The company behind IT education provider New Horizons Computer Learning Centers is still keen on the local market despite its local student-base being actively targeted by at least two other IT training players.
New Horizons Worldwide, the parent company of New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, said on 6 December that it has identified Australia as a significant growth opportunity and is investing heavily.
The company said it is currently exploring a new partnership in Australia to complement the potential partner’s existing offerings and meet the needs of the Australian workforce.
“New Horizons is investing in workforce development in Australia. We are excited to launch this newest phase of our growth plan,” New Horizons Computer Learning Centers CEO Mikell Parsch said in a statement. “New Horizons is known worldwide for building IT talent and developing the IT workforce and leadership of tomorrow.
“Our potential partner in Australia will bring us additional capabilities in class availability and will open markets in emerging technologies,” he said.
According to Shelley Morris, COO of New Horizons, the company is well positioned to build a range of digital competencies and executive leadership capabilities in the Australian market.
The areas of focus noted by Morris includes developing knowledge in cloud-based platforms, infrastructure, security, project management, IT service management, business analysis, leadership, among other essential practices.
The comments came as the assets of the local New Horizons franchisee were acquired by local development and training experts NextTech, after the previous franchise arrangement the local organisation had with New Horizons Worldwide ended.
As reported by ARN on 6 December, the previous franchise agreements between the New Horizons global master franchisor and the New Horizons Learning Centres unit franchises in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane came to an end last week, with the three franchises being wound-up, according to documents lodged with the corporate regulator.
The acquisition of the assets by NextTech and its parent company, local training and development provider BSI People, includes assuming leases in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne; and retaining key staff, and contact pathways.
In fact, the acquisition of the assets coincides with BSI People’s launch of the NextTech brand, a move made to “mark a new chapter in Australian IT Training”, according to the company.
NextTech director and chairman at BSI Group Ivan Kaye claims he is excited by the possibilities:
“While we see opportunity ahead, we also believe it’s important to ensure continuity for all New Horizons’ clients,” Kaye said. “BSI have delivered training and learning outcomes across Australia since 2002.
“Of course all training programmes and courses that were offered by New Horizons and booked will continue as normal. We’re also excited by some of the opportunities we’ll be able to bring in 2020 and in to the future,” he said.
It is hoped that the so-called NextTech Institute will continue to deliver Australian accredited qualifications to a world-class standard.
This is despite local IT training provider rival DDLS already taking an opportunity to swoop in on former local New Horizons students as the company works out its next step in the Australian market.
An email from DDLS CEO Jon Lang, which hit inboxes on 6 December, stated:
"DDLS understands that earlier today one of our competitors, New Horizons Australia, a franchisee of New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, has been placed into liquidation. While DDLS and New Horizons Australia shared a healthy competition, we regret the effect its liquidation may have on staff and clients alike.
"With this in mind, if you have been impacted by this sudden development, we are offering assistance to ex-clients of New Horizons Australia to ensure the continuity of training for students in the short term and the certainty of delivery of training in the longer term."
Some of the claims made in the DDLS email were swiftly rebutted by representatives from NextTech, who moved to assure stakeholders that
"It is disappointing to see that DDLS is calling into disrepute the name and reputation of New Horizons, [which] has been in business for 20 years," Kaye told ARN in a statement.
As reported by CRN, Kaye has in fact been in discussions with New Horizons Learning Centers, but could not reach an agreement.
As with DDLS, NextTech is now working to bring over students who had been enrolled at the local New Horizons Computer Learning Centers franchises before they were wound up.
Kaye told ARN last week that the team at NextTech “look[s] forward to looking after all of New Horizons Australian clients over the years to come”.