20 October 2021
  • CEO's message
  • Awards galore for group training 
  • You've waited, now it's just around the corner: NAEN Conference, 15-17 March 2022, Hobart 
  • Queensland GTOs to steer $25m pre-apprenticeship program
  • Sixteen groups named in NCI's $6m funding round
  • Reminder to nominate for Today’s Skills: Tomorrow’s Leaders program, Canberra, February 2022
  • Welcome boost to apprentice wage subsidy
  • New NAEN members
  • Minister Stuart Robert to launch GTO governance handbook
  • NAEN welcomes new projects manager, Kerrie Best
  • Never doubt your ability, give anything a go: Dean's attitude is priceless
  • Three great female role models honour the Sarah Lloyd scholarship vision
  • 'This is what group training is all about': Damian's journey has a great ending
  • ACA wins key contract to deliver care roles
  • Events diary

CEO's message

In 2021, NAEN members in all Australian states and territories have managed diverse circumstances to maintain the momentum of apprentice and trainee employment.
In NSW and Victoria, the states most impacted by COVID, GTOs have managed services through repeated and extended lockdowns. Tactful operations have ramped up recruitment, then managed apprentice and trainee stand downs, ramped up recruitment again, then managed stand downs again.
They have dealt with stalled apprentice recruitment, planned for delayed secondary school certificates, dealt with impacted school based trainees and apprentices, and been in constant contact with host employers, apprentices and trainees regarding new or changed COVID-related restrictions.
All the while, they have been providing updated COVID health and safety advice and vaccination requirements, re-organising training and assessment with training providers, and working through administration and funding arrangements for new starters, as well as those they were keeping employed. I know for some GTOs this is just a part of the full circumstances they have managed.
Depending on the jurisdiction, some GTOs have had a very different year, maintaining a relatively smooth tempo of operations, utliising the federal government incentives to boost apprentice commencements, while their local economy seemed largely untouched by the pandemic.
At times like this, gratitude is a key motivator to keep us on track. I know that NAEN members are grateful for the federal government's Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement (BAC) measure so that they can commence new apprentices and trainees at a time of economic uncertainty. Now, with the Completing Apprenticeship Commencements (CAC) measure, GTOs are hopeful of retaining these BAC starters into their second and third year. The success of the BAC measure has been a clear demonstration of the correlation between wage support and apprentice uptake. 
Despite our challenging year, Australia has had its largest number of apprentice commencements in more than a decade. This continued drive is crucial as we respond to the massive skill shortages that are forecast. Many hospitality and events businesses will need to reboot after a massive workforce loss, and Australia’s record investment in infrastructure will demand a skilled workforce for many years.
It is hard to recall a time when the strength of our federated system has been more critical. Despite the challenges, there is relief ahead with restrictions easing and vaccination rates increasing. At last we can plan ahead with a little more certainty.
NAEN is planning with more certainty as we lock in our refreshed Today's Skills Tomorrow's Leaders career development program. Twenty-two carefully selected apprentices and trainees endorsed by NAEN member GTOs for their career potential will participate in a transformational residential development program at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, 13-18 February 2022. 
We are so excited that this is now firmly scheduled. There is still time to nominate apprentices and trainees for this landmark program. The closing date for nominations is 10 November, with the selection of successful candidates made by 29 November. See more details further down in the newsletter.
The event we are all waiting for is our national NAEN 2022 Conference, Adaptation and Opportunity. This is the big event we have been moved in our calendars to 15-17 March 2022 in Hobart. It’s wonderful that this date looks promising to enable all ticket holders to attend from across the country. We are most grateful to our partners and sponsors for their maintained support – the Tasmanian Government, Australian Super, the National Careers Institute, MEGT ANP, AATIS, USI, HVTC, ReadyTech, TasTAFE, Wilson Homes, AEN NSW & ACT, and AEN QLD & NT.
On November 9, we have a special virtual event planned for all GTOs, when Minister Stuart Robert will launch our newly revised Governance Handbook. This important resource will assist GTOs to meet current governance requirements which align to the National Standards for GTOs. The handbook has been prepared for NAEN by Directors Australia, who will follow the Minister's launch with a workshop for GTOs on board performance. This event is free for NAEN members, and registration will open shortly.
Congratulations to GTOs that have pursued recognition of their apprentices and trainees through the various awards programs that are so important to remind us of why we do the work that we do. Although many awards events have been virtual this year, large audiences have been tuning in to celebrate achievements and the pathways created through GTOs. The Australian Training Awards is another opportunity to cheer on virtually on November 18.
Best wishes to all readers as you navigate the final months of 2021 and plan for a new 2022.

