Evocca faces class action

The Australian     |     29 October 2015

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One of Australia’s largest private training providers, Evocca College, company is facing a class action from former students who claim they were duped into enrolling in its courses or enticed with offers such as free laptops and receiv­ed substandard training.

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EvoccaFigures from the Department of Education and Training reveal Evocca had 27,907 students enrolled­ last year, of whom all but three were receiving government-funded VET Fee-Help loansIt received $250 million in funding yet only 1053 stud­ents completed its courses.

About 200 former students are now preparing to lodge a class actio­n against the company, determined to clear their VET debts that average about $20,000 each.

One of those, Sydney-based former student Joel Weisbord, was suffering from a major depressive episode in 2013, when he decided to enrol in Evocca’s online­ video-gaming diploma in an effort to turn his life around.

On his college pre-enrolment form he noted he had “special needs”, and that he suffered from dystocia, panic disorder, anxiety disorder, depression, ADHD and learning difficulties.

He claims he was assured he would be given support to complete the course and that the cost would be subtracted from his tax payments when his income reached a certain threshold, so that he did not have to pay anything out of pocket.

“It was all a lie,” he said.

He said parts of the course appeared to be YouTube videos while some of the course material needed to complete the assessments was simply missing.

He said in April last year, he informed the college in writing that he wanted to withdraw from the course. But instead the college added another $6750 to his VET debt for the next unit of the course.

However, an Evocca spokesman said the company “completely rejected the allegations” and none of its courses had been alleged to be substandard.

Earlier this month, Evocca was one of 8 training providers whose continuing registration was made subject to strict conditions, following an ASQA audit of providers receiving VET FEE-HELP. Unique International had its registration cancelled and 8 others are still being investigated.

Conditions imposed

  • Access Group Training
  • Australian College of Training and Employment, EVOCCA College, Nuvocca, EMPACER
  • Careers Australia Education Institute, ACAE Aust College of Applied Education
  • Royal Gurkhas Institute of Technology Australia, Gurkhas Institute of Hospitality & Management
  • International Skills Institute
  • Australasian College Broadway
  • Smart City Vocational College
  • The Health Arts College

 

Registration cancelled

  • Unique International College
See
Targeted audits of VET FEE-HELP providers

 

 

 

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