MEDIA RELEASE 25 August 2016
The Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) has welcomed the direction of VET FEE HELP reforms outlined by the Minister for Education and Training Senator Birmingham today. Minister Birmingham opened ACPET’s National Conference in Hobart and outlined the key questions being considered in the redesign of the VET FEE HELP scheme.
The Minister told delegates that he wanted to deliver a system that was student-centred and delivered quality skills and training outcomes that were relevant to students, business and the economy.
Mr Camm said ACPET shared this commitment and was pleased that student choice was central to the discussion about the program redesign. “ACPET strongly supports reforms that will restore integrity and confidence to the VET FEE HELP system and the reputation of private vocational education and training providers more broadly,” he said.
“We support any reforms that ensure that students have access to their choice of high quality provider, public or private, and the course that best meets their needs.“
We encourage the government to implement a system that ensures students are well informed and empowered to make decisions about their own education and their own future.
We know that governments ‘picking winners’ in terms of which courses students should be allowed to study, with government support, simply doesn’t work.
“As the Minister said, taxpayer support of training is about supporting individuals to acquire skills to get a job and, in doing so, to grow other businesses that sustain our economy.” Mr Camm said ACPET was pleased that the Minister recognised the contribution of the private education and training sector to Australia, with high levels of enrolment and student satisfaction.
“ACPET recognises we have an ongoing and important role in supporting the VET FEE HELP reforms and identifying high quality providers,” he said. “To this end we have developed an ACPET Quality Endorsed program that independently reviews our members and enables students, parents, employers and governments to have confidence in a providers’ performance, standards and outcomes.”However, Mr Camm said it was critical that the new VET FEE HELP scheme, or its replacement, was finalised as a matter of urgency. “Time is of the essence as providers need time to plan and develop necessary infrastructure to support the reforms,” he said.