With concern of burgeoning debts for poor-quality or unsustainable courses, HECS-Style loans for vocational education students, called VET-FEE HELP will be heavily scrutinised by the commonwealth auditor-general in the next financial year.
In response to increased agitation from Labor’s vocational education spokeswoman Sharon Bird the National Audit Office has acceded to the request that a performance audit of VET FEE-HELP be undertaken to weed out unscrupulous operators.
“It is imperative that taxpayer funds are spent on quality training and that students are not incurring debts for poor-quality or unsuitable courses,” she said.
Ms Bird said media, industry and regulator reports of misuse of funds in the scheme have been discovered in Senate estimates and two recent parliamentary inquiries.
It is high-time for an audit given the blow-out in annual turnover from $25 million in 2009 to a projected $1.3 billion this financial year.
There has been an increase in reports of abuse in the system and it could be because of the increased proliferation of third-party brokers. This problem is being addressed by government with the introduction of new standards.
Kim Carr, industry spokesman was adamant that all Australians needed to trust in the system of assisting students that was created to look after their best interests.