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Category Archives: Vocational Education and Training

Workforce BluePrint Episode 2 Future plans – sequel

By | Strategic Planning, Vocational Education and Training, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning | 2 Comments

From the original post this sequel outlines future plans including ACPET professional development, strategic plan directions, webinars and workshops, and upcoming events – want to catch up?

ACPET – Professional Development – online and around Australia

  • Webinars: Developing a Workforce Plan in 5 Easy Steps
  • Workshops – ACPET: Workforce Development and Planning in Practice, Adelaide

Please refer to the ACPET Professional Development Framework for further information, dates and locations.

Strategic Plan Reinventing Wendy Perry and Associates Pty Ltd.’s strategic plan for 2012-14 builds upon our vision and mission:

Purpose is to Assist clients to measure their workforce and bridge the gap between what they have and what they need

Goal is All enterprises, major projects, industries and regions have a workforce plan.

Strategic Priorities are Sustainability and Finances, Business Processes, Learning and Growth, Clients and Partners and the demonstration of commitment to sustainability is outlined in this article – Wendy Perry and Associates prepares for the low carbon economy.

Webinars and Workshops Register your interest for the following topics to be run over July and August 2012 and read testimonials from participants:

  • Budget 2012-13 – Workforce Development and Planning implications and opportunities
  • Career advice for teens – A recent presentation with Jessica Perry to an audience of career counsellors and VET coordinators on Career advice for teens highlights the importance of counter intuitive thinking.
  • Engaging Employers, Stakeholders and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
  • Funding for Workforce Development and Planning Initiatives – national,      state/territory, local
  • NBN for e-learning – assess your organisation against an NBN Enabled Capability      Framework
  • Workforce Plan Tool – a dynamic online tool that captures evidence and information for      your workforce plan and produces a report whenever you need
  • VET Moderation – work in collaboration to review, compare and evaluate your assessment process and their assessment outcomes, in relation to the same unit/s of competency.
  • VET Reform: the National Picture – covering COAG directions, Skills for All Australians and the National Workforce Development Fund, Skills Australia to Australian Workforce Productivity Agency, Budget 2012-13 and Skills Reform, VET reform from Victoria to South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory, New South Wales and ACT.  Looking back over the last 12 months and then to the future identify challenges and opportunities.

Upcoming events – see you there?

  • National Workforce Development Strategy consultations throughout July.
  • 11-13.7.12 NCVER No Frills Conference in Adelaide and if you are in Adelaide on the night of 11.7.12 you are welcome to join Australian VET Leaders for drinks and dinner after the Intelligence Squared Australia (IQ2) – Live Debate.  Please send an email to to register your interest.
  • 18.7.12 Digital Enterprise Program
  • 14.8.12 Workforce Planning – The Journey in Local Government, Local Government Learning Solutions, Sydney
  • 30-31.8.12 ACPET National Conference in Sydney – see the Workforce Plan Tool demonstrated and the presentation on vStream ACPET National NBN e-learning project.
  • 4.9.12 SMART Business Association AGM
  • 20-21.9.12 VELG 2012 National VET Conference on the Gold Coast – Leading Workforce Development and Planning Solutions
  • 24.10.12 MEGA Networking Event hosted by the SMART Business Association in Southern Adelaide

Written by Wendy Perry, 26.6.12

PS. Subscribe to our blog by entering your email address and click subscribe.

Workforce BluePrint Episode 1 Current day – original post

By | National Broadband Network, Small Business Support, Social Media, Training and Assessment Services, Vocational Education and Training, Workforce Architects, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning, Workforce Planning Tools | 3 Comments

Like Star Wars, this week you’ll see 3 blog posts over the next 3 days – starting with original post (current day), followed by a sequel (future plans) and then the prequel (annual wrap up).

National Broadband Network (NBN) Use high definition video with vStream ACPET National NBN e-learning project and join the NBN Enabled Capability Development Network group on LinkedIn.

Skills for All (South Australia) Skills for All is here and read about the South Australian state budget and Skills for All count down.

Small Business Support Volunteering as the chair for the SMART Business Association Wendy Perry recently hosted the very successful Brand and Identity MEGA Networking lunch.  This lunch was followed by the Southern Adelaide SA Works Network meeting which Wendy chairs, where CE of DFEEST, Raymond Gerrand outlined the new Skills for All program to be operational in South Australia from 2.7.12.

Social Media Keep up to date and stay connected with the latest news and information.

Workforce BluePrint blog’s for workforce development and planning plus Facebook and Twitter.

Connect with Head Workforce Planner, Wendy Perry, Wendy Perry on LinkedIn, Wendy Perry on Facebook, Wendy Perry on Twitter and Wendy Perry on You Tube – subscribe to the channel.

State and Territory VET reforms and budgets A summary of New South Wales State Budget 2012-13, and the South Australian state budget has a common theme “living within our means”.

Training and Assessment Services – are provided in Plumbing, Product Training and Consultancy for Registered Training Organisations, equipment suppliers, engineering and plumbing companies.

Want to develop your skills and practice in workforce development and planning?  Workforce Architects Silver program in Adelaide on 27 July 2012 – places limited, book now!

The Workforce Architect Silver program will be run face 2 face (supported by online communication) on 27.7.12 in Adelaide, 9.30 am – 3.00 pm at the Education Development Centre (Room G51) with BYO mobile device and lunch.  This program covers the development of a workforce plan for an enterprise or organisation; workforce measurement and analysis; workforce development strategies; researching workforce demand and supply.

Workshop materials will be provided via email with tea, coffee and water included.  Facilitated by Head Workforce Planner, Wendy Perry, you will work through practical steps, tools and an evidence based approach to workforce development and planning.

Investment in the program is $300+GST with a 10% discount if 3 or more people book into a program from the same organisation or association. Book your place now by emailing

All Workforce Architects programs are mapped to unit of competency from National Training Packages (BSB and TAE).

Workforce BluePrint’s Workforce Plan Tool will be launched soon and if you are interested in taking a look please let us know and join Workforce Planning Tools group on LinkedIn.

