One of Australia’s largest vocational education providers, Careers Australia, has gone belly up with nearly a 1000 job losses and classes cancelled for 15,000 students across the country in another spectacular failure of privatisation.
Although vocational training is critical for young Australians and the economy, a large proportion of the sector has been given over to private providers like Careers Australia with little oversight or scrutiny.
According to the ABC’s 7.30 Report: “At its height, Careers Australia was raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funding for expensive training courses”.
7.30 had previously revealed “the company was targeting vulnerable students using door-to-door sales offering so-called free computers as inducements to sign up.
“When that sales tactic was banned by the Federal Government, Careers Australia allegedly moved to telemarketing, online competitions spruiking free iPads and employment websites to obtain people’s contact details without their knowledge,” it reported.
A month before it went into administration, the Federal Government denied Careers Australia access to its new vocational education scheme because of its poor track record, which included the company admitting to breaking consumer law.
The privatisation of vocational training has seen a massive drop in TAFE’s share of funding. In Victoria, for example, TAFEs now have only 27 per cent of enrolments.
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