05 Aug Covid19 and the VET industry
We can think of nothing as devastating to our industry as the Coronavirus. Registered Training Organisations that have stood the test of time and provided wonderful service to tens of thousands of students have had to close and most will never open their doors again. If we consider why, we immediately think of the huge reduction in International students Australia is experiencing, this reduction has had an effect on both VET and Universities. There is of course a substantial flow on effect from the reduction, these people lived somewhere, ate food, bought clothing, caught transport, went to the movies etc and obviously that expenditure has now vanished. It is estimated the overall economy is suffering in excess of a $20 billion reduction as a result of the lesser numbers.
The second element that comes to mind is with less RTO’s there is less demand for Trainers and Assessors thus we see a reduced demand from the retail side of our own business, we are very fortunate on two fronts, first off the vast majority of our company is predicated on Corporate accounts, those organisations that have thousands of employees and need to have qualified people in WHS, Training & Assessment and Quality Auditing, without these companies we would have been on the beach fishing for dinner long ago. Secondly, we have been in business a very long time and over all these years we have become a known quantum, a reliable place to go to so to speak.
This question was posed to us a month ago “when will it all go back to normal?” and our answer to that person was “things will probably never go back to exactly how they were 2 years ago but it will get better and that step forward will open massive opportunities for those that are prepared and equipped to take them”. We firmly believe that and our plans include a substantial increase and change in what we do, where we do it and how we do it.
As a company we are open, our Trainers continue to run courses at the exact same rate as we always have, our assessors continue to assess submissions in a timely fashion, the discussion forum continues to operate and we have a couple of people in the office to answer phones and pass the enquiries down the line on Teams to the appropriate HBA Learning Centres person.
Some have told us it is a good time to enrol in a course they have been meaning to do, others tell us they are worried about the future and yet others see this as an opportunity to get on with the workload of a course they are already enrolled in.
Whatever you see rest assured our country, Vocational Education and Training and HBA Learning Centres are all going to be here and things will get better for every one of us.