Dianne Dayhew
Chief Executive Officer

Awards galore for group training 

A host of group training’s top talent has featured in training awards around the country.

At the NSW Training Awards, HVTC’s Althea Kruizinga was presented with the Special Award for a Woman in a Non-Traditional Trade or Vocation. Althea is studying a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician at TAFE NSW, and is employed by HVTC and hosted by BlueScope Steel.

HVTC's Central Coast Community College was in the winners' frame for VET Trainer/Teacher of the Year, awarded to Erin Jacob for her innovative programs for students who have experienced hardship. 

At the South Australian Training Awards, PEER’s Thomas Alexander was named Vocational Student of the Year. The Norwood Morialta High School student completed his Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start) through PEER’s VET in schools program.

At the WA Training Awards, 17-year-old Courtney Short won School-based Apprentice of the Year. Courtney’s passion for cooking translated into an apprenticeship where she undertook a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, employed by Hospitality Group Training and hosted at Pan Pacific Hotel.

In Victoria, a collaboration between WPC Group and Esso Australia is headed to the Australian Training Awards in November as a finalist in the Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award.

Group training was well represented in the winners circle of the Tasmanian Training Awards. Trainee of the Year, Ashling Cannell, is employed by Work & Training, and undertook her Certificate III in Education Support for her position with host employer, John Paul II Primary School.

Work and Training also had success with another of its Tasmanian employees, Frances Daisy Walsh, who is hosted at RACV Hotel and was awarded the Equity Trainee of the Year.

Tasmania's prestigious Lance Barnard Memorial Award went to Work and Training apprentice James Gravina, doing a Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology, with host employer MacKillop Catholic College. 

Congratulations to GTNT, a finalist for Large Employer of the Year at the NT Training Awards.

In the ACT, the Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year went to Hannah Holford, employed by Australian Training Company and hosted by Baptist Care Carey Gardens. Hannah is doing her Certificate III in Individual Support.

Also, congratulations to East Coast Apprenticeships which was the runner up for the Premier's Industry Collaboration Award in Queensland for its Enhanced Pathways Program in partnership with TAFE Queensland.

Many of the group training winners will now be heading to the Australian Training Awards. Congratulations to all these great ambassadors!

See all the finalists at the Australian Training Awards.

AEN NSW & ACT celebrates its high achievers

The Apprentice Employment Network NSW & ACT recently held its annual awards event, recognising the outstanding work of group training.
The winners were:  
  • Apprentice of the Year: Althea Kruizinga, employed by HVTC, hosted by BlueScope.
  • Trainee of the Year: Tahlia Sydenham, employed by: My Gateway, hosted by Wollondilly Shire Council.
  • School Based Trainee of the Year: Ashley Fernandez, employed by AFL SportsReady, hosted by Radford College ACT.
  • Indigenous Trainee of the Year: Winona Gray Levett, employed by Skillset, hosted by Housing Plus Orange.
  • Disability Trainee of the Year: David Montesin, employed by Australian Training Company, hosted by Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.
  • Woman in a Non-traditional Trade Winner: Stephanie Andrew, employed by CCGT, hosted by Affective Rail.
  • Excellence in Group Training: HVTC
  • Excellence in Work Health and Safety: HVTC
  • Large Host Employer of the Year: ANZ Bank (1300apprentice)
  • Small Host Employer of the Year: Source Separation Systems (Novaskill)
Congratulations to all the fabulous winners and finalists!

