Palaszczuk Government cracks down on scammers swindling job seekers
Published Sunday, 23 August, 2020 at 11:38 AM
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
The Palaszczuk Government has today released a five-point plan to tackle online scammers unlawfully tricking jobseekers into training programs.
Training Minister Shannon Fentiman said she asked the Queensland Training Ombudsman to crack down on ‘bait advertising’.
“I’ve got a clear message for scammers who are tricking jobseekers into training programs – we’re coming after you,” Ms Fentiman said.
“That’s why I’ve asked the Ombudsman to make this issue his number one priority between now and the end of the year.
“We’ve invested more in training than any government in Queensland’s history to create jobs and give Queenslanders more opportunities for employment.
“We will not allow these scammers to take advantage of jobseekers.
“These are people doing the right thing, trying to find a job to support themselves and their families during extremely tough times. They shouldn’t have to worry about being ripped off.”
The Government’s five-point plan includes:
- An independent investigation by the independent Queensland Training Ombudsman
- A dedicated online compliance unit directly responsible for identifying scammers and referring them to the Australian Skills Authority (ASQA), Office of Fair Trading or police.
- A dedicated Training Scammer hotline to report unscrupulous operators
- A review of penalties for scammers found to have unlawfully tricked jobseekers
- A review of every RTO that receives State Government subsidies with a commitment to cut support if an organisation is found to have tricked jobseekers
“I will be working with ASQA, the Office of Fair Trading and the Office of Industrial relations to investigate and crack down on dodgy recruiters and training providers,” said Training Ombudsman Geoff Favell.
“The Minister has also asked me to review penalties awarded to perpetrators and to report back to the government. This is to ensure deterrents are strong enough to weed out this practice.
“These scammers are in the minority. This is a very small group of unscrupulous operators who are taking advantage of jobseekers.
“I urge anyone who believes they have been tricked into a training program to phone the Training Scammer hotline on 1800 773 048.”
Any complaints can be lodged either through the hotline or online: https://trainingombudsman.qld.gov.au/
Media contact: Inga Williams 0439 949 719