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New Victorian career and training info portal launched: Victorian Skills Gateway

Thursday, December 6th, 2012


Victorian Skills Gateway

From the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, the Hon Peter Hall, media release 2 December 2012:

Students can now match their career dreams to the right training thanks to a new website launched today.

Skills Minister Peter Hall said the Victorian Skills Gateway took the hassle out of searching for the right course.

Gone are the days of hours spent searching through the websites of individual training providers,” Mr Hall said.

This makes it easy. Select a career, click the mouse, and all training options available in Victoria for that job are laid out.

“Whether it’s school leavers, or those looking for a job change, this website will prove to be a useful tool.

Victorians looking for work can see which skills are most in demand, maximising their chance of employment,” Mr Hall said
“You can scroll through the list, read about job prospects, look at case studies and then get information on the courses needed.

See full media release here

Calling new graduates and diploma holders – dairy manufacturing scholarships open for 2013

Friday, October 12th, 2012

evapouratorEach year Dairy Australia offers Dairy Manufacturing scholarships to six new graduates and diploma holders who are committed and passionate about the dairy industry. The scholarship provides a generous living allowance and includes 2-3 months training comprising of dairy manufacturing theory and practical sessions at the National Centre for Dairy Education Australia (NCDEA), Werribee and practical training placements at leading dairy manufacturing companies. Interested applicants may apply online through a simple on line application.

2012 Dairy Manufacturing program was very successful based on the fact that a) 83% of the trained graduates secured jobs with dairy food companies within a few months of completing the training b) Average satisfaction score for the program as judged by scholarship graduates was 8.79/10, c) Average satisfaction score judged by sponsoring companies was 7.57/10 and d) 42 promising graduates applied for the scholarships.

See full details on the Dairy Australia website here.

More information
For more information contact Jaclyn Walsh on
03 9694 3812 or email

For more information contact Jaclyn Walsh on

03 9694 3812 or E:

AgriFood 2012 National Conference registrations are now open

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

agrifood logo

Hosted by AgriFood Skills Australia, this year’s conference will be on held on Thursday 20 September 2012 at the Four Points by Sheraton in Sydney. The conference dinner will be held the preceding evening Wednesday 19 September at the conference venue.

Themed Disruption or evolution the program will feature high-profile speakers and panellists discussing industry issues around structural change currently taking place in the agrifood industry.

Key note speakers and panellists include The Hon Tim Fischer AC, Barry Irvin, CEO Bega Cheese Ltd, and Phillip Adams. Additional speakers will be confirmed in the near future. Additions to the conference program will be published here.

Registrations are now open through a secure online site, where payment can be made securely by credit card. Click here to register.

tim fischer Conference registrations will close 5:00 PM Friday 14 September 2012.
philip adams

2012 ‘Environmental Scan’ launched by AgriFood Skills Australia

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

agrifood logoAgriFood Skills Australia launched the 2012 Environmental Scan Disruption or evolution on Tuesday 19 June at The Lobby Restaurant, Canberra.

The fifth Environmental Scan highlights the vital importance of industry and government coordination and leadership to tackle the challenges of workforce and skills shortages in the agrifood industry and regional Australia.

Consultation for the 2012 Environmental Scan highlighted industry’s four priority skills and workforce development challenges, which have taken on a new sense of urgency (see Fig 6, p. 22 of Scan):

  • Attraction of new workers
  • Adoption of higher skill levels across the workforce
  • Diffusion of new research findings, innovative practice and technology
  • Retention and skills utilisation of existing workers

To download a copy of the 2012 Environmental Scan please click here.

2012 AgriFood Skills International Fellowship applications now open – close 6 August

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

agrifood logothat's amore cheese

AgriFood Skills Australia and International Specialised Skills Institute Inc. are offering two international Fellowships of $10,000 each.

These fellowships aim to promote the acquisition of higher-level skills and an appreciation of international best practice in the agrifood industry.

Two Fellowships are available, with applications open to all people Australia-wide in the sectors covered by AgriFood. Successful applicants will be announced on Wednesday 19 September at the AgriFood Skills Australia National Conference.

Applications close 6 August.

Click here for details. Their website also has information on previous winners.

Have your say – review of Standards for Regulation of VET – due 13 July 2012

Friday, June 15th, 2012


From the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) website, 8 June:

On the 8th of June 2012 the Nationals Skills Standards Council (NSSC) commenced the review of the standards for the regulation of VET.