You've waited, now it's just around the corner: NAEN Conference, 15-17 March 2022, Hobart 

The countdown has started to the NAEN 2022 Conference in Hobart, with a fantastic lineup of speakers and presenters set to deliver one of the best VET conferences in years.

It will feature the latest in economic and social trends, apprentice employment practice and research, government insights, findings from new employment and training models, the outlook for VET reform, and innovative approaches to fast-tracking qualifications and apprenticeship pathways.

Keynote speakers include  the Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, economist Saul Eslake, and demographer Bernard Salt.

And, there will be the Gala Dinner where you'll be entertained and hear some inspiring stories from across the group training network.

Everyone is welcome. After months of lockdown, we can't wait to gather, in person, in beautiful Hobart!

See the full program and book here.

Our special thanks to the conference Supporters, Sponsors and Alliance Partners

Queensland GTOs to steer $25m pre-apprenticeship program

GTOs in Queensland will spearhead a new pre-apprenticeship program that will help place young people into jobs in skills-need areas.

Seven GTOs will work with the state government on the $25 million Pre-Apprenticeship Support program.

The Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said the new pathway, which will be delivered with GTOs, will not only help people get onto apprenticeships, but also  to complete.

“For this new pre apprenticeship pathway we are working with seven GTOs who will recruit and train 301 people aged between 15 to 24 years old to complete a certificate I level qualification in construction, engineering, or hospitality,” Ms Farmer said.

“Those who complete the program will be supported to transition into a subsequent apprenticeship, either employed by the GTO or with another employer.”

See more

Sixteen groups named in NCI's $6m funding round

The next round of the National Careers Institute’s Partnership Grants program has opened, with a total of $10 million in funding on offer.

The federal government recently announced the awarding of almost $6 million in the second round of the program to 16 successful projects that will deliver innovative career guidance services.

The Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, said the 16 projects will help Australians to find new skills by forging better connections between industry, employers, schools, tertiary providers and community organisations.

The third round of the program opened today.

“The focus of third-round grant funding will be on improving career pathways and information for women, particularly in non-traditional industries and occupations,” Mr Robert said.

See more

Reminder to nominate for Today’s Skills: Tomorrow’s Leaders program, Canberra, February 2022

Member GTOs are reminded to nominate their apprentices and trainees for the Today’s Skills: Tomorrow’s Leaders (TSTL) program which will take place 13-18 February 2022 at the Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra.

The closing date for nominations is 10 November 2021. Selection of the successful nominees will be made by 29 November.

TSTL delivers an intensive program of career development and leadership training for some of the group training network's most promising apprentices and trainees. It is open to apprentices and trainees from NAEN member GTOs.

Because of the disruption caused by COVID, the program will be extended to apprentices and trainees who were engaged by GTOs during 2020, in addition to those engaged during 2021.

A total of 22 participants will be selected from the group training network and three from the Australian Training Awards.

The National Careers Institute is funding the program. This includes airfares, accommodation, meals and program activities for all participants. Leave arrangements and travel incidentals for participants are not covered and are the responsibility of either individual GTOs or host businesses.

How to nominate for TSTL
Member GTOs are required to submit their nomination online.
Nominees must be over 18 years of age. Current school-based apprentices or trainees are not eligible.
The online nomination includes criteria that the selection committee will use to determine participants, so it is important for GTOs to address the criteria as fully as possible.
To assist with nominations, please see the TSTL 2022 Program Content, and more detailed Information and Selection Criteria.
For any questions please contact Leonie Stanfield at
Start the TSTL nomination

Welcome boost to apprentice wage subsidy

NAEN has welcomed the federal government's recent decision to support apprenticeships by extending the employer wage subsidy to encourage completions.

The government announced that the $3.9 billion Boosting Apprentice Completions (BAC) program will be supplemented by a $716 million Completing Apprenticeship Commencements program that will provide a 10% wage subsidy in the second year and 5% in the third.

NAEN CEO Dianne Dayhew said the extension of the program will support apprentices and trainees through the second and third years of their training and will help safeguard against a “cliff” at the end of the first year.

“The extension of the wage subsidy will help in sustaining the skills pipeline and ensuring that those who started their apprenticeships have the best chance of completing."