Written by Wendy Perry, 25.6.12

PS. Subscribe to our blog by entering your email address and click subscribe.

Skills for All is Here

By | Vocational Education and Training, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning | One Comment

South Australia’s Skills for All is Here

Watch the Hon Jay Weatherill’s and Hom Tom Kenyon’s sites for the latest news.

The media followed yesterday’s story Hundreds of TAFE courses to be free leading you to

So let’s start with the Eligibility Check (which took more than 1 minute) revealing the following:


You are eligible for a funded training opportunity in:

  • one funded course at Certificate I to Advanced Diploma
  • an unlimited number of funded priority courses
  • one funded skill set per annum

The next step is Searching for a training course which means you must know what you are looking for with the following results:

  • all qualifications, all industries returns 1648 matching courses Skills for All funded
  • fee free offers 388 courses
  • priority courses highlights 47 matching courses
  • TAFESA only = 189 courses or 11.5% of Skills for All funded courses

Then to ‘find a training provider’.  In today’s search 41 Registered Training Organisations are listed as Skills for All providers – congratulations to you!

How much does training cost ?  Well nothing for:

  • nationally recognised certificate I and II level courses
  • accredited courses to improve reading, writing, numbers and computer skills
  • courses determined to be priorities for the State

For Certificate III – Advanced Diploma qualifications or the skill set it’s a question for the Skills for All Training Provider so ask for their fee policies.

How to enrol has 4 steps:

  • Choose a career and the qualification needed
  • Search for a course and Choose a Skills for All Training Provider using the search tools
  • Visit or contact the Skills for All Training Provider to discuss your learning needs and eligibility for the course
  • Apply to enrol at your Skills for All Training Provider

The way these steps are described needs to be customised.  For example, choose a career for people upskilling and broadening their skills doesn’t fit and in those 3 words such a big decision is implied for school leavers or those people re-entering the workforce.

Searching for a course means you must know what you are looking for and then the Skills for All Provider needs to gear up very quickly to take the enquiries.  Incorporating career advice is an important component of the overall program (with 32 industries to search across) as well as phone, email, web and Skills for All on Facebook.

Look out for the next blog on the customer contact experience with Skills for All and potential Skills for All Training Providers – please post comments on your experience too.

New South Wales State Budget 2012-13

By | Vocational Education and Training, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning | No Comments

In the context of challenging economic times, the NSW Budget 2012-13 delivers what this State needs – responsible spending that enables us to deliver more housing and more infrastructure. Mike Baird MP, NSW Treasurer.

Like the South Australian state budget “living within our means” is the theme.

We have identified more than $1.24 billion in cuts to existing programs and will engage

business to help deliver services better, while ensuring value for money is achieved.”

The main components of the New South Wales State budget in terms of investment are:

  • over the next 4 years an increase in infrastructure spending of $2.2 billion a year
  • $30 million has been set aside to commence preparations for a new Sydney Motorway
  • up to $100 million in infrastructure in the Illawarra as determined by Infrastructure NSW
  • significant overhaul of arrangements and incentives for the NSW housing and construction sector
  • Health – 500 new nurses, additional resources and services
  • Education – $98 million is allocated for early childhood education and care
  • Police, Law and Order – 400 more police
  • $125 million per year to support tourism and major events
  • Regional NSW – for primary industries, natural resource management, water and sewerage supply
  • Small business – 50 per cent increase to funding for assistance programs
  • Expansion of disability services with $336 million delivering 9,125 new places as part of Stronger Together Two
  • $134 million has been allocated for specialist homelessness services
  • $40 million for the new Mental Health Commission and more money for cochlear implants to help children with hearing difficulties
  • extra $96 million will be spent to help the SES prepare for and respond to flood and storm events

Read the budget highlights and summary of Building the State – the package to stimulate the housing sector.

For information on skills you really have to go searching with the Minister for Education’s statement focussing on early childcare and schools highlighting $2.2 billion on vocational education and training,

“That includes funding for TAFE NSW Institutes, registered training providers both private and community based, and regulating apprenticeships and traineeships to improve skills and increase higher qualification levels in NSW,” Mr Piccoli said.

“For TAFE NSW we have allocated $76 million to start 10 new major building and IT projects while continuing work on 17 major building and IT projects.”

See media releases for each Minister and portfolios for further opportunities.

Webinars and Workshops

Get ahead of the reform and changes, build you capability in workforce development and planning and register your interested by emailing for these upcoming webinars:

  • Budget 2012-13 – Workforce Development and Planning
  • Engaging Employers, Stakeholders and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
  • Funding for Workforce Development and Planning Initiatives
  • NBN for e-Learning
  • Workforce Plan Tool
  • VET Reform: the National Picture

Written by Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner at Workforce BluePrint and Managing Director, WPAA.

Australian Apprenticeships – Changes to Incentives – Payroll Tax, Workcover

By | Funding, Reform, Vocational Education and Training | One Comment

Australian Apprenticeships – Changes to Incentives – Payroll Tax, Workcover

The Apprenticeships for the 21st Century Expert Panel recommended that the Australian Government reform the Australian Apprenticeships system, including through improved targeting of resources under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program (AAIP).

The Australian Government’s response supports the recommendation and agreed that incentives can be better targeted to meet Australia’s skills needs. Reforms announced in the 2012 Budget, respond to this recommendation and build on previously announced reforms to the Australian Apprenticeships system, including investment in mentoring, reform of support services and national harmonisation.

The following changes to the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program will be implemented from 1 July 2012:

  • changes to the standard employer incentives for employers of existing workers undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship (at the Certificate III level and above) in an occupation not listed on the *National Skills Needs List. The following changes apply for this cohort:
    • removal of the standard commencement payment
    • increased standard completion payment (from $2,500 to $3,000)
    • movement of the timing of payment of the standard commencement payment from being paid at three months after commencement to six months after commencement.