* The current standards for the regulation of VET have served their purpose in supporting the growth of a dynamic and diverse VET sector that has responded to industry needs for nationally recognised training and qualifications, and has provided access and opportunities to individual learners.

*The standards for the regulation of VET and the associated regulatory approach need to continue to evolve to ensure that current and future RTOs continue to deliver high quality training and assessment services thus ensuring that the reputation of the sector is maintained and that employers and industry continue to value the VET qualifications held by individual students and employees.

* While the NSSC acknowledges that the standards for the regulation of VET, in particular those for RTOs, have been amended a number of times over the past 5-10 years, it is considered timely that a broad ranging review occur, that considers the regulatory standards as a whole.

* The review is broad ranging and encompasses standards for Registered Training Organisations, Data, an VET Regulators. It will consider not just the content of the standards in isolation but importantly also how they are applied, implemented and interpreted in practice

Face to face consultations are being held with federal and state/territory governments, VET regulators, Industry Skill Councils, Peak Bodies and other stakeholders in June and July.

Click here to see full NSSC Review webpage.

AgriFood Skills Australia is making a submission and welcomes input from any industry and training stakeholders. There is a Feedback Form to assist. See contact below to request this.

In order to allow sufficient time to review and consolidate input, please provide your comments to Jeannie Cotterell by COB Friday 6 July 2012.

Jeannie Cotterell
General Manager, Product Development and Implementation

Phone: 02 6163 7235
Mobile: 0459 981 293

Victorian wins national battle of the best young bakers!

Friday, June 1st, 2012

John Leontiades competition 1From the Grain Growers website, 28 May 2012,

Five of Australia’s best young baking apprentices have  competed for the prestigious L A Judge Award, an annual event  hosted by Grain Growers Limited (“GrainGrowers”) to recognise and encourage excellence in the industry. John Leontiades, 22, from Louttit Bay Bakery in Lorne,  was named the winner at a presentation ceremony in Sydney on Thursday night. He will receive an overseas study tour valued at $3,500.

Representatives from other states were  Tobias Morley (Woolworths Kingston, Tasmania), Jasmine Harris (Bakers Delight, Woodville, South Australia), Geoffrey Brinkley (Woolworths Caloundra, Queensland) and Joshua Patrick Walton (Bushmans Bakery, Lake Cathie, New South Wales). Baking apprentices aged 23 years or less are nominated by their state industry association to compete in the gruelling, three-day competition.

Morten Staer, GrainGrowers bakery consultant and the competition’s chief judge, said the hotly-contested competition  — held at GrainGrowers’ in-house baking facilities  — saw competitors evaluated on practical baking, technical knowledge and communication.

Click here to read whole story.

John’s apprenticeship has been conducted with South West Institute of TAFE, under Baking Department coordinator, Jason Bidmade. The Victorian Baking Training Network was actively engaged in the state-wide selection process for the best apprentice to compete in the LA Judge.  Many trainers from other TAFEs gave their time and expertise to help prepare John.

The VFITB commends this training sector for its commitment to training excellence and developing the next generation of industry specialists. This LA Judge win is testament to their dedication and passion, and of course, to John’s outstanding abilities and vision.

MINTRAC making great strides in niche meat market training

Friday, May 18th, 2012


From the May MINTRAC Newsletter:
MINTRAC is currently brokering several programs under the National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF), through both AgriFood Skills Australia and Manufacturing Skills Australia.
Between now and the end of 2013, the current programs are running:

Advanced Diploma in Meat Processing (10 students)
Diploma in Meat Processing (34 students)
Certificate IV in Occupational Health and Safety (31 students)
Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (42 students)

See MINTRAC full Newsletter here

(Ed note: pulling groups of students together from across the whole country is a great way to upskill staff where a single state based RTO might not be able to recruit adequate numbers in that state.)

Federal Budget 2012 – Australian Apprenticeship Reform

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

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
  • See announcement here

    Note: Certificate II incentives continue as before in their limited way – ie. not in metropolitan cities unless a targetted group.

Federal Minister seeks assurances TAFE standards are safe

Monday, May 14th, 2012

From The Age website, 12 May 2012
“VICTORIA could miss out on $435 million in federal funding for the TAFE sector if the state government’s changes threaten national skills reforms.
Federal Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans has called on his state counterpart, Peter Hall, to provide urgent assurances about Victoria’s TAFE cuts and whether they were a threat to training standards.”

Read more here.


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