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Skills@Work is compiled and distributed by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. All articles are submitted by the originating organisation and are published with their approval. They may not necessarily reflect the views of the department.

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


July 2016

What’s happening
Industry news
Faces of Excellence
Upcoming events
Useful links


Reading Writing Hotline

My literacy lets me down: how the Reading Writing Hotline is making a difference

James works as a supervisor in a paint shop in regional Queensland. He is embarrassed writing anything, as he says “my literacy lets me down”. James has wanted to improve his reading and writing his whole life and recently took a step towards that by calling the Reading Writing Hotline. The Hotline is a national telephone referral service for adults who want to improve their literacy, numeracy and computing skills. James rang the Hotline and after discussing study options with one of the teachers, he decided to start with some online resources and then join a local literacy class to help with his workplace writing. 

The Hotline receives calls from employers and community workers as well as individuals like James. It celebrated twenty years of service in 2014 and has responded to over 150,000 calls. Our experienced and understanding teachers give advice and direct callers to the most suitable course provider, online resources and services.

We have a large database to draw on, covering accredited and non-accredited courses including basic literacy, workplace and study preparation, and English as second language courses. As services are constantly changing, and training is offered in new and different situations, the Hotline welcomes updates, suggestions and new requests for inclusion on the database.

Call 1300 6 555 06 or visit the website.

The Hotline is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training and managed by TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute.

Australian Industry and Skills Committee: giving industry a voice

Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) advise the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) on changing skills needs in their industry and the priorities for the review and update of Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications. It is important that each IRC is broadly representative of its industry sector and undertakes extensive consultation to ensure their work represents a whole-of-industry view.

IRC Review
The AISC is progressively reviewing the structure and membership of each IRC and is keen to hear your views about the IRC that is best placed to represent your industry. You can register via the AISC website to receive updates on the progress of the review of a particular IRC.

There are a number of ways you can participate in the review of your IRC. As each IRC is reviewed, a draft structure is published for comment on the AISC website. This will ensure that the structure will best represent the needs of that industry – that the right organisations and expertise are included.

Once feedback on the structure is considered, the AISC will make a public call for nominations to fill IRC positions. This will ensure that the best people are appointed to these committees.

The AISC welcomes your involvement in the establishment of your IRC. The right IRC will give your industry a strong voice in the training of your future workforce. Currently, the proposed structure for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker IRC was open for comments to 8 July 2016 and the proposed structure for the Financial Services IRC is open for comments to 25 July 2016.

National Schedule

The AISC is also keen to provide a single source of information about the work that is underway in the training package system through the National Schedule. At their recent meeting, the AISC agreed to the first iteration of the National Schedule which includes urgent work identified by IRCs – and this work is now underway. The new work will deliver opportunities for improved productivity for Australian firms by focusing on the new skills industry needs to:

  • capitalise on advancements in technology;
  • keep pace with new ways of working;
  • reflect new jobs in the economy; and
  • address emerging skills needs.

The Schedule for this early stage of work will be published on the AISC’s website shortly.

Concurrently, IRCs are developing their four-year workplans which will include an industry-level analysis of the opportunities and challenges for their workforce and recommendations about when the relevant training products should be reviewed and, if necessary, updated. These workplans will also provide advice about any new skills needs that are expected to arise in their industry into the future. Priority work identified through this process will be added to the National Schedule and will be progressed by the relevant IRC.

Information on how to be part of this new consultative approach, through the IRCs, is available on the AISC website.

2016 WorldSkills Australia


Show your students what vocational education and training has to offer at the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition from 6 - 8 October at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

Supported by the Victorian Government, this FREE event will inspire your students in the following ways as they navigate their career options:

  1. Witness greatness: Watch Australia's best young tradies showdown in 52 skills - including auto, cooking, engineering, fashion and many more! 
  2. Realise potential: Join the fun! Students can try their hand at a range of Try’aSkill activities like decorating cupcakes and disassembling a real engine component.
  3. Discover possibilities: Let the Skills Village careers expo harness your students' newfound inspiration

Register your school group or visit the WorldSkills website.

