Drake cuts facilities as classroom IT training faces slowdown

The shift in corporate demand away from classroom-based IT education has claimed its first casualty with a key Drake Training centre in Sydney's western suburbs to close within weeks.

Nick Antonopoulos, general manager of Drake Training Australia and Asia, confirmed the company's IT training facility at Parramatta would shut down, with its customers across the western region of Sydney to instead be migrated to the City branch.

Antonopoulos conceded one administrative assistant from the Parramatta office would be made forcibly redundant, but he denied claims from internal sources that at least five training staff would also lose their jobs.

"Most staff have been made offers to relocate [to the City] which we are trying to make as attractive as possible in the hope they will remain," Antonopoulos told Computerworld Today.

He claimed Drake Training is actually facing a shortage of trainers, with staff being imported from Canada and South Africa to alleviate the problem.

Antonopoulos added: "The volume of demand for IT training hasn't decreased, just the way it is delivered.

"There has been a shift from demand for public scheduled classes to customised and onsite training."

Antonopoulos admitted the IT training industry is "in a bit of a lull" ahead of the release of the Windows 2000 operating system.

"Our company is not affected as much because we have such a breadth of training methodologies," he said. "But if you were an organisation relying on class-based training, I think you'd be finding it a bit tough right now."

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