Vocational education and training (VET) students and employers now have a simple new complaints hotline to report rogue training providers.
Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said that while the vast majority of providers were doing the right thing, a minority were ripping off students, employers and taxpayers.
“Unfortunately we have seen examples of students being signed up for courses they don’t need, or being offered incentives such as cash or a “free” laptop, without being told of the thousands of dollars in loans they will need to repay.
“Our Government has already taken action to introduce tough new standards for registered training providers (RTOs), and has provided $68 million over four years to bolster the capacity of the Australian Quality Skills Authority (ASQA) to enforce these strong standards.
“Through subsidies and students loans the Abbott Government will provide around $6 billion to support vocational education and training this year, and this figure is set to grow.
“This new one-stop-shop hotline, a joint initiative with state and territory governments, will make it easier to stop the exploitation of students, businesses and taxpayer funding,” he said.
Anyone with a complaint or query about the VET training sector now has one number to call. The hotline directs complaints to the appropriate Commonwealth, state or territory organisation for help.
The hotline also allows the Department of Education and Training to analyse complaint trends in order to quickly identify what further action and improvements are needed.
“The National Training Complaints Hotline is part of the Abbott Government’s ambitious program of VET reform,” Senator Birmingham said.
“We are committed to lifting the quality of both training providers and their courses, so as to further enhance the contribution VET makes to the employment prospects of students and the competitiveness of Australia’s economy.
“In contrast, Labor failed to protect students and taxpayers from unscrupulous providers, and wasted billions of dollars on skills programmes that failed to deliver training that led to real jobs.”