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Private VET Providers Peddle Dodgy Diplomas

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Tags: Education, Vocational Education, TasTAFE

Andrea Dawkins On tomorrow to move -

That this House notes:

1.      The recent visits to Tasmanian households from door-to-door sales people peddling online diploma courses with the lure of a ‘free’ device, such as an iPad, to entice the unwary to sign up to what is eventually a costly venture;

2.      That there are many examples in Australia of private companies charging upwards of $10,000 for diplomas in various fields;

3.      That these unethical companies are targeting individuals outside the education system who are often unaware that the same or similar courses exist through local companies and through TasTAFE for between $500 and $5,000, and at the same time offering a structured teaching environment;

4.      That studying for a diploma requires a reasonable level of core skills, and as such training organisations ought to be evaluating individuals against five core skills, those being learning, reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy;

5.      The significant cloud of doubt as to whether the online delivery model being offered by these private training companies would even satisfy the standards for vocational education and training in Tasmania;

6.      That should an individual sign up to a course such as those being offered by door-to-door sales people that it is actually the taxpayer who will be required to foot the bill to private VET companies through the VET Fee Help system;

7.      That in 2014, $1.6 billion came out of federal government coffers to fund student loans under the VET Fee Help scheme;

8.      The flaws associated with the VET Fee Help system which, in its current model, is open to abuse and has very poor completion rates, with areas of disadvantage often being targeted and pushy marketing techniques employed to entice people to sign up to a course they are often not able to complete; and

Further, that this House:

9.      Calls on the State Liberal government to undertake a review of the legislative requirements in Tasmania currently allowing private VET companies to target vulnerable Tasmanians and leaving tax payers to foot the bill.