Also announced as part of the 2012-2013 Budget:

  • development of a new, streamlined, e-business enabled Australian Apprenticeships payment and tracking system
  • the Training Support Post Apprenticeship initiative that will provide $19.5 million over four years to support up to 3,500 people who have recently completed their trade training and are seeking to establish a new business or to operate as a sub-contractor.  This initiative will help sub?contractors and new business operators meet business and employment regulations, and develop sound financial and business plans.

Details of all the incentives on offer are available here:

Why the change?  Aside from balancing the budget it’s all about [low] completion with information on rates available here:

Apprenticeship and Traineeship annual 2010:

Completion and attrition rate for apprentices and trainees:

Overview of how completion rates are calculated:

Payroll Tax and Workcover – Guide to Legislation in each State/Territory

Note: Thanks to for compiling the information on Payroll Tax and Workcover.  Subscribe to their online service for the latest on funding opportunities.

Australian Capital Territory

Under the Payroll Tax Act 1987, a Payroll Tax exemption is the only incentive offered in the ACT for wages paid or payable. Details on all Payroll Tax exemptions can be found on the ACT Revenue Office Website

Payroll tax compliance including claiming of apprentices:


New South Wales

Employing an apprentice:

Payroll tax arrangements for apprentices and trainees;

Workcover incentives:

Current legislation:

Northern Territory

Payroll tax changes Budget 2012-2013:



Payroll tax changes:

Apprentice and trainee exemptions:

Workcover legislation:

South Australia

Revenue SA has all the information on payroll tax in SA:

This document explains payroll tax and how calculations are made in regard to gross wages when businesses employ an apprentice.

Workcover changes:


Payroll tax information: Tax

Employers guide to payroll tax:$File/PRT0255.pdf



Refocused VET:

Changes to payroll tax:

Workcover – Changes to premiums from 1 July, 2012

Western Australia

Payroll tax changes Budget 2012 – 2013:


Note: Applications are currently being invited from private Registered Training Organisations to delivery traineeship and apprenticeship training.

Registered Training Organisation?  Here’s information on User Choice Funding.

Australian Apprenticeships Reform – Background

On Tuesday 6 December 2011, Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations outlined the Australian Government’s intentions for reform of Australian Apprenticeships.

The seven member Expert Panel, chaired by Mr Jim McDowell included a Skills Australia board member and individuals from industry, unions and academia. The Expert Panel was appointed by the Australian Government in July 2010, to provide advice on reform options for the Australian Apprenticeships system. The Expert Panel presented its final report to the Australian Government.

The report was publicly released on 21 February 2011.

Expert Panels Report

Page 2 and 3 has actions points. Recommendations are on page 18.

The Australian Government sought submissions from interested parties on future reform options for the Australian Apprenticeships system, following the release of the Expert Panel report. This was an opportunity for stakeholders and members of the community who have considered the report to provide their feedback and suggestions. Submissions are now closed.

  • Submissions received in response to the Expert Panel report

The Government also consulted with stakeholders to consider additional opportunities to align the Australian Apprenticeships system with the needs of the economy, particularly in relation to support services, government financial support and simplifying the system. A discussion paper was released to support consultations:

  • Australian Apprenticeships Reform Discussion Paper (PDF 820KB | RTF 437KB)

In line with the shared responsibility theme, the consultations focused on getting input from Australian industry and employers more broadly, key industry sectors, state and territory Governments and those organisations which are involved with the delivery of Australian Apprenticeships.

South Australian State Budget and Skills for All countdown

By | Vocational Education and Training, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning | No Comments

South Australian State Budget and Skills for All countdown

“The 2012–13 State Budget has the lowest net spending since this Government came to office,” Mr Snelling said.

Living within our means or ‘living thin’ is the theme of the budget.

“The new spending initiatives we have announced in the 2012-13 State Budget have been targeted at people who need it most, with record spending in disabilities, into areas of high need and into initiatives that make a difference to South Australians.”

These include:

  • $212.5 million to boost to disability services, the largest injection into disabilities in more than 25 years;
  • $45.7 million on a one-off Water Security Rebate to help alleviate the costs of increased water prices;
  • $38.3 million on a new Mining and Engineering Industry Training Centre to ensure South Australians have the skills for the mining jobs of the future;
  • $30.4 million on a new digital system for pathology testing for better patient care in our health system;
  • $28.7 million to redevelop the Parks Community Centre in Adelaide’s north western suburbs;
  • $20 million to make sure South Australia is ready for a launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme;
  • $19.8 million in additional funding to boost support for our children in need of alternative care;
  • $8.3 million to boost equipment and training for our emergency services;
  • $8.3 million on an Advanced Manufacturing Strategy to support growth in this vital sector;
  • $5.6 million to extend the $8000 First Home Bonus Grant for at least another 12 months;
  • $5.1 million for a stamp duty concessions for people buying off-the-plan apartments in the City; and
  • $3.3 million for a pilot program in Adelaide’s northern suburbs for early support for vulnerable families with infants with young children.

Workforce development opportunities in the budget include:

  • Disability sector and not for profits to transition to service provision with the National Disability Insurance Scheme – $1 million over two years to support planning and preparation for the transition from the current block funding arrangements to a more competitive disability services environment in line with a proposed NDIS.
  • Mining and Engineering industry training, mobile workforces and skills for support service providers – $38.3 million on a dedicated centre of training excellence for the mining, engineering, defence and transport industries
  • Outplacement, career development and skills recognition (RPL) for public servants
  • Small and medium enterprise capability to bid for and win contracts
  • Transference of skilled workers across major projects, infrastructure building and upgrades with NEW projects including:

–          $110 million on the grade separation of the Goodwood rail junction;

–          $19 million to build a dedicated Mining and Engineering Industry Training Centre at Regency Park;

–          $13.2 million on the upgrade and signalisation of the intersection of Tiver Road and Main North Road at Evanston;

–          $11.9 million on the Parks Community Centre redevelopment;

  • Water industry and implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan
  • Volunteer training for emergency services:

–          “The CFS and SES will receive $2.6 million over the next four years for the nationally endorsed training. There will be six frontline training staff to bolster frontline support to volunteers,” he said.  Both the CFS/SES are required to provide training in areas such as fire fighting, road crash rescue and marine search and rescue.

