Online Education Center Receives Complaints from Jobseekers

Category: Education/Family

Listening

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. scam / skæm / (v) – to trick someone
    Example:

    The fake employment agency scammed many people who were looking for jobs.


  2. accreditation / əˌkrɛd ɪˈteɪ ʃən / (n) – official recognition, approval, or acceptance
    Example:

    You will need accreditation before you can apply as a teacher overseas.


  3. con / kɒn / (v) – to trick, deceive, or fool someone
    Example:

    My aunt was conned into giving her bank details to a fake bank employee.


  4. defamation / ˌdɛf əˈmeɪ ʃən / (n) – the act of saying negative things that are not true about someone or something
    Example:

    The journalist was sued for defamation after writing an article that contained several lies about an actor.


  5. fraudster / ˈfrɔd stər / (n) – a person who gets money from other people by lying
    Example:

    The police arrested the fraudster who took money from the company’s clients.


Article

Read the text below.

UK-based online education center Train4Jobs has allegedly scammed hundreds of jobseekers.


Train4Jobs promoted itself as an online training college where students could acquire new skills, such as plumbing and electrical work, that could help them get hired for jobs.


However, instead of receiving actual training and accreditation, enrollees were asked to pay hundreds of pounds every month without learning anything new.


People who signed up for courses complained that they were conned by Train4Jobs. According to the students, they were only given course books and modules, which had outdated questions, incomplete answers, and numerous misspellings. One student recounted that he often had to look for answers online because the course books did not provide the information he needed. He added that when he tried calling Train4Jobs to get information about his subject of study, he was told to go to libraries and trade shops to learn more.


Ryan Alden, a student who started a Facebook page for other students of Train4Jobs, added that the company threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against him.


The victims reached out to online financial website This is Money to air their concerns. This is Money tried to contact Train4Jobs via email but received no response. When This is Money called the number on Train4Job’s official website, a service agent said the company had shut down and was no longer accepting applicants.


Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins said the UK government needs to take action against fraudsters who are using the pandemic to lure people into online education scams. He explained that online colleges such as Train4Jobs do not really produce qualified, employable individuals. He added that most companies would not likely hire graduates of these online courses. Mullins believes the government needs to standardize the trade industry and ensure that people who practice a trade have the appropriate training and certifications.


Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• How can people avoid online education scams similar to Train4Jobs (e.g. do research, ask former students)? Discuss.

• Do you agree with Mullins’ suggestion to standardize the trade industry and ensure that people who practice a trade have the appropriate training and certifications? Why or why not?


Discussion B

• Do you agree that learning a new skill would improve your chances of getting a job? Why or why not?

• What new skill would you like to learn? Discuss.