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Trade Support Loans Bill

Trade Support Loans provide apprentices with more financial support when they need it most. The loans will provide substantial support to eligible apprentices to assist them with the costs of living and learning while undertaking an apprenticeship.

The Trade Support Loans Bill completed its passage through Parliament and the programme has started to receive applications for Trade Support Loans. The result is a well-designed programme underpinned by legislation that will deliver skills for a changing workforce and assist in the future productivity and competitiveness of Australian businesses.

The programme will deliver loans to apprentices in priority occupations and will be paid in instalments totalling up to $20 000 over four years. The loans will assist apprentices with everyday costs while they complete their apprenticeship. Australian Apprentices will only have to begin repaying the loan once they reach a sustainable income which is currently in line with the Higher Education Loan Payment repayment threshold.

The programme involves payments to the apprentices and then collection of their repayments back through the tax system.

As an incentive to complete their training, apprentices who finish will be eligible for a 20 per cent discount on their loan which could be as much as $4000. The loans are interest free but indexed with the CPI.

Current apprentices are able to opt-in for a Trade Support Loan in line with the year of their apprenticeship. The loans are flexible to meet the needs of each individual and an apprentice can borrow a small amount, say $1000, or the full $20 000 over four years.

For more information on Trade Support Loans you can visit the Trade Support Loans page of the Australian Apprenticeships website, read the Trade Support Loans fact sheets, visit your local Australian Apprenticeships Centre or call the Australian Apprenticeships referral line on 13 38 73

Photo: Signing of the Secretary’s delegations for the Trade Support Loan programme (Back row, L to R: Claudia Cuskelly, Tracey Murphy and Rachel Pomroy. Front row: Craig Robertson and Department of Industry Secretary, Glenys Beauchamp).

Industry Skills Fund – discussion paper and consultation process

In line with the Government’s vision to enable growth and productivity for globally competitive industries, the 2014–15 Budget outlined $476 million for the Industry Skills Fund.

The new Fund will commence on 1 January 2015, and will offer 200 000 training places and support services for eligible businesses over the next four years.

A discussion paper (PDF, 450 KB) has now been released. The Australian Government is interested in receiving feedback from stakeholders and businesses on the design and delivery arrangements for the Industry Skills Fund.

If you are interested in making a submission, you can do so online.

Submissions responding to the discussion paper must be received by 7 September 2014.

If you have any further questions about the Industry Skills Fund or the submissions process, please do not hesitate to email or call 13 28 46.

National Skills Week 2014

Running from 25 to 31 August, the fourth annual National Skills Week will highlight the opportunities and career pathways available through vocational education and training (VET) as well as showcasing individuals and businesses from across Australia who have found career and business success with their engagement with VET, including many Australian Training Awards participants.

This year’s theme is The Magical Mystery Tour of Skills, and hundreds of events are expected to take place all over Australia, including an inaugural event for career advisers in Sydney on 25 August.

National Skills Week will be officially launched in Brisbane, Queensland, on 21 August. State and territory launches will also be held across all capital cities.

For more information about National Skills Week, and to see a full listing of events and how to register an event, visit the website.

State and territory training awards season is commencing!

It’s nearly training awards season! Each year, the eight state and territory governments host training awards programmes to recognise and celebrate excellence in their jurisdiction’s vocational education and training sector. The culminating event of the season, the Australian Training Awards, recognises excellence at the national level by bringing together a combination of state and territory winners and direct entry award nominations to compete for a national title.

The dates for these awards are as follows. Further information on each is available through the links.

ACT Training Excellence Awards - 4 September 2014

Tasmanian Training Awards - 5 September 2014

NSW Training Awards - 9 September 2014

WA Training Awards - 11 September 2014

SA Training Awards - 12 September 2014

NT Training Awards - 13 September 2014

Queensland Training Awards - 19 September 2014

Victorian Training Awards - 26 September 2014

Australian Training Awards - 21 November 2014

Applications for all these awards are now closed. The winners of all awards will be posted on the above websites following the ceremonies.

NAIDOC Week, 6–13 July

Indigenous Australians recognised

NAIDOC Week has significant meaning for a number of Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors.

Indigenous apprentices and trainees Jadon Tree, Gayleen Majid, Ryan D’Souza (pictured, left), Jenna-Maree Jacob and Joshua Toomey have enjoyed personal and professional success as a result of their involvement with the Australian Apprenticeships system.

