The Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Review of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (NVETR Act).
Consumer Action has played an active role in the vocational education and training (VET) debate over the last few years, particularly on the shortcomings of the VET FEE-HELP scheme. The rampant and inappropriate selling of VET courses, leading to large and inappropriate VET FEE-HELP debts with little or no outcomes for students, has disproportionately affected vulnerable and low-income Australians, and young job seekers.
Despite reforms to the Government loans program, Consumer Action continues to see significant consumer detriment in “fee-for-service” VET courses. It is arguable that the harm caused by these products is greater because of the debt burden that vulnerable students accrue when a dispute arises. In a Government loans scheme, such as the current VET Student Loans, there is an income threshold for repayments, which does not exist with “fee-for-service” courses.
Review of NVETR Act 2011 (Consumer Action) FINAL