2.109 The committee recommends that, given the evidence
of rampant abuse, accelerating costs, and doubling of bad debt the government
launches an immediate review into the operation and regulation of VET FEE-HELP.
2.110 The Committee recommends that this review considers the
most effective way to control costs of courses for students under VET FEE-HELP
by either instituting a lower and separate loan limit or a cap on student loan
2.111 The Committee further recommends that this review
considers the most effective way to limit provider access to VET FEE-HELP so
that only providers with the highest reputation for quality have unfettered
access to the scheme. The Committee recommends that the government mandates
minimum entry standards of year 12 completion or equivalent for access to VET
FEE-HELP loans for Diploma level courses and above.
2.112 The Committee opposes suggestions to lower the repayment
threshold to $30,000 or $40,000. Asking lower income earners to pay for the
failure of government to properly regulate the operations of VET FEE-HELP – and
for the rampant and unethical misbehaviour of some private providers – fails
both the practical and ethical test.
3.82 The committee recommends that urgent and concerted efforts
are made to further raise awareness of the rights of students and existing
Standards relating to providers in the VET sector. This effort should focus on
advocacy groups dealing with the most vulnerable members of the community,
including the long-term unemployed or disadvantaged, migrants and people with
3.83 The committee recommends that the Department of
Education and Training and the Australian Skills Quality Authority conduct a
concerted and urgent blitz of all providers to ensure that they are consistently
complying with the national standards, especially those relating to student
recruitment. This blitz should be aimed at defending the interests of students,
enforcing adherence to AQF volume of learning standards and removing
non-compliant RTOs as VET FEE-HELP providers.
3.84 The committee recommends that the government, where
there is evidence to do so, provides a brief to the DPP to launch prosecutions
against providers engaged or benefiting from fraud and take steps to recover
3.85 The committee recommends that the Australian Skills
Quality Authority be given powers to directly regulate brokers or marketing
agents in the VET sector, and to protect students.
3.86 The committee recommends that the government caps or
otherwise regulates the level of brokerage fees paid for VET FEE-HELP students
to maximum amount of 15 percent the amount of the loan.
4.86 The committee recommends that the government apply,
in consultation with industry and quality providers, minimum hours standards to
VET FEE-HELP eligible courses.
4.87 The committee recommends that the Australian Skills
Quality Authority be given the powers to take swift and strong action against
Registered Training Organisations found to be providing inadequate training to
4.88 The committee recommends that the Department of
Education and Training should have to approve any instances of Registered
Training Organisations subcontracting out components of their VET FEE-HELP
eligible training to non-registered third parties.
4.89 The committee recommends that the Australian Skills
Quality Authority maintains its close scrutiny on and gives priority to the
Early Childhood and Aged Care training sectors, given the concerns noted in
5.78 The committee recommends that the underpinning
legislation for the Australian Skills Quality Authority be revamped in order to
give the regulator sufficient powers to adequately regulate the Vocational
Education and Training sector, to protect the rights of students and to act
more firmly and quickly to stamp out abuses.
The committee further recommends that the Australian Skills Quality
Authority improves its processes to enable it to more swiftly share information
with other levels of government, regulators, government departments and law
The committee recommends that an Ombudsman focused on domestic students
in the VET sector be created, and further suggests that this position be
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