The BAC program commenced last October and will run until March 2022. It provides a 50% wage subsidy for the full 12 months of an apprenticeship, meaning the first apprentices and trainees signed up under the program will now be coming off wage support.

See details of the Completing Apprenticeship Commencements program

See NAEN's media release

New NAEN members

NAEN is delighted to welcome these valued new members to the group training network.

Statewide Group Training (SA) is an independent, community-based not for profit organisation that has been servicing the employment and training needs of apprentices and trainees, business and industry since 1988. Sites and local staff cover the Spencer Gulf, Port Lincoln and the West Coast, Mid North & Yorke Peninsula, Clare and Barossa Valley, Riverland, Murraylands, South East, Fleurieu Peninsula including Kangaroo Island, Adelaide Hills and Adelaide Metro.

HunterNet Group Training Company (HNGTC) employs trainees and apprentices on behalf of some of the Hunter's biggest companies. Working with local vocational schools such as Hunter TAFE, it ensures the best for employees and the companies it services. HNGTC caters to a wide range of industries and vocational  areas, including business administration, fabrication and welding, spray painting, electrical, fitting, and warehouse operations, among others.

Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) Group Training is a leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander GTO designed to create opportunities for growing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce across diverse industries. The focus is to build career pathways and fill identified shortages in the health and social services sectors. The organisation takes a strengths-based approach to drive culturally safe and responsive solutions and strategies to improve health and wellbeing.

Hessel Group has been providing quality care, support and education to South Australians since 1998. Hessel Group Training Organisation specialises in managing traineeships for the social care sector including aged care, disability support, home and community living and early childhood education and care. The group also has business administration and training/assessor trainees working across many sectors in South Australia.

Minister Stuart Robert to launch GTO governance handbook

NAEN will shortly release the updated Governance Handbook – an important resource for GTOs to help keep up with the many changes to corporate rules and directors' duties.

The  Governance Handbook will be launched at an online webinar on Tuesday 9 November, 2.30 pm AEDT by the Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert. 

The launch will be followed by a workshop facilitated by a board and governance specialist from Directors Australia.

The session will outline new governance developments and trends which are relevant to GTOs, the implications for not-for-profit and charitable organisations, the role of the board, and the heightened focus on risk management.
This updated handbook will be a valuable new tool for GTOs.

Registration details for the launch will be announced soon, so please save the date!

NAEN welcomes new projects manager, Kerrie Best

NAEN is delighted to introduce to the network Kerrie Best, who recently started as Projects Manager, filling in for Angiie Turay who will be taking parental leave for 10 months from 15 October.

Based in Sydney, Kerrie has a strong recruitment background, and also runs her own business, Cascade Talent. 

Kerrie’s primary focus will be on maintaining the smooth management of Indigenous Employment Projects for the network.

Kerrie can be contacted on or mobile 0438 331 377

Never doubt your ability, give anything a go: Dean's attitude is priceless

Dean Caning is a proud Indigenous young man, originally from Western Australia who moved to St George in Queensland where he spent most of his teenage years "mucking around" on the family farm.

His father is a qualified fitter and turner who was also a refrigeration mechanic, while Dean's mother identifies as a strong Kalkadoon woman, hailing from the Mt Isa region.

By Dean's own admission, schooling was not his strong suit. He was enrolled in pre-vocational maths during his senior years at St Peter Claver and was more of a hands-on type who thrived in the school's trades programs. 

One of his first career opportunities came straight from school, through an Aboriginal Kids program, in sheet metal roofing, but he soon realised he had a fear of heights, and didn't last long in the job. The lesson was that he was willing to give anything a go, and that he would do a good job, no matter what the circumstances.

Dean had his first introduction to boilermaking with a company in Wacol where he commenced his apprenticeship. He quickly found his passion for working with metal and being able to make strong structural products from fabrication and welding.

Dean continued his apprenticeship through OSMAC Apprenticeships where he completed and qualified as a boilermaker in August 2019. Dean even showed the initiative to fast track his qualification by enrolling in a night class, along with completing online components.

