workshop has been developed to provide stakeholders with information about the changes and guidance on how to implement them in training and assessment practice.

The workshops will discuss how the Standards for Training Packages have been applied in the development of RII and will provide practical strategies that trainers and assessors can use to meet the assessment requirements. They will also present a series of case studies that demonstrate how strong partnerships between enterprises and training providers have led to improved workforce development outcomes.

Workshops are being conducted in all state and territory capital cities during May and June 2014. Places are limited so book now to secure your seat. More information is available on the SkillsDMC Events Page.


Australian School-based Apprenticeships

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‘Kid from the country’ succeeds

Electrician: Jadon Tree
Certificate III in Electrotechnology

Jadon Tree hopes his success as an Australian School-based Apprentice will inspire other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to pursue their dreams.

The 18-year-old was a national finalist at the 2013 Australian Training Awards after winning South Australia’s School-based Apprentice of the Year award.

He is midway through his Australian Apprenticeship and is on-track to gain a Certificate III in Electrotechnology with TAFE SA.

“Being able to succeed through my Australian School-based Apprenticeship gives a lot of people hope, especially being a kid from the country with not many opportunities,” Jadon said.

“When I finished secondary school, I had already been working for a year and had a job thanks to my Australian School-based Apprenticeship.

“It is only four years to do a trade and you always have that qualification to fall back on.

“Australia is always going to need tradespeople.”

Jadon is aiming to complete his Certificate III before deciding on his future.

“There are many possibilities once I have completed my apprenticeship – whether I want to further myself as an electrician, dual-trade in other areas such as instrumentation or refrigeration, or go to university and complete an electrical engineering degree,” he said.

Jadon recently signed-up as an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador for the Australian Government.

School-based apprenticeship puts Ryan ahead

Chef: Ryan Grant
Certificate III in hospitality (Commercial Cookery)

Ryan Grant will be a fully-qualified chef only months after turning 18.

The Gold Coast resident started his Australian School-based Apprenticeship in Year 10 and worked six evenings a week while completing secondary school at Marymount College and theoretical training through Kings Unitech.

The hard-work paid off, with Ryan on the verge of gaining his qualification while others his age are only just starting an Australian Apprenticeship or university studies.

Ryan is also an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador.

“My experience proves that an Australian School-based Apprenticeship puts you ahead of the pack,” Ryan said.

“A benefit of completing an Australian School-based Apprenticeship is the support you receive while at school.”

Ryan works for renowned chef Daniel Ridgeway at Little Truffle Restaurant – an experience that saw him named Queensland’s School-based Apprentice of the Year and then a finalist at the 2013 Australian Training Awards.

“I believe it is important for chefs to enter competitions from a young age – it allows you to benchmark your skills and can give you great recognition,” he said.

“Most apprentices don’t qualify until they are at least 20 – I’m nearly qualified and then I’m planning on working overseas and seeing the world while I work.”

School-based pathway has Alex on the rise

Telecommunications technician: Alexander Dagger
Certificate IV in Telecommunications Networks Technology

Alexander Dagger does not think of himself as being outstanding despite being an Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year finalist at the 2013 Australian Training Awards.

The 19-year-old says he was simply rewarded for “putting his head down and working hard in something I enjoyed.”

He is now reaping the rewards of his Australian School-based Apprenticeship, which has helped him secure placement with the Royal Australian Air Force.

“I wanted an early start to my career and I knew exactly what I wanted to do,” Alexander said.

“An Australian School-based Apprenticeship was the perfect way – allowing me to get a head-start on my career while completing Year 12.”

The former Epping Boys High School student is completing a Certificate IV in Telecommunications Networks Technology with employer Kordia Solutions and TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute.

The role sees Alexander working across Sydney and surrounding regions such as Wollongong and the Central Coast.

“Working in telecommunications really interests me because no two days are the same,” he said.

“During my apprenticeship, I have worked on 30 storey high buildings and 90 metre high telecommunications towers.

“Once you find something you love, working becomes easy. I have no problem getting out of bed each morning.”

