Victoria Shadow Minister for Tertiary Education & Training Peter Hall
Coalition To Cut Training Fees By $96 Million
Victor P Taffa
A Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will re-establish Concession Fee Places for Students studying at Diploma and Advanced Diploma levels.
For Health Care Card holders this will mean that instead of the $2,000 Annual Fee Introduced by the Brumby Government, they will pay just $100.
Shadow Minister for Tertiary Education and Training Peter Hall said the Brumby Government’s decision to increase fees from $877 to $2,000 in 2010 and to $2,500 from 2012 had made vocational training for people from low-income families cost prohibitive.
“Families with lower incomes find it impossible to meet these fees upfront and are averse to accumulating significant debt, so they are less likely to take up this level of vocational training.” Mr. Hall said.
“At the very time the Government is claiming a need to improve training opportunities, it is putting financial barriers in front of those in our community who are arguably most in need of such training.”
Mr. Hall said the Coalition’s commitment of $56 million over four years would benefit almost 6,000 students who are studying at Diploma or Advanced Diploma levels and who qualify for a concession place.
In the first year of a Coalition Government the cost of the Policy would be a little over $11 Million, rising to around $15 Million p.a. as expected growth in student numbers and Labor’s higher fee of $2,500 kicked in from 2012.
Mr. Hall said the Coalition was also concerned that the Labor Government’s changes to eligibility for Government supported training places for students over 20 years of age were deterring Victorians from gaining much needed skills and preventing growth in the sector.
Under the Labor Government’s Policy, students over 20 years of age are required to pay the full cost of a training place if they are studying at an equivalent or lower level to the qualification they currently hold.
According to Mr Hall this cost is commonly between $6,000 and $10,000 a year.
“We should be helping those who need to broaden their skills to gain or maintain employment, for mums wishing to return to work in a more family-friendly occupation or for older people updating their skills, not hindering them.” Mr. Hall said.
“The Coalition will provide an additional $10 Million p.a. for the next four years to provide exemptions to the Labor Government’s harsh eligibility criteria.”
“This is on a top of Labor’s current $10 Million of exemptions and will mean that most students with a valid work-related reason would be supported in their endeavours to study.”
Mr. Hall said a Liberal Nationals Coalition was also promising to review all fee structures recently introduced by the Brumby Government.
“The higher fee structure is counter-productive in meeting the skills needs of industry, business and services.” Mr. Hall said.
“The review would be undertaken with a view to reducing all fees where possible and prudent to do so.”
“An immediate benefit to Victorians under a Coalition Government would be total cut in fees of $96 Million over four years, consisting of $56 Million for concession training places and $40 Million for work-related exemptions.” Mr. Hall concluded.
Responsibility for Election Comment
Under the provisions of the relevant Electoral Act responsibility for all election comment is assumed by Editor Victor P Taffa. The Registered office of The Southern Thunderer is at 4/69a Darvall Road, West Ryde NSW 2114.