New standards to combat rogue training brokers and protect prospective students from unscrupulous marketing practices, come into force from today.
Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham said the Australian Government is taking decisive and coordinated action to stop the exploitation of students.
“Stories abound of people being stopped on the street and offered incentives including cash payments to sign-up for a course they don’t need,” Senator Birmingham said.
“Often prospective students aren’t given the full story and sign-up to student loans worth thousands of dollars that need to be repaid later.
“The Government is taking firm action to crack down on unscrupulous and misleading behaviour by some training providers and brokers.
“Under the new standards, training providers and their brokers must be upfront with students and provide clear information about any VET-FEE HELP loans, state entitlements and subsidy arrangements that they sign up to.
“The standards also stipulate that training providers are ultimately responsible for services delivered by brokers on their behalf, ensuring that the buck stops with training providers.
"As the new minister I intend to do all possible to ensure training is of the highest quality so that students and potential employers can enjoy confidence in our training system.
"Our Government is providing $68 million over four years to bolster the capacity of the Australian Quality Skills Authority (ASQA) to enforce these strong standards."
Since it was established in July 2011, ASQA has refused around 16 per cent of applications from organisations seeking to register as a new training provider and over 6 per cent of applications from existing providers trying to re-register.
More than 4,000 existing training providers have until 1 April to comply with the new standards, however new organisations applying to enter the training market must comply from today.
Further details on the standards can be found at www.vetreform.industry.gov.au