Gavin Lester – former Canterbury Bulldogs and Sydney Roosters winger and current Apprentice Mentor in the Trade UP with the NRL programme – also has a close link with NAIDOC Week.

Gavin is the managing director of Boomerang Constructions, a building services organisation that seeks to employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander apprentices and tradespeople.

To read the full story, visit the Australian Apprenticeships website.

Josh Toomey stars in Foxtel documentary

Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador Joshua Toomey featured in the Who We Are: Brave New Clan documentary that was aired on Foxtel’s Bio Channel during NAIDOC Week.

The documentary followed the lives of six exceptional young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and demonstrated how they engage with their communities, history and cultures.

Joshua, an electrical lineworker with Ausgrid, was named Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year at the 2011 Australian Training Awards before becoming an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador.

To read the full story, visit the Australian Apprenticeships website.

What I learned about skills in China

Australian Training Awards’ finalist and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador Jessica Taggart (pictured left, at the Great Wall of China) is the latest to pen an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador Column.

In the blog post, Jessica shares her experience on the 2nd APEC Youth Skills Camp from the moment she found out she had been invited, and includes the three key things she learned about China’s approach to skills.

To read Jessica’s insights into China’s VET system, visit the Australian Apprenticeships website.

The florist who continues to bloom

Tamika Mackrell first got involved with WorldSkills Australia in 2009 when she completed in a regional floristry competition.

“I was in the second year of my apprenticeship and my college [Majorie Milner College] was hosting WorldSkills Australia Regional Competitions. I was encouraged to give it a go and I’m glad I did,” Tamika said.

After receiving a gold medal at the Regional Competition, Tamika was selected to represent the Melbourne region at the 2010 WorldSkills Australia National Competition in Sydney, where her skills triumphed yet again and she took home another gold medal.

Her gold medal success and passion for her skills granted her the opportunity to represent Australia as a 2011 Team Australia Skillaroo at the 41st WorldSkills International Competition in London. “I felt extremely proud to represent Australia and the floristry industry. It was a great privilege and I will never forget the experience,” Tamika said.

To continue reading and learn what advice Tamika has for young apprentices and trainees, visit the WorldSkills Australia website.

Calling all young innovators!

Do you have a bright idea that could make a difference?

This year, as part of its $65 000 Innovation Challenge The Australian has opened up a new ‘Young Innovators’ category. Open to inventors under the age of 21, this category has a $5000 prize on offer.

If you are a university student, VET student, school student or apprentice, you are able to enter.

The scope of this category is also open-ended, covering any inventions and novel initiatives with the potential to make a difference to our lifestyles, environment, work or play.

Entries close on 11 August 2014.

For more information, including a list of categories, visit the Innovation Challenge website.

IBSA’s online VET Capability Communities – thousands of views already!

Join the communities today to keep in touch with good practice in VET

The IBSA VET Capability Communities were launched in February 2014 as part of IBSA’s online VET Community site. Since the launch, hundreds of people have joined the community and some of the blogs have had over 1000 views.

The online communities provide practical content, blogs and discussions relevant to VET practitioners (teachers / trainers / assessors and managers). The aim is to create a professional and informed environment that supports quality practice and elevates the status of VET professionals and RTOs. Join the communities to post questions, blogs and respond to the discussions, download the library resources and be kept updated on what’s happening in the communities.

Further information about the online VET Capability Communities is available on IBSA's website.

Workforce development – aged care

More than 90 attendees came together in Wollongong, NSW, on 15 July to discuss issues related to increasing the size of the aged care workforce in the region. There is a plan to form a local action group of providers and partners.

Attendees at the open day included the Community Services & Health ISC, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, Regional Development Agency - Illawarra and the Illawarra Forum.

The Aged Care Illawarra Workforce Action Group is being championed by Mark Sewell, CEO of Warrigal Care and the regional chair for Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA). If you are a local organisation interested in knowing more or being involved, please email Mark.

Western College programmes to help parents, carers and students

Dubbo’s Western College is launching two exciting new programmes to help local students, parents and carers with a range of life skills.

The Indigenous Parental and Community Engagement (PaCE) programme helps the parents and carers of both young children and high school students with a range of education and communication skills, to help kids get back on track with their schooling. While this programme is targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, all parents and carers are welcome. Further information is available online.