  • Advanced Manufacturing sector with $8.3 million over four years for the implementation of an Advanced Manufacturing Strategy including a Mining Industry Participation Office, an Advanced Manufacturing Council, industry intelligence and capability mapping, as well as improving links between research institutions and industry to drive innovation.
  • Early Childhood, Infant and Family based programs
  • Digital Health system implementation and related skills
  • Defence Teaming Centre $2 million for the peak association
  • Critical Skills Investment Program $48.1 million for traineeships and apprenticeships in priority skills areas and through Group Training Organisations
  • New Regional Development Fund would provide $3 million per year on programs that support regional economic development, employment and the attraction of new investment.

Some of the key savings initiatives announced as part of the 2012-13 State Budget include:

  • $372.9 million on the suspension of the electrification of the Gawler and Outer Harbor rail lines. The electrification of the Noarlunga line through to Seaford and the network train capacity will increase;
  • $255.6 million on making the public service more efficient by increasing their efficiency dividend from 0.25% to 1.0% from 2013-14 to be offset by $81.9 million of spending on a new public sector skills and retention entitlement to retain experienced public servants;
  • $166.8 million on the reduction of 1000 full-time equivalent employees in the public service through either targeted voluntary separation packages (TVSP) or natural attrition to be offset by $60.4 million of spending to the cost of providing TVSPs over the same period;
  • $121.2 million on deferring the abolition of stamp duty on non-real property transfers;
  • $77 million on deferring a redevelopment of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and a rehabilitation in-patient unit at the Modbury Hospital.
  • • Merging the Department of Environment and Natural Resources with the Department of Water, not renewing the Government’s lease on corporate facilities at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and ending funding for the Thinkers in Residence program and the Integrated Design Commission; and
  • $120.4 million on the abolition of payroll tax exemptions for eligible apprentices and trainees to be offset by $48.1 million of spending re-target support directly to registered group training organisations.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

The Government will change the way it supports apprentices and trainees to coincide with the commencement of the Skills For All training scheme – abolishing payroll tax exemptions and targeting funding for qualifications that are of strategic importance.

Group training organisations (GTO) will be rewarded as Australian Apprenticeship completions rates are at least 10% higher than non GTO’s.  Organisations employing an apprentice/trainee in a priority skill area will receive a completion bonus.

Skills for All from July 2012

Skills for All provider contract terms and conditions have been released with providers expectant to hear news if they have been offered a contract, aiming to understand the student eligibility criteria, the subsidised training list, and waiting to be listed as a Skills for All training provider.   Skills in the workplace applications are open and throughout June 2012 the Hon Tom Kenyon MP will be visiting regions launching the new regional networks (former SA Works Networks).

A new Critical Skills Investment Program has been allocated $48.1 million over four years in the State Budget. It will support training in areas of critical skills needs, and to increase the numbers of apprentices and trainees who complete their training.

Coming soon   – By July 2012, Skills for All training providers and the courses they are approved to deliver will be listed on this website, with contact information for every provider.

Webinars and Workshops

Get ahead of the reform and changes, build you capability in workforce development and planning and register your interested by emailing for these upcoming webinars:

  • Budget 2012-13 – Workforce Development and Planning
  • Engaging Employers, Stakeholders and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
  • Funding for Workforce Development and Planning Initiatives
  • NBN for e-Learning
  • Workforce Plan Tool
  • VET Reform: the National Picture

For further information on the 2012-13 South Australian state budget go to:

Written by Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner at Workforce BluePrint and Managing Director, WPAA.

Budget 2012-13 – Workforce Development and Planning

By | Vocational Education and Training, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning | One Comment

Budget 2012-13 – Workforce Development and Planning


After listening to the budget speech, reading news and online articles, and analysing the opportunities for workforce development and planning, the following insights are provided from this perspective by Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner, Workforce BluePrint.

The workforce focussed features and opportunities in the budget include:

  1. $714 million to help companies compete, on top of the $3.7 billion in small business tax breaks – Offsetting a current year tax loss of up to $1 million against tax paid in previous years; a refund of up to $300,000.
  2. Funding the first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme – $1 billion will be provided over 4 years to roll out the first stage of an NDIS, which is expected to cover 10,000 people from 2013?14 and 20,000 people from 2014?15.
  3. Investing in dental services – $515 million in funding to address immediate dental care needs; $346 million over three years will target public dental waiting lists; $78 million to help dentists relocate to regional, rural and remote areas; $81 million to boost training for graduate dentists and therapists; and $10.5 million to promote better oral health.
  4. Strengthening the aged care system – $3.7 billion package to address pressing areas of need, and lays the foundations for future reform; $660 million over five years for incentives to invest in quality services for those who do need to enter residential care; and $1.2 billion over five years to build a better trained and better paid aged care workforce.
  5. Investments across the health system and across the country – 76 new health infrastructure projects to upgrade regional hospitals and support training where doctors are needed most, costing $475 million; $5 billion from the Health and Hospitals Fund; $50 million over four years to fund a phased expansion of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program; and national e?Health agenda $234 million.
  6. Removing barriers to work and lifting skills boosts productivity and creates wealth – $1.75 billion National Partnership on Skills Reform; another $101 million to support the Government’s skills agenda; $61 million to improve older workers training and employment services; additional $225 million for the Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance program; $1.5 billion over 5 years on a new Remote Jobs and Community program that will provide new employment services for remote Australia; $54 million to encourage maths and science studies at school and university; and $38.8 billion in higher education, with extra support for students from poorer backgrounds.
  7. Investing in infrastructure and clean energyNational Broadband Network and $36 billion Nation Building programs for road, rail and port networks.

