Labor today calls on the Abbott/Turnbull Government to turn off the tap of Government VET FEE-HELP assistance for the dodgy providers who are under suspicion of unconscionable conduct.

This week the ACCC launched legal action in the Federal Court against Phoenix Institute for “false, misleading and unconscionable conduct” and is seeking the repayment of $106 million for the Commonwealth funding provided through VET FEE-HELP.

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) also announced this week that it would cancel Phoenix Institute’s registration – making it ineligible for further government funding.

The ACCC has stated that it is currently investigating nine or ten vocational colleges.

Yet the Abbott/Turnbull Government appears unable to explain why the registration of the other training providers who are under investigation has not been suspended. 

The Liberals have already failed to stop dodgy training colleges from targeting vulnerable students, and taxpayers are paying the price.

Since it has been left to the regulators to take action, the Liberals could at least take immediate action and cease funding the shonky providers who target people with intellectual disabilities, people in Aboriginal communities and people in low socio economic areas. 

The shonks and sharks are destroying the reputation of the whole vocational education sector.

According to media reports earlier this week, shonky brokers and training companies are going from door to door in Queensland, targeting vulnerable Australians with offers of free laptops. 

In other reports, jobactive clients are being referred to brokers to sell diplomas, with a sales target of one diploma per day.

The Liberals have refused to adopt Labor’s strong, common-sense proposals to stop these shonky providers. They have just tinkered around the edges while the shonks and sharks continue to exploit vulnerable people.

Taxpayers and students will be left to foot the bill for the Abbott/Turnbull Government’s inaction.

The Liberals must stop the excuses and turn off the tap off to shonky providers who are ripping off taxpayers and students.

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