POSITIVE POLICY

Restoring Integrity in VET and Protecting Students and Taxpayers from Rip-offs

A Shorten Labor Government will introduce a loan cap of $8,000 a year in the VET FEE-HELP program as part of an integrity package to stop the massive waste of taxpayers’ money, to prevent price gouging of students and improve training outcomes.

Under the Liberals, the VET FEE-HELP loans scheme has escalated from $699 million in 2013 to $1.7 billion in 2014 and is expected to have blown out to over $3 billion for 2015.

At the same time, students are being ripped off by unscrupulous colleges and dodgy providers - and taxpayers are being forced to pick up the tab.

In some colleges it is costing taxpayers over a million dollars in VET FEE-HELP loans to produce a single graduate.

In 2014, the ten largest private training college recipients of VET FEE-HELP subsidies in Australia were paid $900 million in government subsidies - yet less than five per cent of their students graduated.

Labor will stop this waste of taxpayers’ money and exploitation of students.  Our plan will restore integrity to the system, by cleaning out the dodgy private providers who have been ripping Australians off for too long.

Labor’s plan to rein in these taxpayer subsidies and restore integrity to the vocational education sector will save Australian taxpayers $6 billion over ten years.

There will be an exemption on legitimate high-cost courses such as nursing and engineering following ministerial approval.

Other measures in Labor’s integrity package include:

  • Ensuring that funding for providers is linked to student progress
  • Set national priorities to help meet the skills needs of industry
  • Crackdown on the use of brokers to recruit students
  • Ensure that only the highest quality colleges get access to funding
  • Tougher powers to audit, investigate and suspend unscrupulous providers

Further details of Labor’s plans are included in the factsheet available here: http://www.alp.org.au/restoringintegritytovetfeehelp