Workforce development and planning gaps and issues to be addressed include:

  • Small business support
  • Disability service sector growth
  • Dental and allied health workforce expansion
  • Aged care including home and community care workforce attraction and training
  • Health workforce development including e-health
  • Skills reform
  • Retaining older workers
  • Participation of parents
  • Remote worker engagement
  • Maths and science based skills development
  • Higher education support
  • Major infrastructure projects workforce planning
  • Digital literacy skills development
  • Seasonal labour strategies and overseas sources of workers

For information on funding, grants, reductions, specific Vocational Education and Training (VET), employment, skills and workforce development programs go to:

Climate Change and Energy Efficiency


Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Economic Potential of Senior Australians — employment assistance, Employment Service Arrangements, Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance Program, Mature Age Participation — job seeker assistance, Remote Jobs and Communities Program, Schools — Teach Remote, and Seasonal Labour Mobility Program with Pacific Island Countries and East Timor.

Health and Ageing

Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education: Australian Apprenticeships, Australian Skills Centres of Excellence, ASQA, Higher Education, More Help for Mature Age Workers, Adult and Community Education for Senior Australians (60+ years), International Education, Maths and Science, Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE), MySkills website, National Skills Reform, National Workforce Development Fund (additional $35 million over four years), Small Business Advisory Services, VET FEE-HELP Assistance Scheme Redesign, and Workforce Innovation Program.

Resources, Energy and Tourism

Funding has been redirected or moved into priority areas from a number of existing programs.  This will mean that the Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Employment Services sectors including Australian Apprenticeship Centres, Disability Employment Services, Group Training Companies, Job Services Australia providers, Higher Education providers, Industry or Peak Bodies and Registered Training Organisations, with government funding, will need to carefully consider their workforce development and planning needs to position for the future.

Skills for all Australians to Skills for All (SA), User Choice and WELL Funding

By | Vocational Education and Training, Workforce Development | One Comment

The Commonwealth government likes the reforms being implemented in South Australia and it shouldn’t be lost that new national reforms are titled Skills for all Australians and in SA its Skills for All (implemented from July 2012).  With News South Wales and Queensland moving into a period of state based VET reform, watch for similarities (and differences).

Skills for all Australians

The Prime Minister has announced a Skills Reform package for States and Territories to reform the national vocational education and training system to address skills shortages across the economy.

Skills for all Australians aims to achieve a more competitive, dynamic economy.

The Commonwealth has committed $1.75 billion over five years to achieve key reforms to be negotiated with the states and territories through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG):

  • a national entitlement to training at a minimum of the first certificate III qualification so working age Australians have the opportunity to gain the skills needed to get a decent, sustainable job in Australia’s new economy;
  • wider access to student loans to reduce upfront cost barriers to study at the diploma and advanced diploma level;
  • increased availability of information about courses, costs and training provider quality through a new My Skills website so students and business can make well informed choices about their training options, linked to their own needs and the needs of the economy; and choose a high quality training provider to help them develop the skills they seek;
  • support for quality teaching and assessment, including trialling models for independent validation of training provider assessments so students and employers can have confidence in the quality and consistency of training they purchase;
  • support for a strong public training provider network through the implementation of the reforms to ensure a high quality training system is accessible to all Australians; and
  • incentives to achieve improved completion of full qualifications, particularly at higher levels and for disadvantaged students, to deliver the qualified workers that business needs and give all Australians the opportunity to develop skills and participate in the workforce.

In response to the Commonwealth Government’s reform agenda on taking office, COAG agreed ambitious skills objectives by 2020 to:

  • double the number of higher level qualifications completions (diploma or advanced diploma);
  • halve the proportion of Australians aged 20 to 64 years without a qualification at the certificate III level or higher; and
  • increase the proportion of young Australians aged 20 to 24 attaining a year 12 or equivalent to 90 per cent by 2015 (with equivalence measured as certificate II or above by 2015, and certificate III or above by 2020).

Skills for all Australians has 3 main documents – reforms, supporting students, and small business – keep an eye on this website and the PM’s press site for further info and announcements.

NB. COAG next meets on 13 April 2012 – watch the website for the Communique.

Skills for All

Friday 30 March is the day that many people have been waiting for with the release of the Skills for All Subsidy Framework and Price list.  Information sessions are being run on 2 April 2012 and 4 April 2012.

The Skills for All Subsidised Training List details the qualification that can be funded.  Registered Training Organisations need to apply to become a Skills for All Training Provider and a guide to completing the application has been published.

Skills in the Workplace addresses urgent skills requirements for South Australian industries and enterprises.

Delivery foundation skills programs by applying to first be a listed ACE provider and then for grant funding.  Applications for the 2012/13 grant funding round must be received by Friday 27 April 2012.

The Training Guarantee for SACE students means the South Australian Government will pay a course subsidy to a Skills for All Training Provider for selected SACE students who are 16 years of age or older.

National Workforce Development Fund

Please be advised of the following information from Service Skills Australia, thanks to Bernard Moore:

a)    Closing date for the national workforce applications is this Friday. Please ensure you leave adequate time to lodge directly.  If lodging through Service Skills, please lodge by 4pm AEST, Thursday 29th March 2012.

b)    For those organisations running short of time to complete a full application, please complete the electronic expression of interest:

(The aim is to collate and lodge these expressions of interest for funding where sufficient detail is available).

c)    ALL candidates must be enrolled in an approved project by end May. The registered training organisation must be able to report enrolments by first week of June. (Training provider admin processes will need to be operating effectively as candidates not recorded on that RTO report in the first week of June cannot be funded).

For a summary of User Choice RTO funding for Australian Apprenticeships across all states and territories read WPAA’s latest blog.

Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) ProgramFunding for resource and strategic project 2012

Submissions for WELL funding are invited from eligible organisations that wish to develop a resource or strategic project that supports adult language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) training across one or more industry sectors.

Resources can include training materials that support:

  • a nationally endorsed Training Package
  • industry relevant LLN assessment and reporting methods, or
  • professional development resources for industry trainers/assessors aligned with Training Packages.

Strategic projects must have national scope and can include:

  • the development of LLN plans for a particular industry or industry group, or
  • the development and implementation of a national model or strategy to integrate LLN into workplace training with a cross-industry focus.

Application forms, guidelines and other relevant information are available on the WELL website.  For further information, please contact the WELL Resource Coordinator on 02 6240 7498.

