HON KAREN ANDREWS MP
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills
Federal Member for McPherson
1 July 2017
Full VET Student Loans program gets underway
Today marks the end of the six month transition period to an affordable, sustainable and student-focused vocational education and training (VET) student loans program.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews said a new phase of the Turnbull Government’s VET Student Loans program commences today, with a new list of fully approved providers, the introduction of student progression measures and the VET Student Loans Ombudsman.
“The new program replaces the disastrous VET FEE-HELP scheme, and puts an end to unscrupulous providers taking advantage of vulnerable students and taxpayers,” Minister Andrews said.
“From today, only fully approved providers will be able to offer students a VET Student Loan.”
“The 105 providers approved to offer taxpayer funded loans have been assessed against stringent criteria to ensure they offer high quality training and strong employment outcomes to their students.”
Today also marks the start of formal student engagement and progression arrangements, an important part of the student protection measures put in place for VET Student Loans.
“Students will be required periodically to confirm their intention to continue accessing VET Student Loans to pay for the tuition fees for the course they are undertaking,” Minister Andrews said.
“This will be a simple process for students and will help ensure loans are only provided to genuine students.”
From today, students who experience any issues with their training provider will also have access to a new complaints mechanism.
“The VET Student Loans Ombudsman will be able to investigate any complaints that arise under the new program as well as assist students still affected by the failed VET FEE-HELP scheme,” Minister Andrews said.
“The Ombudsman will report on its investigations and provide recommendations to providers and others, which may include taking action, or stopping certain behaviour, to address identified problems and provide redress to affected students.”
Minister Andrews said VET Student Loans will help Australians get the right skills and education they need to succeed, while also addressing critical skills shortages.
“I look forward to seeing students enjoying strong employment outcomes from the industry-linked, value-for-money courses on offer and confidence being restored in our vocational education and training sector,” Minister Andrews said.
For more information including a list of approved providers visit: http://www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans.