After two years of escalating problems with shonky providers and little action by the Abbott/Turnbull Government the Vocational Education Training (VET) sector has now reached crisis point.
Fairfaxmedia reports today that up to 12,000 students across Australia are in limbo following the collapse of Vocation Ltd, a private college which has applied to be placed into voluntary administration.
The Liberal Government must take urgent action today, in partnership with the States and Territories, to ensure that the 12,000 students affected by the collapse of Vocation have alternative training pathways to continue training and receive assistance with any queries regarding VET FEE-HELP loans.
The future of the 12,000 students affected by the collapse is on the line and the Government must step in to help them with options for their future study.
The Minister must also turn off the tap of Government assistance to shonky providers who are under suspicion of unconscionable conduct.
Students signing up for courses in the new study year must be able to have confidence that they are receiving good quality training for their future employment.
Australia’s international reputation as a quality education provider is now in jeopardy after two years of reports of shonky colleges taking advantage of students and abusing the system – with little action from the Government.
Labor has supported all measures that the Abbott/Turnbull Government has put forward but they need to go further. The measures to date simply aren’t working.
Last month, the Liberals rejected Labor’s strong, common sense proposals in the House of Representatives.
Labor will move strong, sensible measures in amendments in the Senate next week for:
Tuition fees to be capped like university fees;
A lower lifetime limit for VET FEE-HELP loans – half the current amount;
Loan applications for students to be handled by the department rather than a private college or broker;
A ban or restriction on brokers;
The Minister to have the power to suspend payments to a private college under investigation.
Will the Minister stop this shonky behaviour and support Labor’s proposals or will he continue to stubbornly reject them because he didn’t think of them himself?