Alexander is an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador.


This is a new section of our newsletter where we will feature Australians who have achieved personal and or career success as a direct result of their studies in the vocational education and training sector.

If you know of someone who may wish to share their success story with our readers, please email us at skillsatwork@industry.gov.au.

Vanessa Dunstan (nee Wood)

Vanessa in 2004, after winning her Australian Training Award

2003 Vocational Student of the Year

Vanessa Dunstan enjoyed maths, physics and technical subjects at school. Following the birth of her first child, she secured a place at La Trobe University to study engineering. However, she found that the demands and costs of her university study were not conducive to single parenting so she started an electrician apprenticeship at Holden. Following the completion of her apprenticeship, Vanessa embraced the training opportunities Holden provided and completed two more certificates and a diploma. In 2006, she commenced tertiary engineering studies at Deakin University, balancing full time work, part time study and family responsibilities.

Ten years after winning the Vocational Student of the Year award at the 2003 Australian Training Awards, Vanessa completed a Bachelor of Engineering in Robotics/Mechatronics at Deakin University. She is still working at Holden, as the Electrical Quality, Reliability and Durability Lead, and has a desire to inspire young people to pursue their goals, to not give up, and to look for alternate pathways to get to where they want to be.

We asked Vanessa about her journey from apprentice electrician to mechatronics degree…..

Why did you enter the field that you did?

I enjoyed physics, maths and technical subjects at school, especially one called Electrical/Electronic Practices, and a careers advisor suggested an engineering degree.

I was in high school when I had my first child and was told that I would struggle to finish school, let alone have a career. I was determined to prove them wrong! I received an offer from La Trobe University to study Engineering, but I soon realised that a student budget was not enough to support both a child and myself. I looked for a job as an electrician, and secured an apprenticeship at Holden. Once I had finished my apprenticeship I took every training opportunity Holden offered and completed two more certificates and a diploma.

In 2004 I joined Holden’s Electrical Engineering Group as a Technical Officer. I was finally working in the area that I had always longed to be! In 2006 I was accepted into Deakin University to pursue a Bachelor of Engineering in Robotics/Mechatronics, with Holden supporting me all the way. I finished my degree in 2013 and graduated in April. I achieved this milestone by studying part time whilst maintaining a high standard working full time within the Group.

Tell us about some of the challenges you faced along the way.

I had to fight the stigma that comes with being a young mum, and the assumption that I would go onto welfare benefits and not create a substantial career for myself.

I juggled to find balance with my work, life and study, as I always felt guilty that I was not spending enough time with my kids and my husband. I wanted to ensure that I was a good role model for them, especially with regards to my education. I had a great support network in my friends and family. Had it not been for them, I would not have been able to do what I have done.

Would you have done anything differently?

I think that if I had done anything differently I would not be the person I am today, so in essence I would not do anything different. It was hard and I sacrificed a lot to receive my degree (having to say I can’t do something because I needed to study, going on holidays with my kids and having to do homework while they played), but it was worth it. I consider it to be more of a personal sense of satisfaction than a career achievement.

What were the highlights of your journey?

Personal - Having my kids and husband at my graduation ceremony last month.

Work - Working on prototype vehicles and traveling overseas, working alongside great engineers. I love being part of an iconic brand and contributing to various new vehicles being released to the public. Seeing those vehicles being driven on the road and customers being excited about them is fantastic.

What are you now doing in your career, and is it everything you had hoped?

I am currently Holden’s Electrical QRD (Quality, Reliability, Durability) Lead. It is only early stages in this role however I enjoy learning new things and am looking forward to what lies ahead. Now that I have my degree the sky is the limit!

In 2003 you mentioned that you may like to be teaching in 10 years. Do you still harbour that desire?

I do still have the desire to teach, but a stronger desire is to inspire young people to pursue their end goals, to not give up, and to look for alternate ways to get where they want to.


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Australian Apprenticeships & Traineeships Information Service

Throughout May 2014

Information sessions are provided regularly around Australia to help people working with Australian Apprenticeships to get the most out of the range of resources and information available on the Australian Apprenticeships & Traineeships Information and Australian Apprenticeships Pathways websites.

