VET sector staff and students pay the price yet again as Careers Australia goes into administration
The announcement late last week that Careers Australia has been placed into voluntary administration – leaving the future of employees and students in uncertainty – has been condemned by the Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland and Northern Territory Branch (IEUA-QNT) today.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said Careers Australia had become yet another casualty of the VET sector funding mess – leaving both students and employees uncertain about their learning or earning futures.
“After mass redundancies across the sector in the last two years, now we have Careers Australia employees without a job and students without the education they have paid for,” Mr Burke said.
“Careers Australia is not blameless in this.
“As an employer it has failed to consult, failed to provide any direction, and failed to give staff anything more than a climate of uncertainty about their future.
"The employers at Careers Australia must have known what was coming after the Federal Government cut their funding earlier this year but they left employees in the dark until the very last hour.
“Employees were informed late on Thursday night that they were being stood down immediately and that there is no money to pay their wages next week.
"This is an absolutely shameful act which has created immense uncertainty and stress for these employees who do not know if they will be able to pay their bills next week, let alone next month.
"It is unacceptable that VET sector employees continue to be the meat in the sandwich when it comes to the VET sector – employers have not been running their businesses in a sustainable way.
“Students have also been left stranded by Careers Australia which should have been brightening their career prospects – not leaving them in the dark," he said.
Mr Burke said the Federal Government and training providers, big and small, must take responsibility for the role they have played in the shambles that now characterises the sector.
“Both the Federal Government and VET sector employers need to show some professional respect to those working in the sector by consulting with employees on the changes to funding and what that means at an operational level for colleges," he said.
“VET sector employers now more than ever need to be ensuring integrity in their operations in light of the publicised misconduct by some and, in doing so, must respect the important role educators and administration staff play in providing quality education and continuity to students through these changes.
“Without proper consultation and engagement with employees, both the Federal Government and VET sector employers will continue to put quality education and any possibility of a sustainable sector at risk,” Mr Burke said.
Members from Careers Australia affected by this announcement can contact our union for advice and assistance via FREE CALL 1800 177 937 / firstname.lastname@example.org