Applications must be submitted electronically through WELL Online, which can be accessed through the WELL website.  Resource project applications must be received by 5.00 pm AEST, Monday 16 April 2012.

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User Choice – a national initiative

By | Funding, Vocational Education and Training | 2 Comments

From a recent round of national workshops on Applying for Funding and Grants a knowledge gap on information for User Choice funding and policies was identified.  Thanks to for compiling this information including funding arrangements for all states and territories.

User Choice is a national policy to make Vocational Education and Training (VET) more responsive to the needs of industry and employers.

User Choice policy works in conjunction with the Australian Apprenticeships – system enabling employers and apprentices/trainees to:

  • choose an RTO to best provide them with training services; and
  • negotiate key aspects of training, such as where, how, and when it is provided.

User choice funding subsidises the cost of an apprenticeship in identified skills shortage areas for the employer.

How User Choice operates

User Choice is applied differently in each state and territory, according to regional and industry training needs. However, in most states, arrangements are changing.

Generally, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) compete for User Choice funding, either through direct funding applications or an electronic tender or bidding process.

State and territory training authorities (STAs) decide which Australian Apprenticeships are eligible for User Choice funding. The level of funding and how and when funds are allocated vary according to:

  • state or territory strategic initiatives; and
  • the changing demand for training

Applying for funding

RTOs can only tender for funding for training they are registered to deliver.  When applying for User Choice funding, RTOs will be asked to provide the following information:

  • scope of registration – the vocations and related qualifications to be offered
  • state and national codes for all qualifications · the proposed numbers of students for off and on-the-job
  • the proposed number of off-the-job hours to be delivered during the application year.

An RTO can apply for User Choice funds in a state or territory other than the one they are registered in if they delivering training in that state or territory. They can only apply for funding for training they are registered to deliver.

Enterprise RTOs

In some states and territories, enterprise RTOs (whose core business is not training) are funded differently to RTOs whose core business is training. In South Australia, for example, enterprise RTOs are funded at 50% of User Choice funding rates for non-enterprise RTOs.

Australian Capital Territory   All links and forms for User Choice are available from this link

New South Wales

In NSW, User Choice operates for all new entrant traineeships and selected apprenticeships in specific geographic regions.

Funding of registered training organisations for training delivered under User Choice is administered through the NSW Apprenticeship and Traineeship Training Program.

Apprenticeships delivered by TAFE NSW are outside the User Choice arrangements.

The Approved Providers List (APL) is one of the main mechanisms used to manage a number of the programs offered under the NSW Training Market. Access a brochure to find out more about the APL and how to become an approved provider.

Fact Sheets and Brochures

Frequently asked questions

What is funded

Providers are approved through a tender process.

Tenders are usually invited in September or October of the last year of the two year contract period. The current Approved Providers List Contract expires in December 2010. The call for tenders for the 2011-2012 Approved Providers List was planned for September/October 2010. The tender period is open for approximately four weeks.


A single set price is paid per apprenticeship or traineeship qualification irrespective of the mode of delivery.

In addition to the set price for apprenticeship or traineeship training, financial incentives in the form of higher price weightings are available to the following priority groups:

  • apprentices or trainees employed in a small businesses
  • apprentices or trainees in regional and rural locations
  • apprentices or trainees undertaking apprenticeships or traineeships with high equipment costs
  • indigenous people or people with a disability

Payment is prompted by the electronic lodgement of participant and training activity data in the format specified in the APL Contract.


Some critical documents you need to read:

  • A complete guide to apprenticeships and traineeships in NSW – explains the regulatory framework of the apprenticeship and      traineeship system and provides information on participants’ roles, responsibilities and funding.
  • The 2011-2012 Approved Providers List (APL) Contract – details eligibility, delivery requirements and compliance, financial and legal issues, and includes attachments including the ATTP requirements and ATTP price rates.
  • NSW Vocational Training Orders, Commissioner Information Bulletins and qualification documents – these three documents form a package of official information on individual or related apprenticeships or traineeships which includes job and qualification descriptions, competencies, training resources, industrial relations contacts etc.


For assistance with the Approved Providers List and contractual conditions in NSW: Phone 02 9266 8008, Fax 02 9264 5501. Email  For information on the NSW apprenticeship and training system contact: Phone 13 28 11 .

Northern Territory

The User Choice Program provides funding for the delivery of structured training and assessment for full-time, part-time and school-based apprentices and trainees in the Northern Territory. Qualifications that are approved for delivery as apprenticeships and traineeships in the NT are eligible for funding. Funding is awarded through the use of Workforce NT, community consultations and NT Government priorities.

The choice of RTOs may be limited in some cases, such as where there are small numbers (a thin market), but the objectives are the same. Each state and territory sets its own policies regarding User Choice and the amount of funds RTOs receive for providing structured training to each apprentice or trainee.

What is funded

Applications are invited from RTOs for the User Choice Program to deliver training services to apprentices and trainees (including school based) in the Northern Territory in 2012.

2012 Applications for User Choice funding have now closed.

  • 2012 application information (pdf 132 kb)
  • NT occupational shortage list
  • 2012 Annual Hours Curriculum (AHC) rates (pdf 411 kb)


RTOs wishing to provide structured training for apprentices and trainees are required to have a presence in the NT and to be familiar with:

  • NT Apprenticeships and Traineeships Policy (pdf 85 kb)
  • NT User Choice Policy (pdf 73 kb)
  • NT School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships Policy (pdf 107 kb)
  • NT School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships Policy – Update (pdf 18 kb)
  • NT Apprenticeships and Traineeships Travel and Accommodation Policy (pdf 59 kb)
  • Apprentice and Trainee Travel and Accommodation Subsidy Scheme Policy (pdf 30 kb)

Subsidies (for travel and accommodation) are available  to apprentices and trainees who are required to travel for training blocks.

In general the Department of Business and Employment (DBE) funds:

  • Certificate II and III qualifications for new employees
  • Certificate IV or Diploma only if it is entry level to employment or a progression from a lower level qualification
  • one progression, for example from Certificate II to III or Certificate III to IV
  • existing workers in accordance with the User Choice Funding Program Policy.

