Media Release - Careers Australia Apprentices

Etu National

The union representing electrical workers has hit out at disgraced training provider Careers Australia after the outfit was today stripped of its accreditation to deliver training to students covered by VET student loans, previously known as VET FEE-HELP.

The union representing electrical workers has hit out at disgraced training provider Careers Australia after the outfit was today stripped of its accreditation to deliver training to students covered by VET student loans, previously known as VET FEE-HELP.

Electrical Trades Union national apprentice officer Mark Burgess said that there were more questions to be asked about the behaviour of the company and its executives, as well as that of its business partner, Master Electricians.

“For a minister to cancel the accreditation of the company this large speaks volumes about the integrity and ethics of that company,” he said.

The union has repeatedly called on employer group Master Electricians to sever their ties with the company, which was previously the subject of a $44-million enforceable undertaking to refund VET-FEE HELP student loans to taxpayers.

“This kind of fly-by-night operation is only concerned with cash,” Mr Burgess said. “They are not concerned with safety, with quality training, or with the integrity of our trades training programs.”

“They should never have been allowed to train electrical apprentices in the first place, especially not using online platforms where there is very little oversight or technical guidance given.” 

“In choosing to partner with Careers Australia, Master Electricians put profit before the integrity of our trade and license and it now looks like they’ll leave thousands of students stranded.”

VET FEE HELP funds account for the bulk of Careers Australia’s revenue and it is unlikely that the company will be able to continue operating without accreditation. Students currently enrolled in courses will continue to the end of the year, but face an uncertain future beyond 2017.

Apprentice electricians who had been enrolled in the company’s courses are encouraged to register with the Electrical Trades Union to find a reputable training provider to assist them in completing their apprenticeship.

“I want to say to all the apprentices who are affected by this decision, that this is not your fault in any way,” Mr Burgess said.

“Please don’t let this push you away from a wonderful, rewarding trade. Stay on and finish your apprenticeship. Talk to us if you’re left stranded by this company – we can help you get your trade with a reputable education provider and have a long career in the electrical trades.”

Apprentices concerned about the Careers Australia decision are invited to register their details here: http://www.etunational.asn.au/careers_australia_apprentices

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