The Treasure announced several of changes in the budget that could impact our providers. Here’s a summary of the changes that might be relevant;

New IT infrastructure for VET Student Loans

The impact of failure control the VET FEE-HELP program can be seen in the allocation of 36.2 million over four years for a new IT system to ensure compliance in the VET Student Loans program.

A boost for the VET Student Loans Ombudsman

Another 1 million will got to the VET Student Loans Ombudsman to support a large number of complaints received. The VET Student Loans Ombudsman is part of the broader Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office. Find out more about the Ombudsman here.

They’ll need it too. The Obudsman received 1,224 complaints reating to VET loan assistance in the period 1 October - 31 December 2017.

More support for training young people in rural areas

The government will allow $96.1 million over four years for young people in regional, rural and remote communities to transition to further education, training and employment.

Significant funding for Baby Boomers

The government has allocated 136.4 million over four years, targeted digital skills training for registered job seekers over 45 . It aims to enhance their employability and explore job opportunities locally.

This is great news for providers who already deliver digital literacy training under the Tech Savvy Seniors program. Ongoing feedback points to a skills gap for those over 45, and this new funding give them acess to this type of training.

Overall, digital literacy is an ongoing issue to be addressed, in a range of demographics, as digital exclusion is impacting more and more job seekers.

The is also Skills and Training Incentive allocation of $19.3 million over three years, will provide as much as $2000 for workers to undertake reskilling or upskilling, if they are aged 45 - 70 and at risk of being made redundant through technological or economic change.

The Job Change Initiative is a separate program worth $15.2 million to outline career options for mature-age workers thinking early retirement or facing redundancy.

The Industry Workforce Training program was cut

The budget has cut the competitive funding stream of the Industry Workforce Training program, saving $21.2 million.

I did some hunting to find out more about this program, but it’s not coming up on any of the Government’s education sites under that name. Maybe it’s under a different name, or perhaps it’s buried under a mound of red tape. If you know more about this program, please comment with a link to the details.

According to Business Insider, $152.8 million of funding over four years from 2018-19 will be provided to support Skills Service Organisations in developing and maintaining nationally recognised qualifications in the Vocational Education and Training sector, along with support for the Australian Training Awards and Adult Learners’ Week.