The Baby on Board programme, run by Western College’s Alesco Learning Centre, provides assistance to pregnant or parenting youth with a desire to complete year 10 studies and then pursue further education or employment. Free on-site child minding is available. Further information about this programme is available on the Alesco website.


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Community Services & Health ISC

Release of draft first aid units

The draft new release version of units in first aid will be open for public consultation until 15 August. CS&HISC encourages you to take the time to provide your feedback. The first aid Subject Matter Expert Group signed off the draft of the release of units, HLTAID001 to HLTAID007, on 7 July 2014. Please note that HLTAID008 is not included in this review.

For further details please visit CS&HISC’s training packages pages.

Public consultations – August

CS&HISC’s next major public consultation period will be from 18 August to 12 September. It will include the following sectors:

  • Direct client care: aged care, home and community care, disability, leisure and health, health services assistance, allied health assistance, alcohol and other drugs, mental health.
  • Ambulance: communication
  • Technicians: anaesthetic technology
  • Complementary and alternative health: Ayurveda
  • Community services: community services general, advocacy, community sector coordination, case management, information, advice and referral, volunteering
  • Cross-sector units.

Visit the Qualifications under review information on the website for the latest updates.


Release of new learning materials for human resources qualifications

IBSA is pleased to announce the release of learning and assessment materials to support delivery and assessment of BSB31013 Certificate IV in Human Resources (BSBWRK411A Support employee and industrial relations procedures) and BSB50613 Diploma of HR Management (SBWRK510A Manage employee relations).

The latest resources include student workbooks and facilitator and assessor guides (available on CD).

IBSA has over 200 entertaining and interactive e-learning modules, workbooks, and facilitator and assessor resources to support the BSB07 Business Services and TAE10 Training and Education training packages. Through IBSA’s website you can:

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

Service Skills Australia

Community Recreation and Fitness training package components

The proposed scope for draft two of the Fitness and Community Recreation training package components has been finalised and will be presented to the Industry Advisory Committee for approval on 24 July. Drafting will take place in August (pending approval) and it is expected that draft two will be ready for validation in September.

Sport training package component

The Sport review is underway and the confirmed Sport Sector Reference Group (SRG) members are:

  • Natalie Menzies (Chair) - Australian Sports Commission
  • Mark Bos - Sports Medicine Australia
  • Andrea Buckeridge - Tennis Australia
  • Vince Del Prete - WA Department of Sport and Recreation
  • Donna Spethman - Australian University Sports
  • Jan Sutherland - Service Skills South Australia/ Sport SA
  • Scott Tutton - Cricket Victoria

The initial Sport SRG met on 18 July and the members focussed on identifying the current and emerging job roles and the overall structure of the qualifications.

Outdoor Recreation training package component

The Outdoor Recreation review has also commenced and the initial SRG meeting took place on 21 July. As with the Sport SRG, the focus was on job roles and the overall structure of the qualifications.

For further information please visit SSA’s Sport, Fitness and Recreation Continuous Improvement page or email Elly Snyder.


Chefs and food service

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Have you recently watched MasterChef and wondered what it is really like to work in a restaurant? These three Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors followed their dreams into the industry and have achieved amazing success.

Employer of choice

Neil Perry: Chef, restaurateur, author and television presenter
Employer of Australian Apprentices

One of Australia’s best known chefs, Neil Perry (pictured, above left) knows that well trained staff bring value not only to his establishments but to the industry as a whole. Read more about how Neil believes Australian Apprenticeships benefit both the employer and the apprentice.

Master in the kitchen

Colin Wilson: Chef
Certificate III in Commercial Cookery

After leaving his well-paying job to pursue his passion for food and cooking, Colin (pictured, above centre) was named the Apprentice of the Year at the 2011 Australian Training Awards and is now a fully qualified chef. Read more about Colin’s journey and what he did next.

Fine dining on world stage

Jessica Martin: Section waiter
Diploma of Events Management and Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management

Since she was a young girl, Jessica (pictured, above right) has loved fine dining and restaurant service. After completing her Australian Apprenticeship, she went on to win a silver medal at the 2013 WorldSkills International Competition and now works at one of the world’s top restaurants. Read more about how Jessica turned her dreams into reality.


