Industry welcomes cancellation of VET FEE-HELP debts

Friday, 21 September, 2018

Industry welcomes cancellation of VET FEE-HELP debts

The Australian Government has introduced new legislation to strengthen existing protections for students against the inappropriate actions of some unscrupulous VET providers under the VET FEE-HELP loan scheme.

Those targeted were signed up to courses they may not have had the academic capability to study or have not understood they were receiving a loan from the government that needed to be repaid. As a result, the scheme left many students with large debts and in some cases little to no training outcomes.

This legislation allows debts to be remitted if the conduct of the provider is determined to be inappropriate.

Industry body NECA believes the waiving of debts, in particular for those students who were saddled with course expenses for a worthless qualification, is encouraging. This decision clearly draws a line in the sand and helps to rebuild confidence in the future of VET, according to NECA.

“The failed VET FEE-HELP program enabled a situation where a small number of unethical training providers targeted vulnerable and often unsuitable students, which led to a drop in standards and a loss of confidence in the VET sector,” said Suresh Manickam, CEO, NECA.

“The appalling behaviour of these unethical providers created an inequitable situation for the countless students caught up in the scheme, as well as tarnishing the reputation of quality registered training organisations,” he said.

NECA has strongly argued that VET education is just as important as a university degree and the parents of young Australians should know that learning and training standards are rigorous and of high quality. This is especially important as we seek to address future skills shortages in the electrical trades.

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