The 2017 Skills Conference: Moving Apprenticeships and Traineeships Forward will focus the nation’s attention on ensuring apprenticeships and traineeships are given the highest priority.

The conference will provide a deeper engagement with the issues and ideas on the skills agenda and give the interests of employers and apprentices more weight in public debate.

The 2017 Skills Conference is designed to maximise skills policy exchange and debate via keynote interviews, moderated panel discussions, industry-focused lightning rounds as well as formal speeches by prominent and relevant industry spokespeople.


Group Training Association of NSW and ACT 2017 Skills Conference
Wednesday 14 June 2017
Dockside Darling Harbour
08:00amRegistration and Networking
09:00amWelcome and Opening Remarks
09:10amSession 1 - Economic & Industry Briefing
The NSW economy is being seen as the strongest of all states on the back of good business investment and retail trade figures, and is now top-ranked on unemployment and economic growth. As a nation we are still feeling the effects of the end of the mining boom.
We take a look at where we are as a nation and the impact it has on job and skill requirements.
Facilitator: Alexandra Geddes, Director - Business Improvement, Department of Industry
Mark Tierney, Asset Allocation, Australian Super
Adam Creighton, Economics Correspondent, The Australian
09:50amSession 2 - Fixing the VET System
In the last 12 months a number of reports have been released looking at the issues around the VET system and what could be done to improve things. We take a look at two reports and discuss the solutions offered.
Facilitator: Lauren Tiltman, National Executive Officer, National Apprentice Employment Network
Rebecca Burdick, Senior Policy Advisor - Workforce Skills, NSW Business Chamber
Dr Damian Oliver, Leader (Policy and Research), NSW Skills Board Secretariat
10:30amMorning Tea
11:00amSession 3 - Future of Work - Where will the jobs be in the future?
With technology determining how we work, Apprenticeship and Traineeships will not be the same in many years to come. The demands for skills will change and they type of jobs we do will differ.
We take a closer look at what the future holds, where the jobs will be and the impact of apprenticeships and traineeships.
Facilitator: Toni Jones, Employment Manager, News Corp Australia
Karen Borg, Chief Executive Officer, Jobs for NSW
Bronwyn Lee, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Foundation for Young Australians
11:45amKeynote Address
The Hon. John Barilaro, Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional New South Wales, Minister for Skills, and Minister for Small Business
12:20pmSession 4 - Better engaging young people into apprenticeships and traineeships
It has become difficult to attract the current generation of youth into a career through an apprenticeship and traineeship. We speak with two organisations who are implementing new initiatives to change the mindset of youth whilst at school.
Facilitator: Peta Skujins, Research and Content Officer, Integrated Information Service
Brian Wexham, Chief Executive Officer, Skillsone
Ian Palmer, Inspiring the Future Australia
1:00pmNetworking Lunch
2:00pmKeynote Interview
Facilitator: John Ross, The Australian
Jon Black, Managing Director, TAFE NSW
2:45pmSession 5 - Higher Apprenticeship and Traineeship Pilots
The Federal Government in September 2016 announced two pilot programs in higher apprenticeships as part of a progressive roll-out of reforms in the vocational education sector.
The higher apprenticeships model has been successfully implemented in countries like England.
We take a closer look at the pilots and here from the two organisations involved – Ai Group and PwC.
Facilitator: Ashley Langdon, National Account Executive, Verto
Philip Le Feuvre, Head of Engagement, PwC's Skills for Australia
Megan Lilly, Head of Workforce Development, AI Group
3:30pmSession 6 - Infrastructure Projects Driving Initiatives in Training and Employment
Infrastructure Projects is seen as one of the driving forces in the growth of apprenticeship and traineeship numbers in NSW over the last 12 months.
With over $73 billion being invested in infrastructure projects the demand for skilled workers is making projects look at what they do to train staff and provide a skill legacy for this state.
We take a close look at two of NSW biggest infrastructure projects and hear some of the initiatives being implemented around training and employment.
Facilitator: Jason Sultana, Executive Officer, Group Training Association of NSW and ACT
Claire Parry, Workforce Development Advisor, Sydney Metro
Guy Pearce, Training Manager, WestConnex M4 East & New M5 Projects
4:15pmClosing Remarks
4:30pmConference Close

We would like to thank the following sponsors and exhibitors:

Early Bird Deadline
11 April 2017

Conference Date
14 June 2017