Staff in any network with an interest in Australian Apprenticeships are invited to attend these free sessions where new website features will be highlighted.

South Australia
Adelaide - Friday 2 May

Western Australia
Perth - Thursday 8 May

Melbourne - Tuesday 20 May
Ringwood - Wednesday 21 May
Dandenong - Thursday 29 May

Cairns - Wednesday 14 May
Townsville - Thursday 15 May
Gold Coast - Thursday 22 May
Brisbane - Friday 23 May

New South Wales
Sydney - Tuesday 27 May
Penrith - Wednesday 28 May
Campbelltown - Wednesday 28 May

Please book online by completing the registration form for your session of choice.

For more information, call 1800 338 022 or email events@aatinfo.com.au.

This service is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry.

Velg Training webinars – online training at your desk

Throughout May, June and July 2014

Velg Training offers a professional development (PD) program using webinars to keep both members and non-members up to date on key developments in the VET sector.

Velg has released its updated calendar of PD webinar events, featuring a range of topics presented online by industry experts. Register now to receive all electronic resources, including the PowerPoint, webinar recording, chat Q&A transcript and additional presenter resources within 48 hours of the session’s close.

Sessions now live for registration are listed on Velg’s website, targeting VET practitioners working within registered training organisations (RTOs) and Queensland schools. Velg Training members, including all Corporate, Sibling and Individual accounts, receive discounts on Velg’s PD opportunities, with access to complimentary webinars via the exclusive Members’ Lounge online portal.

VET Summit returns with a brand new format in 2014!

Examining the fabric of VET 2014 summit logo

5 May 2014, Melbourne
12 May 2014, Sydney

Velg Training’s 2014 VET Summit dates have been released for registration, along with a new program format targeted at RTO staff that will allow for more in-depth content and interaction.

Events will consist of two streams, one for trainers and assessors and the other dedicated to RTO managers. Attendees will be given the opportunity to choose between two registration options, which both include a combined keynote session:

Option 1: a stream only registration allowing participants access to one stream of their choice, either trainer and assessor or RTO manager

Option 2: a combined registration allowing movement between streams, which will include video recordings for every single session (over the two streams) following the event, sent electronically.

Presenters at the 2014 VET Summit will include:

  • Laurie Kelly, Director and senior presenter, Mindworks Australasia
  • John Dwyer, consultant with Velg Training
  • Kerri Buttery, consultant and member resource developer with Velg Training
  • John Price, consultant with Velg Training
  • Angela McGregor-Goodwin, owner and principal consultant of RTO Consulting
  • Carol Hunter, Principal of RTO Services and Consulting.

This event is a pre-approved professional development opportunity as part of Service Skills Australia’s Right Way Program for trainers and assessors, and has been allocated 30 points.

For more information on the 2014 VET Summit program, please visit the Summit website.

Australian Institute of Training and Development - Learning and Development Conference

14–15 May 2014, Sydney

The Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD) presents the leading annual conference for training, learning and development and organisational development professionals. AITD2014 is taking place in Sydney on 14-15 May 2014 and includes optional pre- and post-conference full day workshops. Keynote speakers include Harold Jarche, Nigel Paine, Marigo Raftopolous and Tony Fiddes.

Join your professional community for this significant professional development event!

  • Choose from an extensive selection of concurrent workshops – including case studies and practical hand-on workshops
  • Attend the extensive trade exhibition and build your business contacts
  • Build networks and socialise with your peers
  • Gain invaluable insights into the future of L&D and training
  • Mix with L&D professionals, training providers and consultants, resource providers, HR managers and employers.

For more information, visit AITD's website.

Hydrocarbons Assessor Network workshop

15–16 May 2014, Sydney

The Hydrocarbons Assessor Network (HAN) is now in its 10th year!

The HAN began with seed funding from the (then) Reframing the Future program and is now managed by Manufacturing Skills Australia.

The HAN holds two workshops each year, in May and November.

