ADA Australia at the NAEN conference

September 13, 2023

Matthew Simons

Recently, the ADA team attended the National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN) conference at Marvel Stadium. It was an opportunity that saw all ADA staff gain a greater understanding around working with apprentices and younger workers.

The conference saw experts from industry, government, academia and the training sector gather to discuss both the current challenges and career opportunities apprentices are facing.

The ADA team had a booth at the conference, which provided an opportunity to inform industry and government attendees on the work we do with apprentices (and to also engage with other organisations doing essential work in this space). Other attendees at the conference included Apprenticeships Victoria, Kangan Institute, Bendigo TAFE, RMIT University and many more.

ADA’s Tim O’Brien, author of A HANDBOOK FOR WORKPLACE MENTAL HEALTH, was among guest speakers on the industry panel, discussing the best support mechanisms to assist young people starting work. Tim is passionate in this field and draws on knowledge and experience from previous roles as TAFE Department Head, journalist and former IR and industry professional.

The conference also gave us an opportunity to discuss our Best Life: Best Work Apprentice Wellbeing Program, which ADA Australia developed to address the various challenges faced by new and younger workers, and now embraced by key unions and industry as an important addition to their apprentice training.  

The program has been run for unions and organisations across the country, including the ETU, CFMEU, PPTEU, Electrogroup and Toyota Material Handling.

This training is to equip younger workers with strategies to deal with workplace pressures and to encourage help-seeking behaviours – as well as after-hours pressures (relationships and personal concerns, even managing ‘partying’ and wellbeing around alcohol and drugs).  

It is our belief that, with the right support and training, all apprentices and younger workers can flourish in both their work and personal lives.

If you’d like to learn more about our Best Life: Best Work Apprentice Wellbeing Program, or any of the other training programs we offer, please call ADA Australia on 1300 378 429 or email:

Additionally, If this information raised any concerns for you, please do speak to your GP, they can help you back to good health, or call a helpline: LIFELINE 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue 1300 22 4636.

Article by
Matthew Simons