NEW CEO - WorldSkills Australia

The Board of Directors of WorldSkills Australia has announced the appointment of Mr Brett Judd as the new Chief Executive Officer of WorldSkills Australia.

Mr Judd brings over 20 years of executive sales and marketing, operational, technology and general management experience both in Australia and overseas and has worked with a number of government and non-government clients to deliver more than 250 events.

Read more in the Media Release.

Unique Student Identifier (USI) – Face-to-Face Workshop Resources now available

The USI Office ran a series of 16 face-to-face interactive workshops with training providers in all capital cities during the months of May and June.

Approximately 480 participants from 350 training providers attended from across the country and were presented with useful information on new functions, the upcoming USI Transcript Service and major USI system upgrades, as well as useful business process insights.

Training providers also had the opportunity to participate in discussion sessions, provide suggestions for improvements and have their questions answered by staff members of the USI Office.

If you were not able to attend one of our workshops, but would like to know more, copies of the workshop presentations are now available on our website. The USI Office will also be hosting a webinar series for training providers who were unable to attend the face to face workshops.

Stay tuned; more information on this coming soon.

For more on USI, visit our website.

Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarships

As from 1 July 2016, Smart and Skilled fee-free scholarships are being extended to people experiencing domestic or family violence. This measure is an extension of the Fee-Free Scholarship Program for Smart and Skilled to help people across New South Wales gain financial independence and stability. Further information is available on the Smart and Skilled website


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IBSA’s Leadership and Management resources

Training Australia’s future leaders?
Develop your learners' management skills with resources that include extras such as assessment task mapping, session plans, templates and case studies. IBSA has resources to suit any delivery style and provides everything an RTO will need to customise training for their students such as print-based workbooks (including self-print options), digital trainer guides and e-Learning solutions. IBSA’s extensive range of Learning and Assessment resources offers full coverage of both the BSB42015 Certificate IV in Leadership and Management and the BSB51915 Diploma of Leadership and Management qualifications.

Did you know?
IBSA offers samples of every product and gives the opportunity to see firsthand how their resources can work. Check out a sample of the workbook for core unit BSBLDR502 Lead and manage effective workplace relationships.

Download information flyers for each qualification from the IBSA website or go straight to the IBSA Store.


Designed by SkillsDMC, a global leader in the design and validation of competency standards across the resources and infrastructure industry worldwide, SkillsMAXsolution offers access to the Global Competency Framework, Industry-defined competency standards for safe and productive work wherever there is extractives and civil infrastructure activity. 

This innovative new platform contains:
• Global Competency Framework in the form of units of competency
• Skilling Profiles – a comprehensive overview of technical and generic skills
• Verification of Competency – tools and templates
• Worker database – identify and track your workforces’ skills.

Find out more about SkillsMAXsolution or contact SkillsDMC

Skills OZ Skills for Industry

CPSISC is now trading as Skills Oz and is committed to supporting industry to advance education and training, support employment and skills development, and contribute to high quality training products and services. 

Skills Oz is about ‘Skills For Industry’ and actively supports the needs of the construction and property services workforce through four key functions:

  • Skills Development
  • Quality of Training and Assessment for Industry
  • Products and Resources
  • Research and Consultancy Services.

The Skills Oz Environmental Scan (E-Scan) 2016-17 was recently launched and is available as a whole publication, or in chapter downloads. Find out more in the June Newsletter or on the Skills Oz website.


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Skills development is a primary means of enabling young people to make a smooth transition to work. In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 15 July as World Youth Skills Day. UK Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said that skills development better equips young people to find decent jobs and triggers a process of empowerment and self-esteem that benefits everyone.

