The Australian Greens would cease taxpayer money being poured into the broken for-profit VET sector and fund a $400 million TAFE rescue package to ensure investment goes to where it is needed most: helping provide Australians with the opportunity to further their education and increase their skills in the workforce.
The Greens are proud defenders of a strong TAFE system. To help provide the high-level skills and workforce development that is vital to our economic future the Greens will:
- Cease providing federal government funds to for-profit VET providers.
- Implement a TAFE federal rescue package which boosts funding by $400 million a year.
- Establish a VET Ombudsman with $10 million in seed funding.
Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms said, "When you have a system that allows one for-profit provider to receive $111 million of federal funding in a year while handing out just 117 diplomas, everyone should be able to agree the current model is broken. Thousands of Australians who genuinely want to further their education and contribute to society are being hoodwinked by dodgy for-profit VET providers and it must stop.
"Under The Greens proposal, the government would stop pouring money into the for-profit VET sector that rips off a third of students who, according to the Education Department, will not finish their studies and be left with massive debts.
"The need to establish an Ombudsman could not be clearer. We must ensure that students are protected from unethical and manipulative behaviour by for-profit providers, including the ban of commission-based sales of courses by brokers."
Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon said, "We have been calling on the Liberal and Labor parties to reform the VET sector for years, but it seems they are both accustomed to turning a blind eye to the failings of the for-profit providers.
"While there are huge challenges the Greens believe it is critical that the federal government stop funding for profit private companies to deliver vocational education and training. We have an opportunity to reform the sector so it provides high quality affordable and accessible education for all Australians."