Time For Minister To Act To Protect VET Sector

Sharon Bird today called on Minister Macfarlane to act immediately following the release of the Australian Skills Quality Authority’s (ASQA) Annual Report, which identifies that only 20 per cent of the more than 1500 colleges audited by ASQA complied fully with its standards.

On average, ASQA has found that 20 per cent of providers are fully compliant with all the national standards at audit. In the remaining 80 per cent of cases, ASQA has found at least one non-compliance. These non-compliances range from minor concerns through to very serious concerns about the quality of training and assessment.

  • ASQA Annual Report 2103-14 

“ASQA’s report states that there was a high level of non-compliance with the Quality Training and Assessment standard which is the core business of Registered Training Organisations,” Sharon Bird said.

“The Minister must act immediately to strengthen the Vocational Education and Training sector.”

Labor is calling on the Government to:

  • convene an urgent meeting with the Education Minister to ensure there are no abuses of the VET FEE HELP system by poor quality or unscrupulous providers;

  • call an urgent meeting of the COAG Industry and Skills Council to guarantee federal money is not being provided to poor quality providers;

  • ensure that the move to risk based assessment intervention by ASQA on RTOs is limited, at least in the first stage, to only high quality providers with long term track records who have not had any breaches of Standard 15; and

  • provide continued support to Industry Skills Councils beyond 1 July to give stability to the system. 

“I have been calling on the Minister for the past year to take action to ensure that quality in the sector is maintained. 

“I recognise that additional funding has been provided to ASQA and new National Standards have been released, however this report makes it very clear that more needs to be done. 

“It is time for the Minister to act to protect the skills sector,” Sharon Bird said.