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MCSE students abandoned as training firm collapses

One of the UK's leading providers of Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) training has gone into administration, leaving...

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One of the UK's leading providers of Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) training has gone into administration, leaving hundreds of students fearing they have paid for courses they are unlikely to be able to complete.

Amraf Training this week suddenly closed ten of its 11 offices sparking anger among students who were kept in the dark over the problems facing the company.

The company continued to enrol students and take their fees last week, despite calling in the administrator just days later.

In a letter sent out to students affected by the closures Amraf chairman, John Dawson, blamed over-expansion before the economic slowdown for the company's demise.

"Throughout 1999 and 2000 we opened many additional centres to meet the growing demand for courses. The decision to open these expensive-to-rent, high quality centres was justified by the profits made during this period.

"However, this year has seen a general drying up of new students, not only by us, but by the vast majority of training companies offering this type of retraining package. The profits of earlier years have been eroded by huge losses made throughout 2001."

Amraf's demise has left some students in severe difficulties. One told CW360: "Most people have paid between £2,000 and £2,500 to do courses which we are not going to get now.

"A lot of us who went to Amraf were advised to take out a career development loan, which the government helps with by paying the interest while you are training.

"Now that our training is finished we will have to start paying back these loans but as we don't have the qualifications we can't get the jobs needed to pay them back."

Another disgruntled student said: "How can a company that made £2.5m profit last year suddenly go under. It doesn't make any sense."

Tony Jordan, managing director of Amraf, told CW360 that the company had continued to enrol students because: "It only took seven days from realising that we were in a serious position to being in court."

Students hit by the collapse have set up an Internet message board:
http://communities.msn.co.uk/AMRAF/_whatsnew.msnw

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