The pandemic has caused a sharp drop in enrolments at many Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), with some seeing a decline of up to 80%. This is due to a combination of factors, including the closure of international borders and the processing, postponement or cancellation of many overseas student visa applications.
Student visa approvals have also been delayed due to the pandemic, further compounding the problem. This has created a great deal of uncertainty for RTOs, which are already operating on tight margins.
The result is that RTOs are facing significant financial challenges, with some even having to close their doors. The Malka Group (TMG) is the recent training organisation that closed its door because of a drop in income and the substantial delays in processing student visa applications.
This has a knock-on effect on the Australian economy, as RTOs contribute millions of dollars each year.
The situation is particularly dire for those RTOs who rely heavily on international students, as they now face an uncertain future.
Many RTOs are now facing closure, as they cannot continue operating under these conditions. This is having a devastating impact on the Australian economy, as well as disrupting the lives of thousands of students.
The Australian government needs to urgently address this issue and provide support to RTOs to ensure they can continue operating. This includes providing financial assistance, fast-tracking student visa approvals, and increasing the number of places available for international students.
Without action, many RTOs will be forced to close their doors, causing immense hardship for both students and staff. The time to act is now.