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VET legislation a 'welcome support' for Australia's industry

26 February, 2015

The Vocational Education and Training (VET) legislation being introduced to the Federal Parliament is a welcome step in the Government's training system reform agenda, says Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox.

"It addresses ongoing issues impacting Australia's training system and its ability to deliver a productive and highly skilled workforce," Willox asserted.

"The risks facing the sector were brought home by the recent findings of poor quality training provision, unclear marketing practices and abuse of VET FEE-HELP by some training providers.

"Training providers must have as their first priority the need to adhere to industry standards to meet the workforce needs that further advance Australia's economy.

"The Australian Government's reform agenda includes the introduction of new standards for RTOs. It is important that the system's regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), implements a balanced risk assessment regime, to ensure quality provision and compliance. The proposed new measures will give ASQA the capacity to respond rapidly to emerging issues and include technical enhancements to facilitate more effective and efficient regulation.

"Ai Group is particularly pleased to note the introduction of measures that address the marketing of VET to students. This will minimise the negative impact of marketing by third parties (brokers) and improve transparency of broker activity.

"The proposed new measures will ensure brokers are explicit in their communication to prospective learners on who will be responsible for the outcomes of the training. There will be a corresponding civil penalty provision that applies to persons marketing a VET course.

"These new measures will also allow ASQA to focus more of its resources on the detection and bringing to account of unscrupulous operators and do much to restore the reputation of the sector," Willox said.

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