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QUESTION WITHOUT NOTICE — Sue Pennicuik to ask the Minister for Training and Skills.

Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) — My question is to the Minister for Training and Skills. Recently public housing tenants in Prahran were signed up to inappropriate vocational education and training (VET) courses with the inducement of iPads and laptops. Many of the residents targeted were vulnerable, elderly or on a disability support pension.


What action has the government undertaken in response to this case to assist those residents who were inappropriately enrolled in these courses and to ensure that tax dollars have not been rorted by this private provider?

[Speech was interrupted here... click here to view full debate]

Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) — I am not shocked that this is going on, given the market contestability that was introduced by the previous Labor government and allowed to persist by the previous Liberal government with very little regulation and everybody running around trying to get the horses back in the paddock. The VET provider in question is Alderdice and Associates, and it is currently advertising its courses using the term 'Study now, pay later'. The Consumer Action Law Centre, in its submission to the Senate inquiry on VET, recommended that restrictions be imposed on the use of slogans such as 'Study now, pay later'. Will the government be taking up this recommendation and restricting such slogans in advertising for VET courses?

Wednesday, 15 April 2015