Vic to blitz “dodgy” VET providers

29 June 2015

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  The Victorian Government is launching a major blitz to crackdown on “dodgy” training providers in order to lift standards in sector.

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Deloitte2

A review by Deloitte has revealed widespread abuses, including qualifications being issued to students who have no demonstrable skills, inappropriate marketing practices, short course duration, providers claiming government funding for non-existent training delivery and poor oversight of third parties delivering training.

Skills minister Steve Herbert said that since November 2014, the government has had to restore funding eligibility for more than 10,000 students who gained inadequate qualifications, and has found dubious practices in a range of qualification areas.

He said the Government will spend $9 million on auditing, interviewing students, ensuring the paperwork was right and make sure they were getting “high-quality” training.  The priority is to crackdown on providers who are doing short course delivery about which there have been complaints and are suspected of not providing quality training.

It’s unfair for students who lose their government entitlement but it’s also unfair for business and industry who can’t rely on the quality of a qualification when someone fronts up for a job. Initially the crackdown will target any area of training where students need to have high-quality skills to guarantee safety, such as civil engineering.

Herbert said that new providers who access government funding would be licensed through a P-plate system:

New providers will be limited to the number of courses they can deliver to ensure that before they really get full access to government funding, they prove they can provide high quality training.

Herbert said that the implementation of the review’s 19 recommendations will lead to tougher requirements for training providers delivering government-funding training, and improved quality of VET teacher qualifications. Further immediate actions based on the Review’s recommendations include:

  • Stricter entry requirements for the government-funded training system
  • A consumer awareness campaign with information to help students chose the right course and provider
  • Tighter restrictions on the approval of subcontracting, to where it is genuine, specialised and limited
  • Greater transparency of poor quality training, such as problem providers that had a contract terminated for serious compliance issues
  • A revamp of online tools for students, businesses and industry to get information and provide feedback

Herbert also referred the findings to the independent VET Funding Review, which is advising the Government on a more stable and sustainable funding model for Victoria’s training system,  being undertaken by Bruce McKenzie, the former chief of Holmesglen Institute of TAFE.

McKenzie says work need to be done to improve quality in the private system. He told  ABC radio in Melbourne

You can trust TAFE institutions. I don’t have any doubt about that. TAFE institutions are the cornerstone of the system. That’s been universally recognised in our consultations.  What our focus is on is trying to incentivise [private] providers to improve [and] to be better performers than they are. And I think that can be achieved.

The McKenzie review will put out a consultation paper in mid-July.

See
Review of Quality Assurance in Victoria’s VET System

 

 

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