Jobseekers asked to shun mickey mouse training providers

Jobseekers beware: Don’t be fooled by mickey mouse training providers who are out to fleece you and leave you with a hole in pocket worth thousands of dollars.

This is the warning from E-focus, a not-for-profit community organisation and registered training organisation.

E-focus CEO George Giuliani said his organisation, based at at Heidelberg, had become aware of a number of unethical practices and scams that entice people into training at exorbitant costs.

‘‘Typical scams relate to advertised job vacancies. When people make inquiries they are directed to undergo training before they can apply for the position.

‘‘In this way, organisations are recruiting people into training courses on the empty promise of employment.’’

Mr Giuliani said other scams recently identified in the Greensborough area involved hawkers offering free laptops to people who sign up to a certificate qualification without investigating a person’s eligibility for government assistance.

This could result in a loan debt averaging between $6000 and $8000 for the training delivered.

‘‘One such example relates to a young person with limited education being signed up to a double diploma at a loan cost of $21,000 when the person was entitled to a similar qualification for only $500.’’

Mr Giuliani said: ‘‘We are extremely concerned as the impact of the recent federal budget moves more young people into training. Some will be caught unaware of the debt they might incur.

‘‘We have reported this to the regulators and to our local members of parliament and we are making a public statement to warn, particularly those people who are entitled to government assistance, to be wary of any RTO that requires them to sign up to VET fee help (loans) without first checking their eligibility for Victorian Training Guarantee funding.

‘‘We encourage people to contact their local community-based training provider for further information.’’