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VIDEO: Thousands of apprenticeships at risk after training provider goes into administration
12:06pm Friday 25th October 2013 in News
A DARESBURY Park-based company is in crisis after struggles since a failed Ofsted inspection means it will go into administration.
Staff at Elmfield Training ltd, which offers vocational training courses and apprenticeships to 16-24-year-olds, were informed of the decision via e-mail last night, according to sources.
It means around 600 jobs are under threat.
It is believed that staff are not being paid.
More than 11,300 learners are currently signed up to Elmfield, where Barclays is a customer.
In a statement, the company said: “Elmfield Training has faced a number of very difficult challenges in the past few months which have recently intensified.
“The board and its advisers have been working hard with major stakeholders in recent weeks to try and put the business on a sounder long term footing.
“These efforts are continuing in order to seek to preserve jobs and protect learners.
“Whilst this is on-going the directors have taken steps to protect the company through an administration process.”
The company added that administrators have yet to be 'formally' appointed.
It is the latest set-back, after boss Ged Syddall quit after ten years as chief executive, following the failed Ofsted inspection in June.
He was subsequently grilled by a commitee of MPs.
Inspectors rated the company as ‘inadequate’ and heavily criticised performance, leadership and management.
It said only 33 per cent of learners finished apprenticeships in the planned time.
The training provider, which has a £27.6m contract with the Government’s Skills Funding Agency, was banned from bidding for further contracts.
A follow-up inspection on September 25 appeared to offer hope as Ofsted said ‘reasonable progress’ was being made.
Are you an employee or staff member? Get in touch with reporter Matthew Hobbs on 01925 434109 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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