Federal Governmnet offers $1.75b for VET reform
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has announced a funding offer of $1.75 billion to the states and territories for a program to reform the VET system over the next 5 years. The offer, outlined in a document called Skills for All Australians will be considered at next month’s COAG meeting.
Under the offer:
- All Australians – from post school to the age pension - will have access to a government subsidised training place up to their first Certificate III, through a National Training Entitlement; and
- Interest-free loans will be expanded in the vocational education and training system, enabling up to 60,000 students per year to defer the upfront cost of tuition. Loans will be available to all students studying publicly-subsidised diplomas and advanced diplomas at approved VET providers.
Key measures in the offer to the states and territories include:
- Working with the states and territories to ensure courses delivered by the VET sector are subject to independent quality assessment.
- States and territories will be required to implement these independent checks over the next two years.
- States and territories will have to set strict criteria to ensure only quality providers with an established record can access public funding.
- States and territories will be required to provide strategies that will continue to support and strengthen the public providers of vocational education and training (TAFE) over the next five years.
- Each state and territory will be required to implement strategies to improve the quality of VET teaching.
The offer is in addition to the $7.2 billion the Government will make available to the states and territories over the next five years for the VET system.