Release type: Media Release

Date:

Gillard Government delivers national reform to Australia’s VET sector

Ministers:

Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
Leader of the Government in the Senate

Landmark reform to Australia’s vocational education and training sector has been achieved today with passage of legislation which has established a national system of regulation for the first time.

Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills, Senator Chris Evans, welcomed the passing of the three Bills that establish the new regulator. This will be a new era for the regulation and quality of vocational education and training benefiting more than 1.2 million students and thousands of Australian businesses.

“The new National VET Regulator will build on the current VET regulatory system to increase confidence in the quality and consistency of graduates across states and territories.

“The new regulator will use a risk-based approach, allowing it to focus closely on poor performers while reducing the regulatory burden for strong, proven providers.

These reforms have received considerable support for the introduction of the VET regulator from stakeholders across the board. These include training providers, employers, industry skills councils and unions.

“It will help restore international confidence in the system following previous concerns with colleges servicing the overseas market.” From 1 July 2011, the new regulator—which will operate as the Australian Skills Quality Authority—will begin regulating training providers in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

The Government welcomes the support of the Greens and independents on these bills and will continue to consult with the sector to improve the legislation.

Regulation of Queensland, South Australian and Tasmanian providers will follow later in the year once legislation is passed by respective State Governments. The Commonwealth Government will continue to work constructively to bring Victoria and Western Australia within the national system.

“The legislation establishes a strengthened regulatory framework with a range of escalating penalties to ensure the new regulator can deal with underperforming training providers,” Senator Evans said.

The Government has committed $55 million over four years to create the new regulator, as part of the Skills for Sustainable Growth package announced in last year’s Federal Budget.

Further information on passing of the three Bills that establish the new regulator—theNational Vocational Education and Training Regulator Bill 2010 [2011]; the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2011, and the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (Transitional Provisions) Bill 2010National VET regulator is available at www.deewr.gov.au/vetregulator.