The Federal Government's recent introduction of student loan support for vocational education and training programs from approved providers is already spurring strong interest from individuals keen to improve their job skills, according to the Australian Business Academy.
In just a few months since the roll-out of the VET FEE-HELP scheme, student enrolments at the ABA's campuses in Sydney, Parramatta and Canberra are up significantly on a range of eligible Diploma and Advanced Diploma level courses.
"We have experienced a solid increase in enrolments in a number of our approved vocational education courses since the Government's VET FEE-HELP scheme has come into effect," says Australian Business Academy General Manager Sean Steele.
"This is because the scheme has now given individuals, who previously may have been deterred or restricted from enrolling in vocational courses due to financial reasons, the ability to undertake a course and pay for it later, once they begin working."
VET FEE-HELP is an extension of the FEE-HELP Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). It assists eligible full fee-paying students undertaking certain VET courses of study (diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate and graduate diploma courses) with an approved VET provider, to pay for all or part of their tuition costs. Individuals who use the scheme begin repaying their debt once they have graduated and reach a taxable income threshold (see VET FEE-HELP Information Booklet here for this year's threshold).
"The OECD and Australian Federal Government have both recently acknowledged that we are going to need to put more people through vocational education and training to meet our skills shortage, because Universities don't produce enough students with the right skills to fill all the skilled roles Australia needs," Mr Steele says.
"The ABA is one of only a handful of educational providers that has been approved for the VET FEE-HELP scheme at this stage and we have approval for courses in Business Administration, Graphic Design, Human Resources Management, IT, Management and Marketing, Sports Management and Travel and Tourism".
"All of a sudden there are absolutely no barriers to anybody regardless of their age, their educational background or their financial position to upskilling themselves through a vocational educational course into a better paid and more enjoyable job, fast," Mr Steele adds.
"We produce graduates much faster than TAFEs or other private colleges by having an accelerated course model. That's one of the major reasons why people come to us, because they can get out into the workforce more quickly and into a better-paying job".
"If you always wanted to go to University but never got a good ATAR, are worried about losing your job and therefore need to gain some qualifications or are a mature-age student who'd like to branch into a new career, you can now complete a Diploma or Advanced Diploma in 6 to 18 months and not pay anything for that course until you're earning over the threshold (see VET FEE-HELP Information Booklet here for this year's threshold). The ABA will even help you find a better job when you graduate."
Mr Steele says VET FEE-HELP will be one of the key mechanisms for creating a more educated and better-skilled workforce in Australia.
"It will help people who want to upskill because they're doing a dead-end job or have been recently made redundant due to current economic conditions. Now there's no financial barriers to them improving their educational qualifications and getting a better job".
"We offer a free assessment service and advise them on what courses they can enrol in, whether they're eligible for VET FEE-HELP and where they can study in ACT or NSW."
About Australian Business Academy:
Australian Business Academy is a well-established business education and training provider with campus locations in Parramatta and Canberra. The ABA delivers nationally recognised and accredited Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma level courses. These courses are offered in an accelerated format that ranges from 6 to 18 months in duration.
For further information, contact:
02 6248 0877