Potential job loss blow

UP to a third of the workforce of one of Australia’s largest group training organisations may face job uncertainty by end-June, according to sources.

Industry insiders have told The Express locally grown training organisation, Apprenticeships Group Australia, may see the jobs of 40 staff across the state, including several across Gippsland, hanging in the balance because of what is believed to be the loss of a federal contract.

When asked to comment, AGA did not deny the news, but said instead it was bound by the content of a Federal Government confidentiality agreement.

It is believed employees who may be affected by the retrenchment have already been notified; however, it is unknown whether these employees may be redeployed within the organisation.

The Express has reason to believe this contract is for the Australian Apprenticeships Centre, provided on behalf of the Federal Government.

A formal announcement is expected to be made by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations in the coming weeks.

Questions put to the department were not addressed by time of publication.

If this move goes ahead, it could be a significant blow to the not-for-profit organisation, which has its roots based in Morwell.

Also formerly known as Gippsland Group Training Ltd, the organisation was set up in 1982 under the name Latrobe Valley Training Company and encouraged local businesses to take on young people as trade apprentices.

AGA has faced significant headwinds in recent months, after the collapse of a local building company as well as news of the impending carbon tax, and the impact on local businesses and tradespeople.

It is believed the group has struggled to place apprentices in local jobs in recent times due to the unfavourable economic climate.