Provider training firm goes bust after ‘downturn in bookings’

A company that provided training to organisations across England through the Excellence in Learning brand is being liquidated after a downturn in bookings.

National Training Resources Ltd (NTRL) has appointed Birmingham-based Baker Tilly Business Services Ltd after officially going into liquidation on January 8.

Excellence in Learning was a brand created by NTRL to provide workshops, consultancy and in-house training services to a range of sectors, including learning providers.

It is understood that 16 people have lost their jobs after directors struggled to keep the company, based in Tamworth, afloat.

Meanwhile, it has been claimed the company has still not informed clients that it has gone bust, but bookings through the Excellence in Learning website have been suspended and phone lines seem to have been cut.

A Baker Tilly spokesperson told FE Week: “Following statutory meetings of members and creditors on January 8, Nicholas Lee and Dilip Dattani of Baker Tilly Business Services Ltd were appointed Joint Liquidators of National Training Resources Limited, based in Tamworth. The company, which was founded in 1993, had been profitable in recent years, however due to a downturn in bookings in the second half of 2013, the directors were no longer able to fund the company’s losses.

“Prior to appointment, sixteen employees were made redundant, and the joint liquidators are currently in the process of trying to realise assets for creditors.”

There was shock at the loss of the 21-year-old company, and providers that had booked training now face the task of trying to get their money back.

Former director Jon Collis, who resigned from the board in September and said he had not been active in the company for most of 2013, said: “It is a huge pity, because not so long ago it was a very successful organisation. I was involved for 20 years and built up some of the areas of business like the Excellence in Learning brand and division. I built it up from nothing and it’s a shame to see this happen.”

Sally Connolly, the human resources manager at Oxfordshire-based training provider Qube Learning, said she had three operations managers due to take part in inspection nominee training last month
but after the company failed to get in
touch with venue details she started to investigate.

She said: “I started chasing them, but all my emails were coming back and the phone number on the website wasn’t working.”

Ms Connolly said the only way she found out what had happened was by calling one of the tutors who had previously worked for the organisation.

She said: “There was no indication that anything was wrong. We were very lucky in that the cheque had only been sent off a few days before so we were able to cancel it, so they don’t owe us anything.

“Obviously, there are other resources we can use. They were not a lifeline for us, but it is a shame this has happened because they did run an awful lot of courses. It’s also a shame we had to find out the way we did.”