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EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION AND TRAINING REFERENCES COMMITTEE--REFERENCES

The Chair of the Employment, Education and Training References Committee

(Senator Tierney), pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a

formal motion, moved--

(1) That the following matters be referred to the

Employment,Education and Training References Committee for

inquiry and report by 26 October 1995:

In the context of the national strategy for vocational education

and training, "Towards a Skilled Australia', and with particular

concern for the role of the Australian National Training

Authority (ANTA), the committee will:

(a) examine the operation to date of the ANTA agreements with

the States and Territories;

(b) identify those factors which have been significant in

determining the extent to which those agreements have been

fulfilled, particularly in relation to maintenance of

effort by the States and Territories; factors which might

include, for example, State and Territory administration

and policy factors, student demographics, and the

effectiveness of links between ANTA, the States and

industry organisations;

(c) evaluate the planning and consultative processes

associated with the development of State training

profiles;

(d) evaluate ANTA's progress to date in developing meaningful

outcome measures against which the training efforts of the

various State training agencies (TAFE, industry-based and

private training providers) might be assessed; and

(e) assess, within the vocational education and training

sector, the level of support for, and the expectations of,

ANTA and the national strategy "Towards a Skilled

Australia'; which assessment will draw upon the views of

industry training advisory bodies, small business groups,

employer and employee organisations, professional

associations of trainers, group training schemes, and

those groups identified in the national strategy as

under-represented in vocational education and training.

(2) The inquiry shall proceed as follows:

(a) there shall be a call for written submissions in the first

instance;

(b) in August 1995, on a date to be announced, a one day

public hearing will be held in Canberra to which the

committee will invite a number of witnesses selected

primarily on the basis of submissionsreceived; and

(c) thereafter the committee will determine what further

action, if any, shall be necessary to complete its

inquiry.

Question put and passed.

Senator Tierney, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a

formal motion, moved--That the following matters relating to Austudy be

referred to the Employment, Education and Training References Committee

for inquiry and report by 29 June 1995, such matters being in addition

to the issue of the impact of assets tests on farming families' access

to Austudy which is currently subject to inquiry by the Rural and

Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee:

With regard to the structure and operation of Austudy, the

committee will:

(a) assess the extent to which the problems identified in the

1993-94 report of the Commonwealth Ombudsman, relating to

questions of eligibility, inappropriate advice to

applicants, and inconsistency between the Department of

Employment, Education and Training (DEET) and the Department

of Social Security (DSS) in the interpretation and

application of rules, are reflected in the experience of

students generally;

(b) examine and report on progress by DEET and DSS in the joint

resolution of administrative and associated

inconsistenciesbetween these agencies in the management of

applications for benefits;

(c) identify any structural features of the policy, regulatory

or operational framework of Austudy which might impede

resolution of the above difficulties;

(d) examine the level of indebtedness amongst students and the

implications for student support funding policies;

(e) assess the level of satisfaction of students with the

Commonwealth's interest free loans in lieu of Austudy

scheme;

(f) report on allegations of Austudy fraud arising from alleged

failure to declare parental income and assets as required;

and

(g) assess any other perceived deficiencies in the current

Austudy scheme with regard to such matters as loans and

repayments, access to complementary benefits such as health

care and rental assistance, and the commensurability of

Austudy with other employment and social security income

support schemes.

Statement by leave: The Minister for Small Business, Customs and

Construction (Senator Schacht), by leave, made a statement relating to

the motion.

Question put and passed.