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Budget 2014

The 2014-15 Budget was handed down in Canberra on 13 May. The Budget contains a number of measures which will directly impact the vocational education and training sector.

New initiatives

The Minister for Industry, the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, has announced the following new initiatives:

  • From 1 January 2015, the $476 million Industry Skills Fund will deliver targeted training and support services to nearly 200 000 participants over four years. The fund will assist small and medium sized businesses that are seeking to improve their productivity and competitiveness in the global market.
  • To support apprentices in completing their training, the new Trade Support Loans programme will offer loans of up to $20 000 over the life of an apprenticeship. Loans will be repaid once apprentices are earning a sustainable income (minimum $53 345 in 2014-15). These loans will provide real support for apprentices, meeting the costs associated with undertaking an apprenticeship .

Further information about these new initiatives is in Minister Macfarlane’s media release of
13 May 2014.

Ceasing programmes

The following programmes will cease:

  • Accelerated Australian Apprenticeships
  • Alternative Pathways to Apprenticeships
  • Apprentice to Business Owner
  • Australian Apprenticeships Access
  • Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring
  • National Partnership Agreement on Training Places for Single and Teenage Parents
  • * National Workforce Development Fund
  • Productive Ageing through Community Education
  • Step into Skills
  • Tools for Your Trade
  • * Workplace English Language and Literacy.

Two further programmes will lapse:

  • Skills Connect Fund
  • Investing in Experience.

All agreements and contracts already in place for the above programmes will be honoured. No new applications will be considered. The programmes marked with * will consider applications for funding that were received on or before 21 March 2014.

What this budget means for the sector - webinar

The Head of Skills Division in the Department of Industry, Craig Robertson, participated in a webinar about how the 2014-15 Budget will impact the vocational education and training sector. Facilitated by Velg Training, the webinar addresses not only the implications of the budget but also the work the government is undertaking with regards to reform of the sector.

The webinar is available for viewing on YouTube.

AWPA and NATESE functions transfer to Department of Industry

In line with the Australian Government’s desire to streamline advisory and bureaucratic processes, the work and staff of the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) and the National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE) will be transferred to the Department of Industry. This transfer is expected to be complete by 1 July 2014.

Dissolution of the NSSC

The Council of Australian Governments’ Industry and Skills Council has agreed to dissolve the National Skills Standards Committee (NSSC). The ongoing functions of the NSSC will be delegated to industry representatives and selected senior officials. These delegations will be the responsibility of the Industry and Skills Council Advisory Committee, which will commence operations in mid-2014.

Interim arrangements have been established for both ongoing standards and policies, which includes the processes by which training packages are submitted for endorsement. Details of these arrangements are available on the NSSC’s website.

Minister for Industry to speak at National Skills Summit

The Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) is pleased to advise that the Minister for Industry, the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, will give the headline address to the VET sector at the ACPET – ACCI [Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry] National Skills Summit, to be held in Canberra on 25 June 2014.

The programme for the Summit is still being developed, but Minister Macfarlane is expected to outline the government’s plans for deregulation / proportionate regulation of the VET sector.

Fulbright scholarships – 2015 applications are now open

The Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Vocational Education and Training is awarded annually to an employee within the VET sector or training leaders in business or industry. It allows the recipient to spend three to four months in the United States of America undertaking research and study into current vocational education and training policy or practice.

Applications for the 2015 scholarship are now open. The scholarship is valued at up to
AUD$33 000 and must be commenced between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016. Preference will be given to those applicants with a record of achievement. Applications close on 1 August 2014. Information on the scholarship, eligibility and application process is on the Fulbright Commission’s website.

The 2014 scholarship winner, Raymond Cadmore, will study at the Forsyth Community Technical College in North Carolina in the second half of 2014. His studies will focus on the drivers of new and emerging technologies in the US’ VET curriculum, with particular focus on the way industry, government and vocational educators engage with each other and with future training needs. Mr Cadmore was profiled in the April edition of this newsletter.

The Australian American Fulbright Commission was established in 1949. It is the Australian arm of the Fulbright Program, which was established by US Senator J William Fulbright in 1946. Senator Fulbright believed that these scholarships could assist in building and maintaining world peace following World War II. The Fulbright Program has 325 000 alumni across the world.

