Recently in its review of the VET system, the Australian Government removed the Diploma of Audiology from VET Fee Help eligibility.
HCIA finds this alarming particularly as from our perspective as the largest employers of hearing care professionals in Australia, we know that there is currently workforce undersupply. In fact, the industry currently needs to utilise the 457 Visa program to meet workforce need.
HCIA is keen to see more Audiologists come through the TAFE system. The Diploma of Audiology is a 2-year TAFE Diploma, offered at only 2 locations in Australia. It has been taught since the early 1960s. There has never been any suggestion that this Diploma area has been subject to abnormal expansion in numbers or rorting.
We think that removing Audiology from VET Fee Help eligibility is counter-productive. It could have a significant negative impact on enrolments in the hearing health sector. It will ultimately also disadvantage the increasing number of hearing impaired Australians.
Interested members of the public and other stakeholders in the hearing care sector can continue to press for the Diploma of Audiology to be included in the VET-FEE HELP eligible course list by expressing their views to the Department of Education and Training, and to the The Hon. Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please read our full submission here Submission to the Senate Education Employment Legislation Committee