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VET FEE-HELP approved provider training

Dates throughout 2014

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

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

ACPET national conference

Asia-Pacific International Education Forum (APIEF) – 27 August 2014, Perth
National conference – 28 and 29 August 2014, Fremantle

The national conference theme is Connecting up – the power of possibilities. It will feature a range of impressive speakers, exhibitors and colleagues from both global and domestic tertiary education markets. Delegates have the opportunity to experience Perth as well as Fremantle. Come along and be challenged by thought provoking presentations in iconic and historical locations such as the WACA and Fremantle's first convict building. Walk away with new networks and ideas on how you may connect up and heighten your institution's competitive positioning… it's all about the possibilities!

For further information on APIEF and the national conference, including registration details, please visit the conference website.

TAFE Directors Australia national conference

1–2 September 2014, Sydney

Online registrations are now open for TAFE Directors Australia’s 2014 national conference, which will be held at Sydney’s Sheraton on the Park. The conference’s theme is Vision 2020 and will explore ways to increase productivity and ‘create dangerously’.

TDA has confirmed a great lineup of Australian and international speakers including:

  • The Hon Adrian Piccolo MP, NSW Minister for Education
  • Ged Kearney, ACTU President
  • Denise Amyot, President and CEO of Colleges and Institutes Canada (formerly ACCC)
  • Dr Charles A Goldman, Senior Economist, RAND Corporation, USA
  • Dr Mark Cully, Chief Economist, Department of Industry
  • Dr Lawrence Chan, Deputy Executive Director, Vocational Training Council, Hong Kong

Award-winning journalist Ellen Fanning will be the Master of Ceremonies.

If you want further information, please download the conference flyer (PDF, 621 KB).

Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are available by visiting TDA’s website or sending an email.

SkillsDMC annual conference

11 September 2014, Brisbane

It’s that time again! The SkillsDMC 2014 annual conference will be held on 11 September in Brisbane. The theme for this year’s conference, Quality Outcomes through Skilling Partnerships, highlights the critical characteristic of skilling the workforce where industry determines the skills requirements and suppliers deliver quality training outcomes, to meet the needs of a zero harm and productive environment.

World class speakers at this year’s annual conference include leaders from across the worldwide resources and infrastructure industry:

  • Michael Roche - Chief Executive, Queensland Resources Council
  • Chris James - Assistant Director, Workforce Skills, Minerals Council of Australia
  • David Overall - Chief Executive Officer, Downer Mining
  • Darrell Cox - Manager Employee Development, Thiess Pty Ltd
  • Rod Ramsay - Chief Executive Officer, Resources Industry Skills Association
  • Mark Knowles - Superintendent Training and Development, Rio Tinto
  • Tony Noonan - General Manager, Macmahon Holdings
  • Paul Hemburrow - General Manager Yandi, BHP Billiton
  • Jeremy Donovan - National Development Director, GenerationOne
  • Liz Watts - Operations Manager, Glencore

Panel sessions at the conference will cover a broad range of topics relevant to today’s industry, including:

  • the importance of establishing industry confidence in validating skills and competencies of its workforce
  • the evolution of the resources and infrastructure industry workforce and the need for diverse workforces to meet the global skills challenge
  • the value of a global workforce with transferable skills which meet the needs of industry worldwide, and the challenges and opportunities these workforces present.

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

Registrations close on 5 September. For more information and to register please visit the conference website.

Velg Training 2014 national VET conference

11 and 12 September 2014, Brisbane

Online registration is open for Velg Training’s 2014 national VET conference, which will be delivered over two days. The conference will provide attendees the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of plenary and elective sessions over 11 and 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 VET professionals together to discuss recent updates to the sector and best practices for RTOs, acting as a platform for networking and collaboration. With only six weeks remaining to the 2014 national VET conference, Velg Training is pleased to announce the 2014 motivational speaker; Li Cinxin. Day two of the conference will be opened with this special keynote session. Li's inspirational story will show how the impossible is possible. At the age of 11 he was recruited to the Beijing Dance Academy, where he learned discipline, resilience and determination. He later joined the Houston Ballet before joining the Australian Ballet in 1995. Recognised as one of the best dancers in the world, he has shared his story in the best-selling autobiography Mao’s Last Dancer, which has since been adapted to a film. He was named Queensland’s 2014 Australian of the Year.