Apprentice champion stars at manufacturing showpiece

The most outstanding Australian Apprentice in the nation in 2013 shared his success story at National Manufacturing Week on 16 May.

Patrick Janes, a 23-year-old boilermaker from Ballarat, Victoria, told the audience about how his farm upbringing naturally led to an Australian Apprenticeship in metal fabrication.

Patrick’s achievements during his Australian Apprenticeship were recognised when he was named Australian Apprentice of the Year at the 2013 Australian Training Awards in Perth.

Patrick recently took over the business he was trained in and is an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador for the Australian Government.

“Having my boss offer to sell me the business he owned for 30 years was a great opportunity and gave me confidence to pursue my goals,” Patrick said.

“The great thing about an apprenticeship is that you really can turn your hobby into a career.”

National Manufacturing Week organisers were impressed with Patrick’s presentation, saying via their Twitter account, “We are still gobsmacked with the talent, professionalism and ambition he displayed, well done Patrick!”

National Manufacturing Week was held at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park. Next year’s event will be held in Melbourne.

For more information about Patrick’s success, read his profile here.

International student mobility grants round is now open

Australia’s higher education and vocational education providers are encouraged to apply for the latest round of the Australian Government’s International Student Mobility Programs for 2015.

The programmes collectively aim to fund around 5000 grants each year, supporting Australian students to undertake a six to 12 month overseas study experience as part of their course, and can include volunteer work, clinical placements and internships.

Grants to support intensive Asian language training are available as part of the AsiaBound Grants program, which complements the Government’s $100 million New Colombo Plan. This Plan, currently being piloted, allows approximately 700 undergraduate students from across Australia to study abroad in the Indo-Pacific region.

Examples of previously funded projects include

  • building and construction students travelling to Singapore to study sustainable design and building practices in Asia
  • nursing students travelling to Malta to undertake education and practical experience in aged and dementia care nursing
  • tourism students undertaking a research trip to China to understand Chinese travellers with an interest in visiting Australia and Chinese tourism operators interested in partnership arrangements.

Applications for the 2015 round of Student Mobility Programs close on 16 June 2014. Further information is available online.

Australian Apprenticeships & Traineeships Information Service and Australian Apprenticeships Pathways – website changes

The Australian Apprenticeships & Traineeships Information Service and Australian Apprenticeships Pathways websites have recently undergone some changes.

Self Help on Australian Apprenticeships Pathways

The first group of changes centres on streamlining the information in the ‘Self Help’ menu item on the Australian Apprenticeships Pathways website.

This area covers essential information about apprenticeships and traineeships along with some practical information about job hunting offered in the ‘Step by Step’ menu.

Practice aptitude quiz page changes

The much-used practice aptitude quizzes are now available in the new ‘Industry Career Information & Quizzes’ area under the Career Resources menu of the AAPathways and AATInfo websites.

The quizzes and associated industry-based career information are now categorised under 18 broad industry titles.

The quiz documents have been changed with the industry careers information now published online, leaving just the Language, Literacy and Numeracy ‘question and answer’ section remaining as a downloadable PDF. This reduces the size of the document download, and allows for easier management of the many links provided in the industry careers area.

Australian Apprenticeships - Service Provider Search resource

This resource is a central point when searching for service providers in the Australian Apprenticeships field, such as Australian Apprenticeships Centres, group training organisations, registered training organisations and organisations working in the employment and career advice areas. This resource will help organisations active in Australian Apprenticeship delivery and the general public connect with greater ease and directness.

Any service provider with an interest in promoting their Australian Apprenticeships related activities can register an account to upload their service and contact information.

You can register an account online or contact the AAT Information Service on 1800 338 022 or by email .

This Service is funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry.

Approved VET FEE-HELP provider training sessions

The Federal Department of Education will be running introductory VET FEE-HELP training for approved VET FEE-HELP providers in a number of locations around Australia in 2014.

This training is suitable for new administrators of VET FEE-HELP, recently approved providers or existing providers that wish to refresh their knowledge.

Training details, including an overview, dates, locations and information on how to register, are available on the Department of Education's website.

