Workers and students alike have been left in the lurch after a Delacombe-based training provider went into liquidation late last week.
Staff at Journey Management in Kennedy’s Drive, Delacombe were informed the company had ceased to trade at close of business on Friday, July 13, and on Monday a liquidator had been appointed.
Debra Judith Blakeborough is listed as director and secretary of the company, having taken over both roles from Shane Malcolm Blakeborough in July 2017.
Mr Blakeborough had also been in charge of Geelong-based transport company Shane Blakeborough Logistics, which went into liquidation in late 2017.
Mr Blakeborough’s other company, Transtex, folded about a month later.
The forklift and excavator training provider had bases at Ballarat, Warrnambool and Geelong as well as a spate of offices across regional Victoria in locations such as Portland, Bendigo, Shepparton, Hamilton and Horsham.
Student Peter Steele told The Courier he was due to attend class on Monday morning before receiving notification about the liquidation at 8am.
He was due to complete three courses across four days.
A statement sent to students said “training and courses provided by the company will no longer be available”.
“I was driving there from Creswick when I got the message,” Mr Steele said.
“I’d been organising this for three weeks and last week I had called up to change times and they said that was fine.”
Mr Steele said he had already paid the company hundreds of dollars and was not expecting to see it back.
When The Courier visited the Kennedy’s Drive site on Monday morning, the facility was locked with just a small number of truck trailers remaining.
A statement on the gate at Journey’s Delacombe site posted by liquidator David Ross said “I will be working with Skills Victoria to identify any available companies that may provide similar training and courses for the company’s students to transition if possible”.
Mr Ross told The Courier up to 1000 students had been enrolled with Journey Management across the state.
The Department of Education and Training told media it had not been notified of the closure, despite the government’s vocational training contracts stating providers must give the department notice if they intend to cease operation.
On Monday the company’s website had been taken down, replaced with the statement “Journey Management has ceased operations due to government funding cuts”, along with a link to the liquidator’s statement.