Date: Wednesday 13 March, 11.30am - 12.15pm ACDT

Cost: Free

Register now!


The impact of increasing university participation on the characteristics of apprentices report examines whether the characteristics of young people undertaking apprenticeships and university have changed in response to the demand driven system (DDS) of education and training or other policy, economic and social conditions in the last twenty years. The research highlights the largely unchanged profile of young apprentices and presents considerations for the Australian VET system when seeking to promote apprenticeships to school leavers.

This webinar will briefly present the findings from that research and then move to a discussion of its implications with a panel of apprenticeship and youth pathways experts.

The panel will consider how university and vocational education policies interact, what can be done to boost the attractiveness of apprenticeships and traineeships to school leavers, and other related topics. Attendees are invited to register and submit questions in advance to that the panel may address.


Joanne Waugh

Joanne is an early career researcher with 15 years’ experience working within the Australian VET sector. Joanne has worked delivering training in an RTO, as an industry liaison developing training package content, and in VET policy for the South Australian government. Joanne holds a Graduate Diploma in Applied Linguistics and an Honours Degree of the Bachelor of Psychological Science. Her research interests include qualitative research in education access, equity and pathways.


Peta Skujins

Dr Peta Skujins is the Senior Policy and Insights manager at the Apprenticeship Employment Network in Victoria, Australia, and works on the implementation of GAN Australia. In this role she the conducts research and analysis of trends and best practice in VET and Australian Apprenticeships, and develops policy briefs and reports.

Before joining AEN, Peta was the Director of the Australian Apprenticeships and Traineeships Information Service, a government funded organisation that supported the skills sector as a hub of apprenticeships information. Peta's interests include transitions between compulsory education and employment including career decision-making, and understanding the ways in which employers make hiring decisions.

Adrienne Nieuwenhuis

Adrienne is a Commissioner at the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). Prior to her appointment to TEQSA, Adrienne held senior positions at the University of South Australia, and in state government. Adrienne has been a member of the South Australian Skills Commission since 2013 and has held several roles within the Commission. She was also a member of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee, and in 2022 was appointed to the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Advisory Council.

Adrienne has over 30 years’ experience in tertiary education, and in public administration, management and governance. She has been a member of various state and federal committees and working parties associated with both VET and higher education and public policy.

Ben Bardon

Ben is currently the CEO of the National Australian Apprenticeships Association, having been CEO of a large group training company for the decade before that. He’s consulted  internationally for the World Bank, London Apprenticeship Company, and the Vocational Training Council in Hong Kong.

Ben is a previous member of the Skills Board in NSW (BVET) and a Board member of the National Employment Services Association (NESA). He has comprehensive experience of apprenticeship systems around the globe.

Dianne Dayhew

Dianne is the CEO of the National Apprentice Employment Network (or NAEN), the member body representing the network of group training organisations that employs some 25,000 apprentices and trainees around Australia.

Dianne commenced her CEO role with NAEN in late 2018.  The Associations Forum awarded NAEN the 2021 External Campaign of the Year Award in recognition for effective campaigning for apprentice employment. Her advocacy work has led to regular news media appearances, and radio, online and print media interviews.

Originally an educator in primary and tertiary education, Dianne also has a background in the arts and creative industries.

Join the conversation

Discuss the webinar topic with us and our networks by tagging @ncver on Twitter.

Time zones

Check your time zone to make sure you don't miss out!

Privacy Collection Notice

If you register for this webinar, you submit your information to the webinar organiser, who will use it to communicate with you regarding this event and other services.

Any person in the European Union (EU) who participates in this webinar is considered to have opted in by their own choice, and should be aware that while NCVER fully complies with the Australian Privacy Act and Australian Privacy Principles, including the Notifiable Data Breaches Act, which have similar requirements to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), may not at this time, comply with all GDPR requirements.

View NCVER’s Privacy Policy here.