RTOs that are successful in applying for User Choice funding must enter into a funding contract (known as a Resource Agreement) with DBE.


User Choice Program Manager, Department of Business and Employment, GPO Box 2391, Darwin NT 0801, t: (08) 8901 1323?, e:


The Queensland User Choice program enables apprentices, trainees and their employers to select a preferred Registered Training Organisation (RTO) from a list of Pre-qualified Suppliers for the delivery of accredited training to meet their specific needs.

Pre-qualified Suppliers can claim payment from the Department of Education and Training for training delivered to eligible apprentices and trainees.

2010 – 2015 Documents
The above page provides comprehensive information on User Choice – Getting started under the Pre-Qualified supplier, getting started package document.  Further information on policies and documentation relating to the User Choice 2010 – 2015 program is also available.

2010 – 2015 Program

The User Choice 2010 – 2015 program aims to provide funding aligned to the skill needs of industry and respond to changing government priorities in a timely manner.

A number of key principles underpin the program, including, ensuring that the program is transparent, flexible, responsive, consistently applied and easily understood.

The three key considerations of the program are the government’s funding priorities, the price paid for qualifications and the purchasing strategy used to obtain training and assessment services.

To deliver publicly-funded training and assessment services to apprentices and trainees, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) must apply for, and be approved by the Department as, Pre-qualified Suppliers.

What is funded

The funding priorities under the User Choice 2010 – 2015 program will be:

  1. Priority One (100 per cent subsidised) – Priority One is those qualifications which lead to occupations identified as critical priorities as identified in the Queensland Skill Shortage List. All School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (in all qualifications declared as an Apprenticeship or Traineeship) and participants from priority population groups, excluding Priority Four and Unfunded qualifications, will be funded as Priority One.
  2. Priority Two (75 per cent subsidised) – Priority Two is those qualifications which lead to occupations not on the Queensland Skill Shortage List but are identified as high priorities which demonstrate a high level of occupational links with skills development, and are required to meet legislative requirements related to skills.
  3. Priority Three (50 per cent subsidised) – Priority Three is those qualifications which lead to occupations not on the Queensland Skill Shortage List but are identified as medium priorities which demonstrate a lower level of occupational links, and are not required to meet legislative requirements related to skills.
  4. Priority Four (25 per cent subsidised) – Priority Four is those qualifications which lead to non-entry level occupations and provide a key workforce development opportunity for existing workers and industry.  These qualifications will be funded under User Choice arrangements as a component of the Productivity Places Program, a joint Commonwealth and Queensland Government initiative.
  5. Unfunded – Unfunded qualifications are those which lead to occupations not on the Queensland Skill Shortage List and which are not a funding priority. This includes those qualifications which are not entry level qualifications identified by industry.

These funding priorities align with the skill outcomes required by industry.

The Queensland skill shortage list is compiled from national and state data, together with industry input, and is reviewed annually with updates throughout the year. Qualifications classified as a Priority One are those addressing skill shortages. The Queensland priorities are detailed in the User Choice 2010 – 2015 Qualification and price list.

Priority population groups are those declared on the national Apprenticeship/Traineeship Contract, such as individuals of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, individuals from a non-English speaking background and individuals with a disability, impairment or long-term condition.


User Choice 2011 – 2012 qualification and price list (XLS, 100KB) updated 06/02/2012
User Choice 2011 – 2012 restricted qualifications price list (XLS, 33KB) updated 06/02/2012
User Choice localities and location loadings (XLS, 784KB) updated 14/09/2011


Information regarding qualifications funded under the User Choice 2010 – 2015 program is available at User Choice 2010 – 2015 Qualification and price list.

User Choice 2010 – 2015 policies are available at the User Choice 2010 – 2015 documents page.


VET Investment, Department of Education and Training, PO Box 15033, CITY EAST QLD 4002, Email:, Phone: (07) 3227 6271, Facsimilie: (07) 3229 3470

User Choice contract management enquiries:

VET Contract Management and Performance, Department of Education and Training, Email:, Facsimile: (07) 3229 3470

South Australia

Skills for All will replace the User Choice system during 2012, but existing User Choice Funding Agreements will continue to be met until they expire on 30 June 2012.

With the launch of Skills for All in 2012, User Choice is being phased out and no new User Choice Funding Agreements are being offered.

Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) with existing User Choice Funding Agreements in South Australia will continue with their User Choice claim arrangements using the Apprenticeship Traineeship Information System (ATIS).

What is funded – 2011 User Choice Policy at a glance (PDF)

Pricing – SA User Choice Unit Price List (PDF)

Documents – User Choice Funding Agreement 2011 (PDF)

Apprenticeship Traineeship Information System

Apprenticeship Traineeship Information System (ATIS) is the online system that automates processes related to User Choice arrangements. It will remain active for training providers with existing User Choice Funding Agreements.

ATIS services include:

•User Choice claims (training providers who have a current User Choice Funding Agreement can make online claims for on-job and off-job delivery)

•User Choice Acquittal (training providers can complete and submit their User Choice Acquittal report online)

•online access to view contracts of training by both training providers and Australian Apprenticeship Centres (AACs)

• scope of registration (RTOs can view their scope of registration and qualifications).

To obtain access to ATIS each user must complete an ATIS Login Application Form and agree to the ATIS User Agreement. For new user access, download the ATIS login request form (PDF) and the ATIS User Agreement (PDF)

Contacts  For more information, call TAS on 1800 673 097 and ask to speak to a User Choice Officer.


Skills Tasmania reserves the right to negotiate the subsidy amount for RTOs wishing to train large numbers (20 or more) of apprentices or trainees for individual enterprises. This includes enterprise-based RTOs. (An enterprise based RTO is defined as an RTO which is wholly owned by a trading enterprise and whose sole purpose is to deliver training to the employees of that enterprise). In these cases enquiries should be directed by email to:

Carolyn Nichols, Manager Strategic Directions (Learners), Skills Tasmania, Ph: (03) 6233 4642, email:

2012 Application

RTOs may apply to deliver apprenticeships and traineeships in Tasmania year round, if they have appropriate scope, by completing the following User Choice Application and 2012 – 2014 Skills Tasmania Funding Agreement.

