A Tyneside educational recruitment business has ceased trading, a year after signing a landmark deal to supply thousands of teachers to Asia.
STC Consortium, based in Gateshead, has been supplying teachers to the education sector since 2002, and had recently ventured into overseas markets after watching public sector cuts affect the supply business.
However a meeting of creditors has now been called by chief executive Susan Moore after the firm closed its doors earlier this month.
It is not yet known why the business failed but it is understood North East corporate restructuring specialists Begbies Traylor will be officially appointed as administrators at the meeting, due to take place at their Newcastle offices on August 5.
An announcement has been made by Moore in the London Gazette, stating: “The purpose of the meeting is to consider the Statement of Affairs of the Company to be laid before the meeting, to appoint a liquidator and, if the creditors think fit, to appoint a liquidation committee.
“In order to be entitled to vote at the meeting, creditors must lodge their proxies, together with a statement of their claim at the offices of Begbies Traynor not later than noon on August 4.”
STC Consortium was set up by Moore, a former teacher, to recruit and supply teachers around the North East, but the business explored overseas markets when local authority budget cuts resulted in fewer supply teacher requests, which put a squeeze on profits.
With support from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the British High Commission Kuala Lumpur, a trip to Malaysia was organised in March 2013, resulting in the business signing a Collaboration Agreement with Melewar Group of Malaysia in July 2013.
The agreement was for STC Consortium to recruit and supply English teachers over five years to schools, colleges and universities in Asian countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
The company had turnover of around £1m but government cuts had reduced profits to about £50,000.
Within five years it was hoped the landmark deal would grow profits to £8m on turnover of £10m. Off the back of the agreement the business, which employed eight members of staff, had also opened an office in Kuala Lumpur.
When the agreement was signed Susan Moore said: “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and especially good news for a little old North East company.”