This July, read about three young Australians who have undertaken an Australian School-based Apprenticeship, participated in the 2015 Australian Training Awards and are now Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors.

Brenden Williamson

Brenden Williamson was offered the motorcycle mechanic apprenticeship he dreamt of after winning a competition in the Yamaha Student Grand Prix. He didn’t want to drop out of school, but an Australian School-based Apprenticeship (ASbA) enabled him to start the apprenticeship, earn a bit of money and also let him finish Year 12.

With his teachers’ support, Brenden travelled the three hour round trip to attend his workplace in Campbelltown plus an hour each way to TAFE NSW. Brenden also contributed his time at expos and schools, promoting the value of ASbAs to students.

Now in the second year of his full apprenticeship in Certificate III in Motorcycle Mechanical Technology, he would eventually like to make custom made motorcycles.

In 2015 Brenden won the Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award at the Australian Training Awards and was appointed an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador, a role he's already been performing unofficially.

Read more of Brenden’s story.

Hana Chapman-Speering

Hana Chapman-Speering encourages every school student to consider doing an ASbA, no matter what their career plans are.

Doing work experience in an aged-care home, Hana decided she’d like to try that career path, so she completed her Certificate III in Aged Care during Years 11 and 12 through an Australian School-based Apprenticeship (ASbA). Being able to spread her study over the course of the apprenticeship made the work load very manageable.

Keen for as many work experiences as possible, Hana changed jobs and is currently a security officer at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. To support this role, she is studying a Diploma of Justice Studies for a basic understanding of the application of legislation as well as skills in interviewing and gathering information.

In 2015, Hana won the ACT’s Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award, was runner up for the national award in the Australian Training Awards and was appointed an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador for the Australian Government.

Read more about Hana.

Thalia Wilkinson

Thalia Wilkinson assumed she’d head for university after school but interest in workplace learning, which gives students the work experience they need once they finish school, led her to an Australian Apprenticeship and countless career options.

Thalia was interested in studying electrical engineering or robotics and automation at university so decided to try an electrical course through an Australian School-based Apprenticeship (ASbA). She is now an apprentice in Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician with Collins Electrical in Perth and thanks to her ASbA is hoping to finish her apprenticeship a year early.

At 18, Thalia already has a Certificate IV in Workplace Health and Safety and encourages others to consider an apprenticeship.

In 2015 she won Western Australia’s Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year, was a finalist in the Australian Training Awards and was appointed an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador for the Australian Government.

Read Thalia’s story.


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VETnetwork Australia 2016 Biennial National Conference

27–29 July 2016, Gold Coast Convention Centre, Queensland

Read the Conference Programme for more information or register online.  


Victorian TAFE Association State Conference

18–19 August, RACV City Club, Melbourne

The 2016 VTA State Conference programme brings together an exciting list of local and international speakers to engage Victoria’s public VET sector leaders in the challenge to collaborate and innovate.

Register or read more on the VTA website.

NSW TAFE Managers Association

26 August, Taronga Zoo, Sydney

TMA's 2016 Annual Conference, Lead on, will be held at Taronga Zoo and includes cocktails in the Elephant enclosure!

Book your ticket or learn more on the website.

ACPET National Conference and Asia Pacific International Education Forum

24–26 August 2016, Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart

The 2016 theme is Connecting Knowledge skills and Futures through Innovation. Presenters include Professor Ian Harper, Chair of the Competition Policy Review, Dr Subho Banerjee Deputy Secretary Skills and Training, Commonwealth Department of Education and Training, Andrew Norton from the Grattan Institute, Professor Peter Noonan from LH Martin Institute and Jonathan Chew of the Nous Group. Todd Russell, survivor of the Beaconsfield mine disaster, will address the conference on Drawing Strength from Adversity.

Register now.

2016 National Skills Week

29 August - 4 September 2016

Visit the National Skills Week website for more details.


