Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Senator the Hon Scott Ryan will today be convening the first in a series of national consultations, to work towards the Coalition Government's promised redesign of Labor's flawed VET FEE-HELP scheme.
The consultations, which begin today in Perth and will travel to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns, will inform a discussion paper to be released into the redesign of the VET FEE-HELP scheme.
Minister Ryan will host the consultation series which will be attended by VET FEE-HELP training providers, representatives from peak training bodies and industry and community stakeholders.
“The Coalition Government will consult with the training sector to reform VET FEE-HELP as a matter of urgency, to be put in place in 2017,” Minister Ryan said.
“Our reforms will centre on ensuring students acquire the skills they need to get jobs, that taxpayers’ money is well spent, and that shonky practices are eliminated.
“The VET sector works for the overwhelming majority who access it. However, it is clear that the VET FEE-HELP scheme requires substantial change as its design was flawed and it failed to include appropriate protections for students and taxpayers, and had insufficient measures to guarantee quality training.”
Key issues to be discussed during the consultations include how the scheme can best protect students, how to improve the quality and integrity of the scheme, and how to ensure the scheme is sustainable over the long term.
“The Coalition Government is taking a measured and methodical approach to the redesign of VET FEE-HELP, recognising the important reforms that have already been introduced,” Minister Ryan said.
“Affordable access to high quality training that meets the needs of industry and employers must continue to be the hallmark of Australia’s vocational education and training sector.”