Dean continued as a boilermaker and showed great maturity. His potential was realised within three months when he was offered the leading hand role in a key section of the company, looking after nine staff, including those who were already qualified.

It didn't surprise his Care Manager at OSMAC Apprenticeships, as Dean always displayed a great work ethic.

At first, Dean didn't think he was ready for the new role, but he took the attitude, “you will never know, until you give it a go”. The opportunity allowed Dean to remain "on the tools", as that was his first passion, but also to develop new administration and people skills.

The initial transition was hard
going from being a work colleague to managing his teammates. But he had the respect and support of the management team, and also from his peers. Dean created an open environment  one that was consultative but also one where his team recognised the experience gained from being on the floor, and having had hands-on experience as a boilermaker apprentice.

As an Indigenous man paving the way for himself, Dean is humbled to think he would be considered a positive role model for his culture and his community. If there was any advice he would offer budding apprentices, it's to take your career path seriously, attitude counts for everything, learn as much as you can, persevere when the going gets tough, think ahead, give anything a go, and just enjoy the opportunity.

Three great female role models honour the Sarah Lloyd scholarship vision

Three female apprentices have been awarded $2000 each under the Sarah Lloyd Scholarship Fund, which assists women in non-traditional trades.

Two of the recipients, Lily-Rose McLellan and Miranda Flannery are undertaking their Certificates in Electrotechnology, and Sarah de Vries, is undertaking a Certificate in Automotive and Marine Trimming.

The Sarah Lloyd Scholarship Fund was established in 2018 following the tragic death of Sarah in a car accident. Sarah was an apprentice mechanic. The fund gives female apprentices in New South Wales the opportunity to apply for a scholarship through ATEL.

Organisers say there was an unprecedented number of applications for the 2021 scholarship and strongly encourages previous applicants to reapply for the 2022 scholarship.


'This is what group training is all about': Damian's journey has a great ending

There are many stories about the extraordinary work of group training.
The story of Damian Baker, a South Australian cabinet making apprentice with TABMA Apprentices & Trainees, is one of them.
Damian commenced in August 2017. He was rotated to another host employer in August 2020. Unfortunately, Damian and the host never really clicked. When it came time to sign off on Damian’s competencies, the host refused.
TABMA applied for an extension to Damian’s apprenticeship and he was rotated to RAP Joinery – a company that hadn't used TABMA before, but were willing to try as they were impressed with their meeting with Damian.
After a few weeks, RAP Joinery saw there was no question about Damian’s competency, and signed off.
For TABMA’s GTO General Manager Peter Andersen, it was a special moment.
“I said to my team ‘This is what group training is all about. Getting positive outcomes for trainees and apprentices. Had Damian not been employed by a GTO he would probably still be struggling to get signed off.’”
There is a short video about Damian on TABMA’s YouTube.

ACA wins key contract to deliver care roles

Apprenticeship Careers Australia (ACA) has been successful in securing a major new contract with the NSW Department of Communities and Justice to increase the pool of support and care workers for state’s community care sector.

ACA responded to the tender to deliver pre-apprenticeship style training for 2,500 positions, with approximately 1200 positions in south-western Sydney, 500 in the Hunter, 450 on the mid-north coast, 200 in the Murrumbidgee, and 150 in western NSW.

 A number of the training positions will be on a shortened pre-apprenticeship program, with guaranteed jobs and participants completing additional modules during their employment, as well as commencing their Certificate III traineeship.

ACA is recruiting a number of staff to manage the contract. Details are here.

Launch of NAEN Governance Handbook
9 November 2021, 2.30 pm AEDT
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert & Directors Australia
More information coming soon

Awards of Excellence
12 November 2021
Burswood On Swan  

Australian Training Awards
18 November 2021
More information

NAEN Members
Friday, 19 November 2021
11.30am to 12.30pm (AEDT) Virtual
For more information contact

Annual Conference & AGM
25 November 2021

Awards Dinner
16 February 2021
The Pavilion, Arts Centre, Melbourne

NAEN 2022 Conference
'Adaptation & Opportunity'
15-17 March 2022
Grand Chancellor Hobart, Tasmania
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