Aviation students to have access to VET loan limit from 2020

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Students are getting {access to|entry to|use of} higher loan limits from 2020.

The federal government plans to increase {the amount|the total amount|the quantity} those studying aviation can borrow under the vocational education and training (VET) {student loans|student education loans} scheme.

From January 2020, the lifetime loan limit is being increased from $104, 440 to $150, 000, the government announced on Monday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the increased limit would help students complete the multiple aviation courses required to gain their commercial pilot’ s licence and help “ meet the aviation needs of tomorrow”.

“ We need more people in aviation, particularly women, and are investing {to help|to assist|to aid} attract the skills we need {for the future|for future years}, ” McCormack said {in a|inside a|within a} statement.

“ We’ ve listened to the concerns from industry {that the|that this|the} current combined lifetime loan limit of $104, 440 doesn’ t adequately cover the cost of training for the licences and ratings issued {by the|from the|with the} Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

“ That’ s why the cap will be lifted {to the|towards the|for the} same level as courses for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science. ”

The VET {student loans|student education loans} scheme can be used by those studying aviation courses {at an approved|in an approved} provider, McCormack and Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education Senator Michaelia Cash said in a joint statement.

Further, statement noted the increased limit was one of the recommendations {from a|from the|from your} skills study conducted by an expert industry panel in 2018.

“ The higher limit benefits tertiary students who will undertake {or are|and/or} currently undertaking an aviation course at diploma or advanced diploma level, and deferring their tuition fees through VSL, ” the statement said.

“ This will apply for training that leads to outcomes {such as|like|for example} acquiring a CASA commercial pilot licence, instrument and multi-engine ratings.

An aviation skills and training report written by a panel of experts chaired by The Australian Aviation Associations Forum and published in July 2018 found Australia was experiencing a severe shortage of aviation personnel and urgent action was needed if the country was to avoid major disruptions.

The report said Australia did not have an aviation training system capable of meeting {the requirements|the needs|certain requirements} of the industry now, or in the years ahead.

It also noted the VET HELP loan limit – as it was then known – was not sufficient {to provide|to supply|to offer} student pilots with all of the licences and ratings required.

“ It is recommended that increasing the FEE HELP Loan limit for aviation to $150, 000 would permit more students to be able to complete the Flight Instructor Rating as well as either the agriculture rating for students wanting to {stay in|remain in|be in} General Aviation or the Multi Crew Cooperation course for those {wanting to|attempting to|planning to} continue to the airlines, ” the report said.

The panel of experts comprised representatives from Aircraft Structural Contractors, Aviation Australia, Basair Aviation College, QantasLink, the Regional Aviation Association of Australia, the Regional Express Flight Training Academy and Virgin Australia.

The Australian Aviation Associations Forum (TAAAF) chairman Jeff Boyd welcomed the increase in lifetime loan limit.

“ This increase will now {ensure that|make sure that|make certain that} pilots will be able to complete their training with not only {bare minimum|minimum amount|smallest} qualifications, but relevant and employable qualifications thereby {helping to|assisting to|helping} ease Australia’ s pilot shortage, ” Boyd said in the ministers’ statement.