“The government seems to be very slowly peeling the onion in discovering rogue private RTO’s that have been cheating the system,” writes Ian Oliver, CEO of National Training. “It is difficult to comprehend why it has taken the government so long in digging towards the bottom of the mess.”
He is referring to an announcement made by the Australian Skills Quality Authority of a crackdown on 18 private colleges who have been offering student loans funded through the Australian Government’s VET FEE-HELP scheme.
“Commission-based salesman who were getting $4,000 plus for selling VET FEE-HELP funded Diplomas, must raise suspicions when you can get enrolled and assessed in an online Diploma for less than $3,000” Ian Oliver continued. “Now they discover fast-track delivery; almost all Diplomas require in excess of 400 hours study. Completion over a couple of weekends is a total farce. Most in the industry knew about this and the government claims to have had no idea.”
And the CEO of National Training isn’t wrong. ASQA Chief Commissioner, Chris Robinson, stated that, “some [of the courses] are advertised as short as long weekends. We know learners can’t get the skills they need in that time.”
The effects on students that have bought, literally, into the scheme are widespread. For one, students are being talked into paying, via government loans, inordinate amounts of money for services that just don’t cost that much to run. On the other side of the coin, “certified” workers are now entering the workforce unprepared for the jobs that need to be filled.
After a recent ASQA audit, it was discovered that 80% of training courses for the security industry lasted less than a fortnight. Perhaps Chief Commissioner Robinson put it best, “I don’t think that’s acceptable by any stretch of the imagination.”