The conference will feature three distinct streams: Policy and Reform, RTO Management and Compliance, and Training and Assessing. By popular demand, the Master Class elective stream will be returning in 2014, and Velg has introduced a dedicated Industry Skills Councils (ISCs) engagement stream. This will allow delegates to connect with ISCs and learn more about current and future projects, as well as training packages updates.

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 programme, is available on Velg Training’s national conference website.

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

VETnetwork Australia 2014 biennial national conference

17–19 September 2014, Darwin

The VETnetwork Australia 2014 biennial national conference in Darwin provides an opportunity for VET practitioners from senior secondary schools and colleges, career and enterprise educators, training organisations, university academics, researchers, policy developers, consultants and industry to network, learn, interact and engage. This conference is set to attract over 300 delegates from all states of Australia and near world neighbours.

Don’t miss your opportunity to hear from Australia’s bestselling author of Free Schools, David Gillespie. David began an investigation to assess the level of advantage his kids would enjoy if he sent them to private school. After continuing his research he discovered he was wrong on most counts when it comes to working out what factors deliver a great education. David will take a look at what the research tells us about the job based outcomes from education, including the degree that community engagement in the education process can change those outcomes.

Also presenting is Dr Anthony Mann, Director of Policy and Research at the Education and Employers Taskforce (UK). Dr Mann has dedicated the last decade of his working life to researching, and then developing, employer engagement programs for schools, colleges and labour market programs. It was his 2012 research “It’s who you meet that stops you from becoming a NEET” that clearly evidenced the positive connection between employer engagement with students at school and the employability and earning power of a young adult who could recall that same interaction.

More information about the conference, including the programme, is available on the conference website.

2014 WorldSkills Australia national competition

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, are now listed on WorldSkills Australia’s National Competition website.

For more information please visit WorldSkills Australia's website.

Australian Council for Adult Literacy annual conference

2–4 October 2014, Gold Coast

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

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

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

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

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

The conference’s international keynote speakers will be:

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

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

Group Training Australia national conference

12–14 November 2014, Hobart

This year’s Group Training Australia national conference will celebrate the successes recognised through group training’s contribution to the delivery of jobs, the starting of careers and the building of communities. With this in mind, the theme of Jobs, Careers and Communities will recognise this success while also considering current and future challenges.

Speakers at the conference include:

  • The Hon Peter Underwood AC, Governor of Tasmania
  • Dr John Edwards, Board Member, Reserve Bank of Australia
  • Rod Camm, Managing Director, NCVER
  • Kevin Sheedy, former AFL coach.

Registration is now open, with an early bird rate available until 3 September.

For more information, please visit the conference website.

Government Skills Australia’s national conference

17 and 18 November 2014, Adelaide

The 2014 Government Skills Australia (GSA) national conference is being held at the newly completed Adelaide Oval and is now open for registrations.

The conference will bring together the government and community safety sectors to explore the future of skills and workforce development.

The conference will be delivered through interactive discussion, workshops and plenary sessions.

Online registrations are now open!

Australian Training Awards

21 November 2014, Adelaide

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

Registrations are now open through the website.

Professional development for training providers – NSW

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


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

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 (nine NEW videos)
  3. Introduction to workplace LLN series (new videos coming in 2014).

These LLN videos can be used for:

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

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

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

Access ready-made content through VET Commons today!

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

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

What’s so good about VET Commons?

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

Make your life easier!

Cengage Learning partners with VET Commons

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

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

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

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

RSS subscribe button image

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


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

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

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


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

Subscribe to VOCEDplus Highlights.

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

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

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

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

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

Value added products – these include:

To find out more, visit VOCEDplus.

Government Skills Australia – foundation skills resources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New one-stop-shop for digital content

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free ISC foundation skills resources now in one place

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

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

Tap Into Learning Today (TILT)

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

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

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

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

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

To find out more about TILT please visit the website.

Numeracy in Practice and Numeracy in Focus

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

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

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

Numeracy in Practice includes:

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

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

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

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

This resource is designed to be used by practitioners who:

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

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

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

Free CPSISC energy efficiency resources

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

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

These free energy efficiency resources available for download include:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


If you would like to provide feedback, supply an article for inclusion in the next edition or join our list of subscribers, please email skillsatwork@industry.gov.au. The next edition will be published in September 2014. Submissions are due by 18 August 2014.