One thousand staff stood-down after private college collapses in Australia


One thousand staff stood-down after private college collapses in Australia

Oscar Grenfell

27 May 2017

Careers Australia, one of the country’s largest private vocational colleges, went into voluntary administration on Thursday, leaving 1,000 staff jobless and preventing up to 15,000 enrolled students from completing their courses.

The overnight collapse of the college is the latest in a spate of closures in the private education sector. They have highlighted the role of successive state and federal governments, Labor and Liberal-National alike, in turning over vocational training to publicly-subsidised corporations that engage in dubious practices to make a profit.

Staff were reportedly sent an email on Thursday evening by Careers Australia’s administrator, PPB Advisory, stating that there were insufficient finances to cover the payroll and that they were stood-down immediately. Students were sent a brief text message late at night which declared that there would be “no classes.” Administrators are investigating whether the business can be restructured or sold.

Careers Australia operated 14 campuses across the country, including in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne, and in regional centres, such as Townsville and Caboolture in Queensland.

The college’s largely working-class student cohort undertook courses in trades, including cabling, electrical installation and construction, and community work, such as early childhood education, along with diplomas in business management, legal services and other subjects. Some of the courses included apprentiships, work placements and traineeships.  

There is widespread anger among students and staff over the sudden closure. One worker, quoted anonymously by ABC News, commented that staff had been…

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