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Learndirect : One in ten staff could face redundancy at nation’s largest provider

Learndirect : One in ten staff could face redundancy at nation’s largest provider
FE Week – Jun 28,2017

The nation’s largest training provider is consulting on a new wave of redundancies – with its chief executive admitting around one in 10 staff could be affected. Learndirect employees were told the devastating news yesterday. It is understood that hundreds of for example sales and operational staff working on apprenticeships, employment related services, European Social Fund, and adult education contracts could be affected.

When asked about this, Andy Palmer, group chief executive, told FE Week this morning: “We are in a consultation process. Approximately 10 per cent of the workforce could be affected.” He added: “As a result of uncertainty relating to the outcome of the adult education budget procurement process, and a business decision to focus on levy-only apprenticeship delivery in the future, Learndirect Ltd and Learndirect Apprenticeships Ltd have initiated a restructuring programme.

“Sadly this will mean some colleagues will leave the two businesses in the coming months. During this time our focus is on continuing to meet the needs of our thousands of learners, apprentices and employers, and we do so with the full support of our funders and other partners.”

It comes at a troubled time for Learndirect, after FE Week reported on a first wave of redundancy talks in May. Several employees have posted on this, through Linkedin, in the last 24 hours.

Robert Watkins, listed on the site as a partnership consultant, said: “I have had the unfortunate news yesterday that Learndirect have served notice on my position and a number of my fellow colleagues across the country due to financial cost cutting exercises and through no fault of our own. “I’m here to support my ex co workers should you need to talk.”

Another partnership consultant who now states on her Linkedin page that she is “looking for a new opportunity” is Melinda Guinness-Yendle. She said: “Shame I was really enjoying my job with LearnDirect! Never mind, one door closes and another one opens!”

Adam Farrington, listed on Linkedin as employer engagement manager, said: “I have had the unfortunate news today that Learndirect have served a month’s notice on my position and a number of my fellow colleagues due to financial cost cutting exercises. “I felt that this might happen recently.”

It comes after FE Week reported last week that Learndirect had been badly shaken by the changes in the way achievement rates are calculated, recording a 7.3 per cent drop that puts it below the government’s minimum standards. It’s achievement rate tumbled from 65.1 per cent in 2014/15 to just 57.8 per cent last academic year, according to national data released by the Department for Education on June 15. This brings it below the minimum standards threshold of 62 per cent, and should mean it will no longer be allowed to deliver apprenticeships until it improves.

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