The 2021 Skills Conference – Recovery and Discovery
Dockside Darling Harbour

Please note: It is the intention of all speakers to present at the conference venue. Due to covid-19,  some presentations may be delivered virtually on the day.

Wednesday – 16th June 2021
 8.00 AM Registration and Networking
 9.00 AM Welcome 
Jason Sultana – Executive Officer – Apprentice Employment Network NSW & ACT
9.05 AM Opening Remarks
Craig Randazzo – Chairperson – Apprentice Employment Network NSW & ACT
9.10 AM The Coronavirus Recovery
The world has changed.  We focus on where we are as a nation. What has been the impact of the last 12 months and where are we heading.  How do we compare to other nations?
We get an expert view from AustralianSuper.
Amber Rabinov –  Senior Manager, Macro Research – AustralianSuper
9.40 AM Sponsor Address – TAFE NSW
Steffen Faurby –  Managing Director – TAFE NSW
9.50 AM Addressing skills shortages and helping NSW recover
We’ll look at how TAFE NSW is partnering with industry, universities and schools to develop new models for training people for the jobs of the future.
Panel Discussion
Steffen Faurby –  Managing Director – TAFE NSW
Kirsty Hosea –  Chief Delivery Officer – TAFE NSW
Vik Naidoo –  Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer – TAFE NSW
Facilitator – Liz Nair, Commercial Director – Master Builders Association of the ACT
10.30 AM Morning Tea
11.00 AM NSW Ministerial Address – The Hon Geoff Lee – NSW Minister for Skills

11.30 AM


The Impact of Covid-19 on New Zealand Skills
We get a better understanding of how Covid-19 has impacted skills in New Zealand.  What has the New Zealand government implemented to stimulate employment activity? What can we learn from our neighbours?  We will also take the opportunity to look at other international strategies?
Josh Williams – Principal Director, Skills Consulting Group, New Zealand
12.00 PM ACT Ministerial Address – Chris Steel MLA – ACT Minister for Skills
12.30 PM Lunch
1.15 PM Turning the Tide – How important is VET programs in schools for the future of apprenticeships and traineeships.
We take a close look at what the NSW Department of Education and the ACT Education Directorate are implementing to increase participation in VET programs including School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships. With the ongoing battle with universities and parents in capturing school leavers, can these initiatives turn the tide on the perception of apprenticeships and traineeships?
Panel Discussion
Dr Peta Skujins – Director – Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service
Robyn Pemberton – Leader, VET Programs for Secondary Students – NSW Department of Education
Melissa Pinney – Director, VET in Secondary Schools – ACT Education Directorate
2.00 PM Adolescent Learning Strategies
Dealing with apprentices and trainees under the age of 25 can be difficult no matter who they are.  We look at the design and implementation of adolescent learning strategies based on cognitive neuroscience and educational psychology.
Brad Kilpatrick – Deputy Commandant –  Australian Defence Force Academy
2.30 PM Keynote Presentation – The New World of Work
Understanding the emerging workforce, adapting to the new workplace.
Over the last couple of years, the world of work has undergone a massive transformation. From portfolio careers to teleworking, from the gig-economy to the growth of the start-up culture. How, where and why we work has significantly changed. This session looks at how to recruit, retain, manage and train top talent, and how to create a workplace culture and engage a diverse workforce to bring about greater productivity and engagement. How will this impact apprenticeships and traineeships?
Ashley Fell – Director of Advisory – McCrindle
3.30 PM Short Afternoon Tea Break
3.40 PM Keynote Interview – National Skills Commissioner
We take the opportunity to have a one on one with Adam Boyton, the National Skills Commissioner. Adam was appointed in his role in October 2020 and has been tasked to build a better Vocational Education and Training System. We discuss the journey so far and the future ahead of us.  We will seek to understand how the coronavirus has impacted skill shortages, labour market recovery and determining the future skill needs of the nation.

Jason Sultana – Executive Officer – Apprentice Employment Network NSW & ACT
Adam Boyton – National Skills Commissioner
4.30 PM Closing Remarks


We would like to thank the following 2021 Sponsors and Exhibitors: