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Rip-off of students not "Unique"

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 28 Oct 2015

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon commenting on the latest scandal involving a private Sydney based college ripping off vulnerable young people, said similar abuses will continue as long as for-profit companies are given public money to run vocational education and training courses.

"Low integrity companies, like Unique International, get away with misusing public money because the current system does not put the needs of students and employers first," Senator Rhiannon said.

"A few rule changes as advocated by the Coalition government and Labor opposition will not stop these rip-offs.

"Public money ear marked for education should not be handed over to for-profit companies like Unique International.

"It is not just individual students who are damaged. The fabric of our society is degraded and the training provided fails to meet community and business needs.

"The legal action initiated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reveals
that Unique International received $14.9m in federal government payments via the HECS-style loan scheme. This delivered the company a profit of more than $11m in six months.

"The massive profits Unique picks up from the public purse highlights why for-profit companies are flocking to the vocational education and training sector.

"A Senate inquiry the Greens initiated revealed that problems similar to the scandal involving Unique International are widespread and systemic.

"The national regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority, found 45 per cent of Registered Training Organisations investigated had most likely breached national standards.

"Abolishing contestability funding is the only way to stop private companies exploiting the community with cheap-to-run courses.

"It is time to end public funding going to for-profit private companies," Senator Rhiannon said.

Contact - Brami Jegan 0433 054 712


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