According to the Shadow Minister for Skills, Ms Pru Car, the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government is jeopardising the future of Central Coast students by refusing to name the vocational education providers that have had their funding suspended after misconduct and quality control failures.
Ms Car said the government’s disdain for transparency has placed thousands of Central Coast students enrolling in new vocational education courses at risk of signing up to a course with a potentially dodgy provider.
“Despite the potential for these students to suffer heartache and stress at the hands of failed providers, the Government is refusing to name the VET providers that have had their funding suspended and are under investigation.
“The refusal to name the providers comes after the Government fought vehemently against a NSW Labor campaign to reveal the names and the impact failed providers were having on students in NSW,” Ms Car said.
“Labor’s campaign of freedom of information requests and courtroom battles in the NSW Civil Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) finally forced the Government to reveal a list of the 11 terminated providers and the courses that were being targeted, but was unable to force the release of the suspended providers.
“The in-depth investigation uncovered that more than 240 students in the Central Coast have already been devastated by terminated or suspended providers; a number that will balloon with more students unknowingly signing onto suspended providers,” she continued.
Ms Car also alleges Labor’s investigation revealed the Central Coast suburbs that are being targeted, with more than half of the top 10 worst effected suburbs falling into the former Gosford LGA.
In order of most effected students, these included: Gosford, Woy Woy, Umina, Avoca and Terrigal.
The government’s Smart and Skilled program offers funding to private vocational education providers offering Certificates and Diplomas in various trades and skills.
Ms Car said that many of the courses are offered at exorbitant prices which are unaffordable for most people, and that the program also acts as a gross reduction in funding for public vocational education providers like TAFE, forcing course prices there to climb, student enrolments to plummet by 126,000 places, and 5,200 teachers and support staff losing their jobs.
NSW Opposition Leader, Mr Luke Foley, announced Labor’s Private Provider Investigation Unit policy to help weed out shonky providers during his budget reply speech.
The investigation unit would investigate dodgy training providers and ensure that taxpayer money is only given to reputable providers.
Ms Car also named and shamed a list of terminated providers which included: ASA (Australian Sports Academy) Pty Ltd, terminated for providing incorrect information in the application.
Australian Vocational Training Academy Pty Ltd, terminated for: failure to provide compliant Training and Assessment Strategies, non-compliance with record keeping requirements; and failure to provide records and evidence to the Department upon request.
Careers Australia Education Institute Pty Ltd, terminated for: failure to properly train and assess students in accordance with training package requirements, non-compliance with record keeping and failure to provide records and evidence upon request.
Careers Australia Institute of Training Pty Ltd, terminated for: failure to properly train and assess students in accordance with training package requirements, non-compliance with record keeping and failure to provide records and evidence upon request.
Industry Education and Training Services Pty Ltd, terminated for: providing incorrect information in the application.
Seluna Pty Ltd, terminated for: failure to comply with training and assessment requirements of the VET Quality Framework, and submitting training activity and receiving subsidies for learners where there was no evidence of commencement.
Western Institute of Technology Pty Ltd, terminated for: providing incorrect information in the application.
Wise Education Group Pty Ltd, terminated for: failure to meet Standards for RTOs 2015 and non-compliance with record keeping requirements.
Group314 Pty Ltd, terminated for: Termination of S and S due to previous termination of APL; and,
Donna Mere Morrell-Pullin, terminated for: providing incorrect information in the application.
Feb 8, 2017
Aaron Duke, Office of Pru Car, Shadow Minister for Skills