Not much nous

The State Liberals have labelled as totally unacceptable the fact the Nous Group, the private consultancy hired to resolve TAFE SA’s accreditation scandal, won’t be starting its investigation until the middle of February.

“South Australian students are expected to enrol in TAFE SA courses without guaranteed accreditation* whilst the highly paid consultancy hired to fix the problem takes summer holidays,” said Shadow Minister Education John Gardner.

“When the scandal broke Education Minister Susan Close promised the investigation ‘will be undertaken as quickly as possible’. (Advertiser, 6 December 2017)

“Minister Close needs to explain why the Nous Group will take so long to begin its investigation of the accreditation scandal.

“Minister Close also needs to release the correspondence between TAFE SA and ASQA.

“Given the Minister was warned about TAFE SA’s accreditation issues in September the Government’s handling of the scandal has been nothing short of disgraceful.

"The Weatherill Government must immediately amend the subsidised training list so students can have the choice they deserve.

“Given that TAFE cannot guarantee that its students will be able to complete their course, the students deserve the opportunity to study with a private provider.

"Jay Weatherill and Susan Close can gamble with their own futures but they must not gamble with the futures of South Australian students.

“The Weatherill Government must incorporate private sector training providers in the solution to the TAFE scandal and rule out delaying a return to full contestability for the provision of training courses.

“Properly accredited private training providers offer the best option for an effective resolution of the problems facing TAFE students who have been denied the qualifications they studied for.”

*The Opposition understands TAFE SA wrote to the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) seeking a guarantee that students who enrol in the suspect course would be able to complete those courses at TAFE. ASQA refused to give that guarantee.