The Apprenticeship Employment Network - Tasmania (AENT), formerly Group Training Tasmania, has been assisting employers to engage apprentices and trainees in Tasmania for nearly 20 years.

This network is made up of individual not-for-profit enterprises (Apprenticeship Employment Organisations - AEOs) (1) whose business Is to employ apprentices / trainees under a ‘Contract of Training’.

These member enterprises then hire the apprentices / trainees to businesses throughout the community (‘host businesses’) for an agreed period (either a year, or the required period to complete the apprenticeship).

The main benefit of this approach to training is that it provides:

for the apprentice / trainee:

  • surety of employment to the individual apprentice / trainee,
  • independent assessment of host work placements,
  • a breadth of skills training because of the potential for rotation between host businesses, assurance that they receive all legal pay and entitlements
  • an individual mentor guiding their progression and wellbeing
  • workplace and safety assurance
  • management of appropriate training

for the ‘host businesses’:

  • a risk-free opportunity to train employees and build their business
  • management advice regarding the apprentice / trainee’s progress
  • management of the training of the apprentice / trainee organised for them
  • flexibility to move the apprentice on to another ‘host business’ if the ‘fit’ isn’t right or in the case of changed circumstances for the business
  • management of all payroll and legal reporting responsibilities.

The success of this approach is reflected in the fact that the network, with 700 apprentices and trainees, is the largest employer of apprentices in Tasmania.  (2)

AEO were developed from unique associations of employer and employee organisations as not-for-profit business partnerships. Today many providers of this apprenticeship employment service have become industry specific and therefore concentrate their activity in such industries or trades as building and construction, automotive, hospitality, retail, or aged care.

Accredited AEO’s are required to comply with Council of Australian Governments (COAG) approved National Standards, which exceed the performance requirement for any other Australian employer.

Nationally, there are more than 180 Apprentice Employment Organisations serving both urban and rural communities across the country with most maintaining the original not-for-profit structure and managed by voluntary boards made up of community and industry representatives.

The employment service has prospered and grown to become the largest employer of skilled trade apprentices in Australia often becoming the single largest employer in many regional communities.

Collectively, these AEO networks employ some 25,000 apprentices serving a business network of about 100,000 individual enterprises in urban and regional Australia.  (3)

(1)   Tasmanian member ‘Apprenticeship Employment Organisations’ (AEOs) are:

  • Building Group Apprenticeship Scheme  (building trades)
  • MEGT Tasmania  (all industry)
  • NECA Education and Careers  (electrical trades)
  • Tasmanian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (automotive trades)
  • Work and Training  (all industry)

(2)  Skills Tasmania – published data

(3)  National Council for Vocational and Educational Research (NCVER) – published data.