New law gives VET watchdog teeth

Published Thursday, 25 February, 2016 at 04:47 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

The Palaszczuk Government is delivering on its election commitment to establish an independent Training Ombudsman for Queenslanders.

State Parliament voted to establish the position to act as a watchdog for Queensland’s vocational education and training (VET) sector today.

Training and Skills Minister Yvette D’Ath welcomed the passage of the Further Education and Training (Training Ombudsman) and Another Act Amendment Bill 2015, saying it would support a robust quality VET system for students, apprentices, trainees and employers.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to jobs, job creation and quality training and skills for our current and future workforce,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“We believe that to grow the Queensland economy, deliver new industries and foster innovation, we need a workforce that is up to the challenge.

“That is why quality is so important in the Vocational Education and Training sector.

“The Training Ombudsman will be able to provide support for consumers to navigate the VET system to make complaints and be assisted to resolve disputes, whether informally or through a formal complaint to the relevant regulatory body.

“This is vital for students, teachers, businesses, training providers, employers and their family members who sometimes struggle to navigate the complex VET sector and various mechanisms of regulation across both state and federal jurisdictions.

“Queensland deserves the best VET system in Australia and this important role will assist the Palaszczuk Government to significantly improve the quality of VET in this state.”

Mrs D’Ath said the passing of the bill fulfilled a key component of the government’s Working Queensland agenda to help create jobs and lower unemployment by strengthening the VET sector.

“The Palaszczuk Government will now invest up to $5 million over three years to establish the ombudsman’s role which will help develop strategies to improve VET policies and processes in Queensland,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“A key function of the role will be to investigate complaints about compliance under the Further Education and Training Act 2014 including the scope of work, training standards, facilities and supervision.

“The ombudsman will also monitor and review the arrangements Queensland has in place to strengthen the quality of training and assessment provided by registered training organisations in the state. A permanent appointment will be made within months.”

Mrs D’Ath said a Training Ombudsman will ensure Queensland’s apprentices, trainees and employers have greater redress for any disputes and complaints and the process will allow for any systemic problems to be readily identified.

“This comprehensive process will enable the Training Ombudsman to identify issues to report to me as Minister.” 

An interim Training Ombudsman has been in place since September.

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