The workshops provide professional development activities, validation, guest presentations and opportunities for networking and industry benchmarking.

The first workshop for 2014 will be in Sydney.

The network is open to enterprise and RTO personnel who are active in developing and/or delivering training and assessment in the hydrocarbons, gas and oil sectors. For eligibility and membership, please visit the website.

For more information, please email Celeste Howden.

Training Providers Forum 2014

Training Providers Forum 2014 logo

19–20 May 2014, Perth

Hosted by the Department of Training and Workforce Development, the Training Providers Forum 2014 will be held at Crown Perth in May.

This two day conference and exhibition will provide the latest updates on training and workforce development, and showcase examples of innovation and good practice.

The program features a range of high profile keynotes speakers, including Mr Andrew Forrest, chairman of the Fortescue Metals Group, as well as workshops and information sessions.

It is a great professional development and networking opportunity for all training professionals.

The Forum also includes an exhibition with about 40 booths featuring the most up to date information on services and products available to the VET sector.

About 600 delegates from private and public training providers, Industry Training Councils and Skills Councils, schools, universities and government agencies are expected to attend.

Registrations are now open!

Registration costs are:

  • Two day registration $600
  • One day registration $300

To view the program and register please visit the Forum website.

SkillsDMC annual conference

11 September 2014, Brisbane

The 10th SkillsDMC annual conference is a unique and valuable opportunity which will showcase how the collaboration of industry and governments continues to shape future workforce planning and development initiatives. Michael Pascoe will be the Master of Ceremonies.

Michael Roche, Chief Executive of SkillsDMC's close partner, the Queensland Resources Council, will be addressing conference delegates on the morning of the conference. SkillsDMC is delighted to have Michael participating in this milestone event.

Michael's experience covers a broad range of industries including economics, government and resources.

In 2012 Michael was appointed by the Premier and Minister for Education, Training and Employment to chair the Queensland Skills and Training Taskforce, charged with recommending reforms to the Queensland vocational education and training sector. This initiative is the first ever industry-led review of vocational education and training in Queensland. Michael is also currently Acting Chair of the Queensland Ministerial Industry Commission on Skills, developed to provide advice to the Minister for Education, Training and Employment on Queensland's skills and workforce development priorities linked to employment outcomes and to advise government on funding priorities for qualifications matched to job opportunities.

Michael is also the ambassador for the Mining and Energy Challenge, part of the Leukaemia Foundation's World's Greatest Shave fundraising initiative.

The Queensland Resource Council represents the interests of more than 270 companies with direct and service sector investment in developing Queensland's minerals and energy resources.

The conference program is available on SkillsDMC's website and registrations are now open.

Should you have any questions regarding the conference, please contact GEMS Event Management on +61 02 9744 5252 or email Julie McGraw.

Velg Training’s National VET Conference

2014 national VET conference logo

11–12 September 2014, Brisbane

The 2014 National VET Conference Program has now been released!

Registration is open for Velg Training’s 2014 National VET Conference, which will be delivered over two days, providing attendees the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of plenary and elective sessions from 11-12 September 2014 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The theme for this year’s event is 'Impossible is Possible Together' and will focus on bringing vocational education and training (VET) professionals together to discuss recent updates to the sector and best practices for registered training organisations (RTOs), acting as a platform for networking and collaboration.

The conference will feature three distinct streams, Policy and Reform, RTO Management & Compliance and Training & Assessing. By popular demand, the Master Class elective stream will be returning in 2014.

Attendees of the 2014 National VET Conference will be divided into two client groups - RTO Management and RTO Trainers and Assessors. More information about the conference, including the program, is available on Velg Training’s National Conference website.

The 2013 National VET Conference attracted just over 950 attendees, making it the largest annual gathering of VET practitioners from across Australia.

Registration for the 2014 National VET Conference is now open for delegates, with ‘Early Bird Catches the Worm’ pricing available until Monday 31 March 2014. You can register online.