Launch of female tradie network

Fanelle, an organisation set up to support female apprentices and tradeswomen, will be launched in Melbourne on 2 June by the Victorian Minister for Women’s Affairs, the Hon Heidi Victoria MLA.

The brainchild of fourth year apprentice mechanic Fiona Lawrie (pictured, right), Fanelle is an organisation of women working in male-dominated trades, set up to support tradeswomen through their apprenticeships and early post-apprenticeship years.

The launch will showcase the current achievements surrounding women working in male-dominated trades and Fanelle’s upcoming initiatives, and is an opportunity for organisations associated with Fanelle to show their support for tradeswomen.

Winning partnerships link school to work

A partnership that gives Year 11 and 12 students a practical way to explore apprenticeship and traineeship career pathways has won the 2014 Group Training Australia Partnership Award.

TORGAS and the Queensland Government’s Schools Industry Training Network were presented with the award at the Career Development Association of Australia National Conference in Adelaide.

“For many young people, the issue of career choice can be a real dilemma, so providing early insights through a structured work experience programme plays a big part in good career decision making,” said Jim Barron, the Chief Executive of Group Training Australia, who presented the award.

Runner-up in the Partnership Award, and ‘Highly Commended’ by the judges, was Kimberley Group Training with its Kimberley Education For Life programme. This school-based traineeship programme uniquely offers students the opportunity to participate in an Outdoor Education and Certificate II in Agriculture traineeship in addition to their chosen traineeship.

For information on the GTA Partnership Award, please email Leonie Stanfield at Group Training Australia.

ACPET special offer for members

The Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) has negotiated a special three year TrainingVC package for ACPET members. For the usual TrainingVC establishment cost of $6000, ACPET members will also receive six extra benefits at no additional cost. More information is available online.

eWorks’ Toolbox of the month: Splash

The Splash Toolbox has been created to support the flexible delivery of the Certificate I in Water Sustainability. It provides a pathway into the water industry for, in particular, young people who are seeking an opportunity to gain industry experience while developing a set of valuable employability skills.

You can read more about Splash online, and can order the Toolbox through eWorks’ online ordering system.


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Service Skills Australia

SIS Sport, Fitness and Recreation training package: Draft 1 Fitness and Community Recreation is now closed for feedback

Service Skills Australia (SSA) is currently undertaking important consultation to ensure that the fitness and community recreation qualifications within the Sports, Fitness and Recreation training package are of high-quality and reflect the current workforce skills needs of the industry.

Consultation for draft 1 of the Fitness and Community Recreation components of the SIS training package is closed and feedback will now be collated and analysed. Further targeted consultation will be untaken to validate the changes needed for draft 2, which is expected to be ready in July.

For further information please visit SSA's website or email Elly Snyder.

SIT Recommended Actions Report

SSA has recently published the SIT Recommended Actions Report. This report provides a summary of the agreed continuous improvement activities for the SIT12 training package which will occur alongside the transition to the Standards for Training Packages.

For further information and to view the report, please visit the SIT Tourism, Travel and Hospitality project page or email Rebecca Grooby.

Right Way News - May 2014

The May edition is now available! In this issue:

  • Right Way Accredited trainers and assessors
  • Right Way Accredited training facilities
  • Upcoming industry pre-approved professional development opportunities.


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 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 June and July 2014. Places are limited so book now to secure your seat. More information is available on the SkillsDMC Events page. If you have already registered for a session and find that one of the new dates is more suitable, please email Michelle Day to discuss transferring your registration.


Skilled women

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Renya urges hairdressing students to read The Mane Edition

It is Australia’s first student paper for hairdressers and it already has the endorsement of celebrity stylist and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador Renya Xydis.

The Mane Edition released its first edition in April this year and it is already proving to be hot property at registered training organisations (RTOs) Australia-wide.

The publication is purchased and provided by RTOs and is free for students.

Renya, who has worked with celebrities including Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman and is one of Australia’s most successful businesswomen, said the publication was a fantastic resource for hairdressing students.

“A hairdressing paper for students – what a great initiative!” Renya said.

The Mane Edition provides an easy way for students to keep up-to-date with the unique hairdressing industry. While you are completing an Australian Apprenticeship, you are learning so many valuable skills that really set you up for life, and keeping up with the advances and developments of the industry is vital. Hopefully this magazine will build a strong following of teachers, hairdressers, stylists, bloggers, and industry entrepreneurs.”