Step 1 – 2012 – 2014 Skills Tasmania Funding Agreement

All Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are required to enter into a 2012 – 2014 Skills Tasmania Funding Agreement with Skills Tasmania when obtaining a subsidy for training with Skills Tasmania in 2012.  It applies to all programs (except Adult Literacy Programs) and is for the delivery of training program commencements between 1 January and 31 December 2014 for individual programs entered into annually.

Step 2 – User Choice Application [Word 539KB]

RTOs can apply for User Choice funding anytime throughout a calendar year provided the qualifications that are being applied for are on their Scope of Registration at the time of applying.

Where an RTO wishes to deliver training to a single enterprise for 20 or more apprentices or trainees in the one qualification, they must request prior approval before lodging a User Choice application.

Skills Tasmania will subsidise training for delivery in Tasmania only, unless there are no RTOs who deliver a particular qualification in the state, in this case, User Choice will be paid for the closest RTO.

Only the approved application form listed is accepted. Agreements will only apply to commencements after the date of issue and will not be issued retrospectively.

What is funded

Skills Tasmania has changed the way in which agreements are issued to registered training organisations (RTOs).  The changes to the issuing of an Agreement are as follows:

  • An Agreement, known as the “2012-2014 Skills Tasmania Agreement” is for a period of three (3) years.
  • Every RTO is required to enter into an Agreement with Skills Tasmania if they wish to apply for any subsidised programs managed by Skills Tasmania for the period 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2014.
  • An Agreement can be entered into at any time within the three year period, but must be in place before submitting an application for any of the programs managed by Skills Tasmania.
  • Only one Agreement per RTO is required, i.e. per RTO Registration Number.
  • RTOs must have a signed Agreement in place before being given Purchasing Contract IDs for payment purposes.
  • There is no need to enter into an Agreement each an application is submitted.


Application forms are available for individual training programs.  If successful, the application will form what is referred to in the Agreement as Part 3 “Schedule of Purchased Programs”.  If an application is successful details relating to claims for payment will be given to a RTO.

Each time an application is submitted for any of the programs RTOs will be required to agree to the terms of the Agreement already entered into and that the organisation is bound by the 2012-2014 Skills Tasmania Agreement.

By signing the 2012-2014 Funding Agreement, RTOs are in no way guaranteed of program subsidies within the three year period.

Documents RTOs must still apply for through the individual programs using the specific application forms provided on each of the programs websites which are available at:

  • Funding/Subsides for      Apprenticeships and Traineeships (User Choice)
  • Skills Equip
  • PPP+

Contacts Free call number: 1800 655 846, Email:


All Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), including TAFE Institutes, are required to enter into a Service Agreement with the Victorian Skills Commission (VSC) in order to deliver government subsidised training under Skills for Victoria.

What is funded

2012 Service Agreement Skills for Victoria Program – reference guidelines, documents and Acts for the 2012 Service Agreement valid for students commencing training between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2012



RTOs that are contracted to deliver Victorian Government subsidised training will be involved in contract compliance audit program to ensure compliance with the conditions under which they are contracted. Information on the audit requirements can be found under Auditing.


TAFE and Training Line, 131 823 or, Skills Victoria Help Hub, 1300 842 754

Apprenticeship Administration Information Line, 1300 722 603 or

Apprenticeship Trade Bonus Hotline, 1300 855 282

Western Australia

The Department is strategically managing the Western Australian apprenticeship and traineeship system to:

  • manage public resources in the State vocational education and training system
  • strategically plan, fund and monitor publicly funded training
  • provide workforce development planning which includes:
    • a whole of Government approach
    • industry and regions
    • the Aboriginal workforce

The Department has released Skilling WA: A workforce development plan for Western Australia.  All information about tenders for training places is now listed on Tenders WA.

Contacts Phone: 08 6551 5000

Wendy Perry and Associates prepares for the low carbon economy

By | Sustainability, Vocational Education and Training | No Comments

Reducing costs, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use has been the result of a strategic commitment by Wendy Perry and Associates Pty Ltd to monitor and reduce consumption over the past four years.

For the 2010-11 year total emissions for vehicle travel, electricity, waste, purchased paper, flights and taxi travel reduced down to 6.18tCO2e – a 34% saving on the previous financial year.

A base year energy and emissions analysis for 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008 identified scope 1, scope 2 and selected scope 3 emissions as totalling 63.9tCO2e with the activity contributing to the majority of the emissions related to business travel.  Since being made aware of the company’s emissions and energy use, 44.84tCO2e was the total emissions for 2008-9 and 21.54 tCO2e for 2009-10.

Sustainability is a strategic priority for the company, reflected in values, behaviours and core competencies.  Emissions savings were made by engaging with our team, utilising readily accessible technology for online meetings and collaboration, reducing interstate travel and the introduction of a policy that recognises who is responsible for business travel.

“A commitment to reducing our emissions has really paid off as we can show a 36% saving from last financial year in our fuel costs and a 41% saving in our travel expenses.  Electricity costs have risen slightly and so in the New Year we are installing solar panels to further reduce electricity and energy consumption.  The option to offset emissions will be included in client proposals and environmentally friendly office supplies will be another change introduced next year”, explains Wendy Perry, Managing Director, Wendy Perry and Associates Pty Ltd.

The company’s commitment to operating as a carbon neutral corporation during the 2010-11 inventory period has meant the unavoidable GHG emissions are offset using carbon offsets registered under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and equate to the equivalent of taking approximately 1.7 passenger vehicles off the road for 12 months.

“Wendy Perry & Associates is a great example of what can be achieved when a company draws focus on GHG’s within the business and across the value chain. A commitment, which when led from senior management and filtered through the organisational culture, ultimately leads to an improvement in operational efficiencies and expenses”, said Matthew Shorten Managing Director of BalanceCarbon, who has been working with the company since 2007.

For further information go to:

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