Last week, Careers Australia announced its closure in a late night text message to its 15,000 students and 1,000 staff. The reason for the collapse of this private for-profit vocational education and training (VET) company – one of the largest in Australia? It did not receive approval to become a VET Student Loans provider, after years of collecting tens of millions of dollars through its predecessor Commonwealth Government loans scheme, VET FEE-HELP.
In his latest blog post, CCA CEO Dr Don Perlgut analyses this event, and asks what it means for the future of Commonwealth Government funding of VET programs?
“Should anyone – least of all the owners of Careers Australia – have been surprised about the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training’s refusal for participation in the new scheme?” Don Perlgut asks.
Dr Perlgut points out that the new list of approved VET Student Loan providers is mostly made up of TAFEs, with no (as of this writing) community education providers (although there are a few not-for-profit organisations).
Dr Perlgut concludes by asking, “How does the VET Student Loans program fit into overall skills training policy for Australia and Australians? Who will benefit the most from this new scheme? What happens next?”
“It’s time for the Australian Government to articulate a comprehensive policy for vocational education, training and skills – one that includes the contribution of the community education sector, which has been ignored in all latest policy announcements,” Dr Perlgut writes.
Click here to read the full blog post, including background about the now-defunct Careers Australia.