AGA taking stock

THE loss of Apprenticeships Group Australia’s Federal Government Australian Apprenticeships Centre contract has “pushed fast-forward” on the homegrown training company’s plans to streamline its business operations.

In a recent interview with The Express, new AGA managing director Mark Knox said losing the contract, which was a third of the company’s business unit contributing up to 10 per cent of annual turnover, had forced it to “take stock of the business”.

“The reality was it was a fixed term contract under tender, and it was up to the government to choose (who to award it to),” Mr Knox said.

“We had the contract tender agreement for 14 years and we were unsuccessful for Gippsland and Melbourne this time; we haven’t got as much clarification as we would have liked (why we lost it), which is disappointing”.

“We did have 40 employees (at the AAC) but since the contract announcement, all of them have been offered jobs with the other Australian apprenticeships centres which is of great comfort to our organisation and staff.”

Meanwhile, outgoing managing director Kevin Kennedy said the loss of the contract enabled the company to refocus its attention to its core business of employing and training apprentices.

“In my personal view, it was a small and increasingly bureaucratic contract which confused the situation at AGA; the government contract was not necessarily the most satisfying thing for us,” Mr Kennedy said.

“We were reliant on a two-year contract and were always worried about our business plan; it also had significant overhead (costs).

“Our heart is in training and placing our own apprentices.”