Creative director and co-founder of The Mane Edition, David Mannah, said the objective of the publication was to celebrate the skills of the hairdressing industry while creating a new media platform for students.

To subscribe your training provider to The Mane Edition, please send an email. For more information, you are invited to call 02 9590 4244.

Sarah’s apprenticeship ignites life-long learning

Systems electrician: Sarah Lacey
Certificate III in Electrotechnology (Systems Electrician) and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

How did Sarah Lacey go from believing females typically only undertook apprenticeships or traineeships in beauty therapy and hairdressing to getting her hands dirty as a systems electrician? Read more about Sarah’s Australian Apprenticeship journey and how she doesn’t want to ever stop learning!

Rebekah’s sporting passion

Sports coach: Rebekah Drake
Certificate III in Sports and Recreation

Rebekah Drake has loved sport for as long as she can remember. She undertook training that allows her to combine her love of sport with her passion for coaching. Read more about Rebekah’s Australian Apprenticeships journey and her involvement in community programmes.

Holly’s beauty therapy

Beauty therapist: Holly Browne
Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy

Holly Browne’s interest in skin care and beauty therapy has seen her achieve success and recognition on the national and international stage through her inclusion in the WorldSkills Skillaroos. Read more about Holly’s Australian Apprenticeships journey and how her flair for beauty therapy took her to Japan and then to London before she returned to Australia to teach others.


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CS&HISC consultation forums

Throughout June and July 2014

The Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC) is holding a series of consultation forums with industry as part of the Improve Training Quality in Aged Care project, funded by the Department of Social Services.

All stakeholders associated with aged care, home and community care, allied health assistance, disability, leisure and health, mental health and general community services and management sectors are invited to attend.

The dates and cities for these forums are:

  • Darwin, 11 June
  • Adelaide, 13 June
  • Melbourne, 17 June
  • Brisbane, 26 June
  • Canberra, 30 June
  • Perth, 3 July
  • Hobart, 9 July.

The Sydney forum was on 2 June.

Details and registration are available on CS&HISC's website.

Australian Apprenticeships & Traineeships Information Service session – Hobart

4 June 2014, Hobart

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

A session has been scheduled for Hobart, Tasmania. The AAT Information Service will also be presenting at the 2014 Skills Tasmania conference on 3 June.

Wednesday 4 June 2014

To get more information and to book for the upcoming information session please complete the online registration form.

Feel free to call 1800 338 022 or email with any questions.

Velg Training webinars – online training at your desk

Throughout June and July 2014

Velg Training offers a professional development (PD) programme 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 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.

National VET Research 2014 ‘No Frills’ conference

9–11 July 2014, Melbourne

Registrations are now open for this year’s National VET Research ‘No Frills’ conference in July.

Highlights of the programme include keynote addresses by Steve Sargent (President and CEO of GE Australia and New Zealand, and chair of the B20 Human Capital Taskforce) and Mark Burford (Executive Director, Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University). Both speakers are uniquely positioned to share their insights on issues critical to the VET sector.

Don’t miss this opportunity to discuss and share information, in an informal atmosphere which encourages lively exchanges and offers valuable networking opportunities.

Co-hosted by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) and Holmesglen, the conference will be held at Hemisphere Conference Centre at Holmesglen’s Moorabbin campus.

You can register online at NCVER’s Portal.

2014 Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) provider forum

11–12 August 2014

The Federal Department of Education is hosting the 2014 HELP provider forum, Quality and deregulation – better, faster, stronger, at the National Convention Centre in Canberra on 11 and
12 August 2014.

Approved HELP providers can now register their attendance online.

Further information on the forum is available on the Noticeboard or by contacting the department via email.

Registration closes COB Friday 13 June 2014.

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 2014 national VET conference

11–12 September 2014, Brisbane

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 VET professionals together to discuss recent updates to the sector and best practices for RTOs, acting as a platform for networking and collaboration.

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.

Online registration for the 2014 national VET conference is now open for delegates.

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 programme - 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 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 ACAL’s website.

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 from 1 July 2014.

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 (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.

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.

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.

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 July 2014. Submissions are due by 18 June 2014.