Turnbull Government must step up for abandoned VET students


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The Turnbull Government must accept responsibility for the failure in government policy which on Friday resulted in 15,000 students turned away from courses for which they have incurred massive debt and the 1,000 staff who have lost their jobs witrh Careers Australia.

Pat Forward, Australian Education Union TAFE Secretary said the private training provider, Careers Australia was an early entrant into the failed VET FEE HELP scheme.

"Over the past nine years, Careers Australia has continuously been caught out doing the wrong thing. It made millions of dollars from the VET FEE HELP loans scheme, and was forced last year to repay funds because of its dodgy practices," said Ms Forward.

"Despite making a profit of more than $34 million in 2016, fewer than 15 per cent of students completed their courses.

"Their collapse is the result of a massive failure of government policy in vocational education, and state and federal governments must act immediately to provide places at TAFE colleges to the 15,000 students who have been left in the lurch.

"Governments must take responsibility for the mess that the sector is currently in, and they must also provide some certainty to the more than 1,000 people who have lost their jobs.

"The problems with Careers Australia were known for more than five years, and the government was aware of these problems, and yet it was allowed to continue to enrol thousands of students, and collect millions of dollars from the failed student loans scheme.

"It is time governments return trust and certainty to the vocational education sector by providing guaranteed funding to public TAFE colleges," said Ms Forward.

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