Training ombudsman investigations return $1 million

Published Wednesday, 24 November, 2021 at 11:49 AM

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Di Farmer

The Queensland Training Ombudsman (QTO) has clawed back more than $1 million, including from scammers and dodgy operators, in a major win for Queensland students.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said refunds and fee waivers have been issued to Queenslanders involved in vocational education and training (VET) following QTO investigations.

“Queenslanders have the right to receive high-quality training and the Palaszczuk Government is providing high-quality support through the QTO,” Minister Farmer said.

“Since 2015, 2,036 complaints have been received, including training scams, false and misleading advertising and poor behaviour from Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

“Almost 2,000 of these complaints were resolved, resulting in fee refunds and waivers worth more than $1 million.

“This is all about fair outcomes and ensuring students can continue on their career pathways without being taken for a ride.

“I thank the QTO for its ongoing commitment to create a strong and fair VET system in Queensland as we deliver a record $1 billion skills and training budget.”

Queensland is the only state with a Training Ombudsman - an independent statutory position re-established by the Palaszczuk Government in 2015.

Ombudsman Geoff Favell said 459 complaints and enquiries had been received in the past financial year, compared to 255 in 2015-16.

“Queenslanders are lucky as they have access to many quality education pathways, however, identifying and navigating these can sometimes be a bit tricky,” Mr Favell said.

Of the 392 complaints received in 2020-21, key issues included poor communication and enrolment disputes with RTOs, short duration of courses, issuing licences following the completion of a qualification and appropriate supervision for apprentices.

The majority of complainants (82 per cent) were apprentices, trainees and students.

“Over fifty-five per cent of complaints were completed within 30 days and 73 per cent completed in 45 days, meaning a quick and fair resolution for all parties,” Mr Favell said. 

“The complainants’ preferred outcome was achieved in more than 70 per cent of cases with the Office negotiating $132,725 in course fee refunds or fee waivers in 2020-21.

“These outcomes underline the vital role the QTO plays in assisting individuals involved in the Queensland training system with an independent, impartial and unbiased process.”

For more information, visit the Queensland Training Ombudsman website.



Media contact:          Ben Brew        0468 839 551