Sixty-two registered training organisations have been investigated and 18 training providers’ contracts cancelled in a 12-month quality blitz of Victoria’s training system.
Last year the State Government began ‘weeding out’ poor quality training providers as a result of a government review of the quality of the Victoria’s vocational education and training sector.
In announcing the progress last week, Training and Skills Minister Steve Herbert boasted of “leading the country in stamping out rogue training providers”.
“The blitz has had a huge impact,” Mr Herbert told the media.
“It has led to us removing dodgy training providers from the system and has helped restore confidence in VET training.”
State Member for Russell Northe has been in contact with Latrobe Valley students forced to switch providers and in some cases start courses from scratch.
It follows the closure of local training providers such as TBM Training and Worksafe Training Centre, which each had campuses in Morwell.
Mr Northe said it was all well and good to weed out poor quality providers, but students should not be left in the lurch if their training organisation closed down.
The State Government previously told The Express government-funded students would be transferred free of charge to a TAFE in such instances.
But Mr Northe queried what the government was doing to help students who were not government funded.
“All of us want to ensure where there are private providers, they are doing the right thing; they are providing the appropriate course for students that lead to job outcomes,” Mr Northe said.
“The weeding out of those unscrupulous providers is important. What I would say is there has to be support mechanisms available for students left out in the cold.”
The government aims to restore confidence in the training system before it introduces a new funding system next year.
Last week it launched a new Industry Engagement Framework, to include regional taskforces that will gather information and advise the skills needs of regional Victoria.
Mr Northe accepted the need to ‘rein in’ unscrupulous providers, suggesting any course offered in further education and training should lead to real job outcomes.
He said if the state could get the training system right, it would ultimately lead to a falling unemployment rate.
In response to questions about student support, Mr Herbert said students were the government’s “number one priority”.
“If students have not been contacted by the department they should call the TAFE and Training Hotline so the department can assess their circumstances,” Mr Herbert said.
Students who need further guidance and advice on getting statements of attainment should contact the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority.
Email the VRQA at qar@VRQA.edumail.vic.gov.au or phone 9637 2806.