VETnetwork Australia 2014 Biennial National Conference


17–19 September 2014, Darwin

Join VETnetwork Australia for its 2014 Biennial National Conference in Darwin. The conference theme of ‘Sustainability, Skills and Strategy’ focusses on the long term future of vocational education and training (VET) in an increasingly complex educational context.

Three key themes will run throughout the conference’s program - sustainability for VET practitioners, skills for VET learners and strategy for the VET sector.

VETnetwork Australia looks forward to seeing you at the conference and hope you can join the Master Class which offers delegates the opportunity to be involved in the most up to date research information regarding VET in Australia and then tour one of three esteemed Northern Territory educational facilities.

For more information about the conference and to register, please visit the website.

2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition

World Skills Australia Logo

18–20 September 2014, Perth

The 2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition will be held in Perth in September 2014. The three day event will see over 500 of Australia’s most talented students, trainees and apprentices, from 30 regions, battle it out for gold medal success and the prestigious title of ‘Australia’s Best’ in their chosen skill or trade. The 2014 national competitors, selected from the 2013 round of regional competition winners, will be announced soon.

For more information please visit the WorldSkills Australia 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 programs 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 ACAL’s website.

conVerge14 – save the date!

20–21 November 2014, Melbourne

eWorks is excited to announce that conVerge14 will take place in Melbourne in November 2014.

Being the 10th (!) conVerge e-learning conference, it will be bigger and better than previous years with lots of surprises in store. Mark you diary now – this event is not to be missed!

conVerge14 will offer a range of experiences from stimulating presentations to interactive workshop sessions, and plenty of opportunities to network. You will leave the conference with tangible e-learning strategies to implement back at your workplace, and knowledge of the various e-learning resources available to you.

Stay tuned for this year's conference theme, early bird registrations and call for papers! For more information, visit the conVerge14 website and follow eWorks on Twitter.

Australian Training Awards - save the date!

21 November 2014, Adelaide

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

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 events and professional development for New South Wales training providers in 2014.


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New resources help to provide evidence of inclusive practice in training

The Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment has developed a set of online resources to help training providers adopt inclusive practices in their training.

The resources support Inclusive learning: A way forward, the Queensland Government’s plan for providing greater access to, participation in, and outcomes from vocational education and training for learners with diverse needs.

The inclusive practice resources include:

  • overviews to build awareness of Inclusive learning: A way forward in registered training organisations
  • training modules that are designed to develop understanding and encourage implementation of the principles and actions outlined in Inclusive learning: A way forward.

The training modules can be used by pre-qualified suppliers required to offer staff continuous professional learning on inclusive practice under either the Certificate 3 Guarantee Program Policy 2013-2014 (p 10) or the Community Learning: Guidelines for funding 2014-15 (p 3).

The development of the resources forms part of the Queensland Government’s Great skills. Real opportunities. five-year action plan for skills reform.

The resources are available on Training Queensland's website.

For more information or to provide feedback, please send an email.

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

Ideas That Work has just released another nine 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 18 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 (NEW nine videos)
  3. Introduction to workplace LLN series (new videos coming later 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 unit 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.

These videos were funded under the Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program by the Australian Government's Department of Industry.

These free What Works for LLN resources are available for viewing and download on the Ideas That Work website.

Adult literacy training resources

The Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program provides funding for the development of resources and strategic projects to support the development of adult English language, literacy and numeracy skills aligned to accredited training packages and units of competency. WELL resources that have been developed include assessment tools, companion documents supporting the delivery of units of competency, and online and interactive learning modules. Many target Indigenous or culturally and linguistically diverse learners. WELL resources have been developed across all industries and several have received awards for best practice in resource design. A list of these resources and information about how to access them is available on the LiteracyNet website.

The biannual e-newsletter, Doing WELL with WELL Resources, alerts subscribers to newly completed WELL resources. If you would like to receive this newsletter, please send an email with your contact details.

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 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 or
Bernadette Shiel, MSA Marketing and Communications Manager, 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.

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 Standards Council - provides advice on the national standards for regulation of 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.


If you would like to provide feedback or 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 June 2014. Submissions are due by 16 May 2014.