Despite momentous world events such as the Great Depression and outbreak of the World War II, the 1930s witnessed increased demand for vocational education, particularly in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
The Depression resulted in cuts to maintenance grants for Collingwood Technical School and teachers were required to take a pay-cut including the Principal who lost 20% out of his pay packet. Nonetheless, many instructors worked as volunteers to assist unemployed youth and adults to become more proficient in the technical areas of their trade.
Collingwood Tech also lost its driving force during this decade as Matthew Richmond, the foundation Principal of the school from 1912, retired in 1930.
Despite tough times and the retirement of Strang, Collingwood Tech continued to grow and The Argus reported on February 6th 1936, that there were 1271 night students and 837 day pupils; enrolments were so high that many applicants were turned away.
It was becoming clear in the 1930s, that given the growth of the northern suburbs of Melbourne, a technical school would be needed to serve that area. Up until then students had to attend Collingwood or Brunswick Technical Schools or other schools further away. As result, the mid-1930s saw a renewed push for a new technical school and the foundation of Preston Technical School in 1937.
On a national level, the growing beating of war drums in Europe also gave rise to increased Commonwealth support for technical education.