Crackdown On Vet-Fee Help Long Overdue

06 May 2016

The Andrews Labor Government has welcomed the announcement of a plan to stop the massive waste of taxpayers’ money from the Turnbull Government’s VET-FEE Help debacle.

The plan, outlined during Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s Budget reply speech last night, features a loan cap of $8,000 a year in the VET-FEE Help program.

Victoria has been pushing for more realistic loan levels for the last year in a bid to stop cowboy operators exploiting vulnerable students. A lack of funding limits, an inappropriate upper limit on loans, a disconnect with industry and a lack of emphasis on competition has resulted in massive loans with little benefit to show.

It is estimated that up to 15,000 Victorians may have been pulled away from the state training system into the disastrous VET-FEE Help system.

Under Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull, VET FEE-HELP loans have escalated from $699 million in 2013 to $1.7 billion in 2014. That is expected to have blown out to over $3 billion for 2015.

Too many Victorians have been ripped off without getting the qualification they need to get the skills for a real job.

It is disappointing the four Coalition Vocational Education and Training Ministers since 2013 haven’t been able to fix the crisis they let proliferate.

The Turnbull Government had a chance to right this wrong in this week’s Federal Budget, but instead they cut $8 million from the national regulator ASQA, despite unprecedented concerns with about VET-FEE Help rorting.

The Labor Government in Victoria is already weeding out training providers in the State system who aren’t giving people the quality training they need to get a job.

The Department of Education and Training’s compliance activity has been boosted significantly with an extra $39 million to conduct more on site audits, for closer scrutiny of high-risk providers and for greater control and oversight in the use of outsourced training providers.

Victoria is stemming the waste of taxpayers’ money and exploitation of students. We’re restoring confidence to our training system and it is time the Commonwealth did the same.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert

“At long last, someone has finally listened to what Victoria has been calling for. We’ve been advocating for more realistic loan levels and it’s pleasing to see that might finally happen.”

“Victoria is in the middle of an unprecedented crackdown on dodgy training providers and it’s about time a Federal Government did the same.”

“We welcome the announcement from Bill Shorten, Kim Carr and Sharon Bird about their plan to put students first.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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