Out of pocket and in limbo

Students Varinder Sandhu, Syed Bokbari, Jabari Phillips and Volkan Dogan discuss the cancellation of the Padstow TAFE Diploma of Aviation with Labor candidate for East Hills Cameron Murphy, Shadow Minister for Skills Prue Car and Granville MP Julia Finn.

Story appeared in: Torch | November 14th, 2017

TWENTY-ONE students are in limbo after their enrolment in a Padstow TAFE College commercial pilots course was abruptly postponed last month.
The students began their Diploma of Aviation studies in October last year through a third party provider operating out of Bankstown Airport.
Student Varinder Sandhu said the course which cost upwards of $70,000 a student, was supposed to run for a year full-time or 18 months part-time.
Mr Sandhu there was no explanation about what was happening and whether or not they would be able to complete their course or get a refund.
"They have grounded us for no reason," he said.
Mr Sandhu said attempts to get clarification through TAFE had been ignored until after they contacted the Torch and Granville MP Julia Finn.
"It was only after we started making a fuss, that they decided to talk to us," he said.
The Torch understands the issues stem from changes introduced by the Commonwealth Government to the student loan program, and introduction of VET student loans.
Students were sent a text message by TAFE on the evening of Wednesday, October 18 to advise that the flying schedule may be altered. TAFE claims the course has not been cancelled.
The text was followed up with a letter to students explaining the circumstances for the situation and there has been regular communication with students since.
"TAFE NSW is committed to ensuring that students impacted have every opportunity to successfully complete their qualification," a spokesperson said.
Critical of the way the situation has been managed, Ms Finn said the students had been treated very poorly by the NSW Government.
"Students enrol in courses and pay substantial sums of money and yet their course gets cancelled without warning," she said.
Shadow Minister for Skills Prue Car was also critical and said despite complaining to both TAFE and the Assistant Minister for Skills, the students had yet to receive a response.
"Students have been left in the lurch with a debt, an unfinished course and uncertainty about how they can complete their qualification," she said.

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Publication: Torch | Section: news | Author: Kim Palmer | Story ID: 132725 | Viewcount: 10690