2014 was a tumultuous year for the VET sector; 2015 sees the reality of the VET reform Agenda, Total VET Activity Reporting and USI collection. The negative publicity has gathered pace. Let’s see what you think about it all …. click on the cover image below to download the report in PDF Format.
Current enrolments are down on this time last year, a quarter of RTOs are looking at downsizing in the next quarter and the percentage of RTOs who believe their business situation is satisfactory or good is down from 75% to 62%.
The reason for the drop in confidence become clear later in the survey; the Cost of Compliance is seen as the major stumbling block to increasing business activity followed closely by Rogue Operators driving down prices and quality while confidence in the minister has also declined significantly.
The cost of implementation of the USI both now and in the rest of the year appears to be significant with 57% of RTO experiencing a jump in administration costs of up to 10% and there doesn’t appear to be much confidence that costs will reduce during the course of the year.
There is a significant level of concern regarding the impact of negative media coverage in the VET Fee Help sector with 64% of RTOs believing coverage could impact the sectors viability and will result in reduced government funding contract for private RTOs. ASQA didn’t get a strong vote of confidence either, only 29% of respondents either satisfied or very satisfied with its performance.
To a greater or lesser extent the survey tells us what we would expect when taking into consideration the level of negative publicity and the recent level of activity required in implementing the USI requirements. One wonders how much more confidence would have dropped if the Short Course sector were required to collect USI and what the impact will be when a more stringent LLN regime is implemented. To be frank RTOs working in the funded training sector have a lot to complain about and at least as much to be concerned about.
How is it that a few RTOs aka Rogue Operators, get away with so much for so long and do so much damage when the vast majority of RTOs taking compliance and learning outcomes so seriously?
We watched with interest as the Federal Cabinet reshuffle in December returned VET back to the Education Department after its stint with Industry. Ian Macfarlane, after initiating the VET reform agenda has passed the baton to rising star Senator Simon Birmingham, Assistant Minister for Education…watch this space.
The survey summary may be republished with the permission of the owners.