Changes To the Vocational Education and Training System – What’s Next?
With the Vocational Education and Training system subject to more changes than ever in recent times, it only makes sense that the VET Student Loan scheme is also in need of a revisit.
Despite former New Zealand minister Steven Joyce establishing a list of actionable items in his recent review of Australia’s VET sector, there was no real focus on VET funding.
The VET Student Loan scheme requires some change so that it can be a worthy competitor up against HECS and Higher Education as a satisfactory substitute, to encourage more students into the VET training system.
With the focus on ‘VET’ as a major policy priority at the moment, a long term vision around the VSL scheme would go a long way towards put VET at the forefront of training and education in Australia.
‘A strong VET sector will support millions of Australians to obtain the skills they need to participate and prosper in the modern economy.’
VET Student Loans made its debut in 2017 as a solution to the earlier VET FEE-HELP loan scheme that was seen to have several loopholes.
As a result of this, it has been recognised that the VET Student Loan scheme:
‘In 2013, prior to the emergence of the exploitative practices, 100,035 students accessed a VET FEE-HELP loan and the total amount loaned was $699.2 million. At the end of 2018, only 57,874 students accessed a loan and the government loaned them $278.7 million.’
The government’s reform package announced in April, alongside the latest AQF review combine to suggest that the Vocational Education and Training system is slowly on its way to deliver better outcomes for Australians seeking out VET pathways – the VET Student Loans scheme is predicted to soon follow suit.
As we enter 2020, clarity and vision around VET funding will bolster the VET sector and give confidence to students.