Education publisher Pearson, which owns a number of brands, including Penguin and a share of The Economist, has announced that it will wind down its traditional publishing activities in the Australian vocational education and training market. As a result of these changes, 75 positions are potentially redundant.
Pearson Australia CEO, David Barnett, said:
Pearson is committed to offering the very best in products and services to the students, teachers and learning institutions of Australia. However, as trends in education change, it has become apparent that we need to rethink some of our current business models as we support Pearson’s global education mission.
Pearson says it plans to build greater capacity and capability in its services businesses, in particular teacher professional development and course development.
Fiona Morgan, Pearson’s Asia-Pacific communications director, told The Australian this is an Australia-only decision and no indication of what is afoot in other markets. In fact, the reason the company is bailing from the VET market is that it just got too hard.
The VET sector has been undergoing significant regulatory funding and structural changes which have led to increasing uncertainty. These factors, combined with the need to frequently update content due to training package reviews, has resulted in an environment which would require significant investment to remain successful.