2016 Global Indigenous Women's Conference

12–14 September 2016, Stamford Grand Adelaide, Glenelg, Adelaide

Keynote speakers include Ms Muriel Stanley Venne, Ms Rachelle Venne, Dr Nina Sivertsen and the Hon. Linda Burney MP.

Visit the conference website to register or to read more about this and other Indigenous conferences.

2016 Global Indigenous Men’s Conference

12–14 September 2016, Stamford Grand Adelaide, Glenelg, Adelaide

Visit the conference website to register or for more details about the conference.

2016 Velg National VET Conference

15–16 September 2016, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre

For more information about the Conference, visit the Velg website or contact the Events Team on 07 3866 0888 or at conference@velgtraining.com.


TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) Convention 2016 – Skills Resurgence

5–6 October 2016, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

Skills Resurgence, the 2016 TDA Convention, will feature high-profile speakers, discussions, engaging workshops, and invaluable networking opportunities.

With award winning journalist Virginia Trioli as MC, a highlight of the convention will be the new Innovation Lounge (i-Lounge), a platform to showcase start‑up, early stage and established companies at the cutting-edge of innovative and disruptive technologies.

View the flyer and read more about the conference.

WorldSkills Australia National Competition

6–8 October 2016, Melbourne

Get your ticket to the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition.

ACER National Adult Training and Assessment Conference

13–14 October, William Angliss Institute, Melbourne

The theme for the National Adult Training and Assessment Conference (NATAC) 2016 is Improving quality, reducing risks. Topics and sessions to be included in the conference will address quality systems in VET, including assessment and links with industry; quality trainers, including the skills/capabilities that VET practitioners need to develop; and quality teaching and learning practices. NATAC will continue to include a significant LLN stream.

Visit the ACER website for more details. 


E-Oz and SkillsOz Conference 2016

8–9 November, Marriott Resort and Spa, Surfers Paradise

The theme for 2016 is Assuring quality in the National VET system – Change, Challenge, Opportunity and the conference will focus on where the industry stands with the current and impending VET situation, including future changes to be faced and addressed.

This year’s conference will aim to bring together the knowledge of the ElectroComms and Energy Utilities ISC as well as the Construction and Property Services ISC, and their industries, and present an exciting range of presentations, workshops and forums.

Registrations are now open.

2016 Australian Training Awards

17 November 2016, Darwin, Northern Territory

Register now to attend the 2016 Australian Training Awards presentation dinner. 

Find out more on the website or by emailing australiantrainingawards@education.gov.au.


International Indigenous Conferences


1–3 December 2016, Pullman Cairns International Hotel, Queensland

To register for the International Indigenous Health Conference and the International Indigenous Allied Health Conference, please visit the conference website or send an email.


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2016 Velg Training

Velg Training provides a range of Vocational Education and Training (VET) professional development and consulting services. Go to their website for details about Mentoring Mondays, Live Streams, Webinars and Workshops.


ACPET, a national provider of professional development training, is recognised for promoting excellence in education by providing high-quality PD programs. View upcoming webinars and workshops on the ACPET website. To register or to purchase a recording, please contact the PD team at pd@acpet.edu.au or call (03) 9412 5900.

eWorks blog posts

eWorks has a strong foundation in servicing the National VET system, government organisations and the corporate sector, and prides itself on delivering high-quality and reliable online delivery solutions.

Explore their latest blogs:

Other resources


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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 Industry and Skills Committee - established by the COAG Industry and Skills Council in May 2015, it provides industry-led advice on the implementation of national vocational education and training and approves training packages for implementation.

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.

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.

Unique Student Identifier (USI) - provides information about the USI, a reference number that creates a secure online lifetime record of an individual’s nationally recognised training and qualifications.

VETNet - a central storage facility for relevant current and historical materials relating to the national VET sector, in particular companion volumes implementation guides.

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@education.gov.au. The next edition will be published in August 2016. Submissions are due by Friday 15 July 2016.