Redundancies at Elmfield Training

Elmfield Training Ltd, who have been scrutinised by the BIS Select Committee for their delivery of apprenticeships with Morrisons, are starting to make redundancies.

A spokesperson for Elmfield Training told FE Week: “In respect of the staff consultation, part of running a business is to make sure there are the right people in the right geographical areas to meet customers’ needs and this consultation is part of this process.

“Having gained new customers recently, as well as continuing to work with existing ones, we expect to be able to redeploy the majority of staff who might be affected and where this is not possible we will make every effort to help them get alternative jobs.

“The current changes taking place affect a relatively small proportion of our workforce.”

The spokesperson did not disclose how many redundancies are taking place, or if there are more to follow.

FE Week approached Elmfield Training about the redundancies following an unpublished comment posted on the FE Week website. It reads: “The ‘little guys’ are already beginning to pay the price as Elmfield started its first round of redundancies this week.

“As a dedicated employee who has been involved in assisting learners to enhance their skills and increase their employability prospects (which is what the company so proudly presents as its goals) we are now faced with being thrown on the scrapheap as a result – hypocrisy in the worst form.”

Another comment left on the FE Week website, which has not been published, claims that assessors are being pressured into accrediting Morrisons apprentices prematurely.

When asked about the claims a spokesperson for Elmfield Training said: “This has been a highly successful contract with great outcomes for learners.

“Our stringent governance and quality control arrangements mean that our work is very carefully monitored, with all of our staff working within a strict code of conduct and any deviation away from this is taken very seriously.”

The CEO of Elmfield Training, Ged Syddal, was accused by an MP of a “rip off” during an evidence session held by the BIS Select Committee for their inquiry into apprenticeships.

It follows pre-tax profits of £12.3 million for the company in 2009/10, which Mr Syddall has confirmed “was all government money”.

The provider was also scrutinised during the BBC One Panorama programme, “The Great Apprentice Scandal.”