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£100m-funded apprenticeship trainer in administration 28 October 2013

A Warrington-based provider of apprenticeship training services has entered administration.

As reported by the BBC, Elmfield Training received over £100m in public funding to carry out apprentice training courses.

Elmfield Training was the subject of a BBC investigation earlier this year, following allegations the company received money for training courses that employees had declined to take.

A statement posted on the company website 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.

“Whilst this is ongoing the first directors have taken steps to protect the company through an administration process.”

In July the company received the lowest grade available in an Ofsted inspection for its role training apprentices for supermarket chain Morrisons, which generated over £60m for Elmfield since 2010. Chief executive Ged Syddall resigned shortly after the inspection.

The Ofsted report said: ““Success rates in the apprenticeship programmes experienced a considerable decline last year and a high proportion of learners within the Morrisons contract did not complete the full framework.

“Furthermore, the number of learners who completed their apprenticeship in the planned time fell to an unacceptably low level of 33%.”

Elmfield Training is also the on-going subject of an investigation by Skills Funding Agency (SFA).

For the financial year ending 31 July 2012 the company posted a turnover of £36.6m and pre-tax losses of £6.4m, employing over 600 staff.

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