Our History

Revolutionising Graduate Employability
30,000 lives changed and counting…

Gradability was founded in 2005, initially as Performance English, and as the name suggests, we were initially a provider of English language programs for businesses, working primarily to help overseas born staff integrate into Australian organisations through improved communication skills and understanding of the Australian workplace.

In 2008, the Federal Government established the Professional Year Program for overseas born graduates of Australian universities looking to start their professional careers in Australia and Performance Education, as we became known, was among the first providers approved to deliver this program for both Accounting and ICT graduates.

Even at that early stage, our goal was, and remains to change the employment landscape for both international and domestic graduates and create an environment where every graduate has the skills and opportunity to pursue the career of their choice.

Later that year, the founders of the business, Matt Reede and Owen Firth, raised capital from a group of investors who would go on to form the Board of Directors, drawing on expertise from diverse backgrounds including IT, recruitment, finance and property.

In 2010, we expanded from our Sydney base into Melbourne, and in the same year were featured on BRW’s Fast Starters List for the first time. In 2012, responding to a gap in the market, we created Performance Careers, a business unit specifically to cater to the growing needs of the Professional Year’s internship component. As this grew, we were able to expand our influence through partnerships with universities in Australia to provide Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programs as well as career guidance advice and programs to support graduate employability.

By 2014 we were Australia’s largest Professional Year Provider in size and employment outcomes, with the largest dedicated internships team in the country focused on delivering the right internship for our students, “on time, every time”.

Based off our success in Melbourne and Sydney, we opened our Adelaide operation in 2015, Perth in 2017 and finally Brisbane in 2018, becoming the dominant player in each market within months of opening, as our reputation for delivering a high-quality program with outstanding employment outcomes shone through.

By 2022, over 30,000 students have passed through our program, while over 9,000 employers have worked (and continue to work) with us as host companies. Importantly, 1 in 3 of our students continues to gain employment directly from their internship, while 92% are working within 6 months of completion.

Like any business, we’ve had to make decisions about who we are and also who we’re not, and in 2015 we made the tough decision to sell off our English language training business to focus more on our core purpose of revolutionising graduate employability. In 2019 we also made the call to exit the Perth market given the relative size of the market to the cost of operating.

By 2022, over 30,000 students have passed through our program, and 9,000 employers have worked with us as host companies.

With our increasing focus on graduate employability, we rebranded as Gradability (“grad” as in “graduate” (not “grade”), “ability” as in “employability”) in 2017, initially with 2 business arms in Performance Education, focusing on the Professional Year Program, and Readygrad, focusing on WIL.

By 2019, the Board made the decision to exit the Readygrad business and focus on Performance Education and the PY Program, enabling the business to focus on reconnecting with our purpose, simplifying and stabilising the business as we headed into the headwinds of a changing migration landscape and the emergence of COVID-19.

Following two challenging but successful years, the Board determined the future of Gradability lay with owners who could provide better investment and support as we seek to grow and diversify more into domestic markets, particularly with WIL.

Late in 2021, OES acquired Gradability in its entirety.

With 10 years as the leading provider of online education solutions to the tertiary sector in Australia, OES (Online Education Services) is part of the SEEK Group, operating from their head office in Melbourne, and is a business that shares much of the same values as Gradability, including but not limited to:

  • A customer-centric delivery model
  • Focus on outcomes
  • Market leadership in our respective segments
  • Academic excellence
  • Innovation in delivery

Originating from a partnership between SEEK and Swinburne University of Technology, OES has grown its offering to include partners across Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Singapore, New Zealand and Europe, bringing expertise in digital innovation to allow partners to achieve scale at a speed otherwise unattainable.

Our vision today remains the same as it did when we were founded – we believe that every graduate should have the skills and opportunity to pursue the career of their choice.

Our purpose, more than ever, is to revolutionise graduate employability and we will do this through both domestic and international student targeted offerings ranging from partnerships with universities to deliver the most comprehensive WIL programs with clear employment outcomes to a Professional Year Program aimed at generating real world employment outcomes.

Everything we do is about helping our customers achieve their career goals, be they students, universities or employers.