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Acquire in ASQA spotlight

The Australian    |     6 November 2014

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Acquire LearningThe marketing practices of Acquire Learning, chaired by former AFL chief Andrew Demetriou, are being investigated by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) following complaints about cold calling and inappropriately ­enrolling jobseekers who had ­applied for positions advertised on the Seek employment website.

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 Acquire itself is not a registered training organisation, but works as a broker allocating students to individual providers. Its website lists a number of registered training organisations that it has partnered with, including Avana, a subsidiary of Vocation.

Allegations were recently aired in The Australian in relation to false positions advertised by Empowered People Group, where students were asked to undertake training that was unnecessary for the positions they had applied for, and where the original advertised position did not exist.

Acquire now stands accused of similar practices, where jobseekers applying for positions were later pressured into undertaking private tertiary study, in some cases becoming burdened by debts of up to $8000.

ASQA says it has written to all RTOs that have a partnership with Acquire requiring them to provide advice about how they are meeting the required standards regarding ethical and accurate marketing.

Acquire is believed to be preparing to list on the Australian Securities Exchange, with a float that could value the business at up to $700 million.

 

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