Major provider chaired by ex-SFA boss calls in administrators

Major provider chaired by ex-SFA boss calls in administrators

A major training provider whose chair was the first chief executive of the Skills Funding Agency has gone into administration after failing to make it onto the new Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers.

Derbyshire-based Positive Outcomes Ltd has a current Skills Funding Agency contract worth more than £11 million, but failed to make it onto the list published by the agency on Tuesday.

According to its most recent Ofsted inspection report, published in June, it had around 4,700 learners, the majority of whom were apprentices.

Its chair was Geoff Russell, who was SFA’s first chief executive and ran the agency from its inception in April 2010 until July 2012.

But this afternoon FE Week was told by a former member of staff that the provider had closed and that all staff had lost their jobs.

Kelly Ball, joint managing director at Positive Outcomes, then released a statement to FE Week from the provider’s board confirming the news.

‘’Unfortunately, after 20 years of trading, it is with deep regret that Positive Outcomes has had to file for administration with immediate effect.

“The board of directors have worked tirelessly to avoid this outcome. Our intention was to find a suitable buyer for the business. However, this unfortunately was not possible, resulting in the board having no alternative but to cease trading.

“Our priorities during this time are the learners and employers. We continue to work closely with the Skills Funding Agency to ensure a smooth transition to other providers with minimal disruption to them.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated staff who have been the company’s biggest asset over many successful years. We wish them well’’.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We are working to ensure learners’ programmes are not disrupted following our termination of Positive Outcomes’ contract. We will work with employers through the  National Apprenticeship Service to ensure a smooth transfer process.”

The provider, which had offices in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Nottingham as well as South Normanton, Derbyshire, offered apprenticeships and work-based learning.

Today’s news comes after Positive Outcomes was issued with a notice of serious breach from the SFA for financial control, dated November 17. 

However, the provider would not be drawn on the reasons behind the notice.

Former chief executive Chris Longmate stepped down in January, after eight years in the role.

Kelly Ball and Ryan Longmate were both promoted to joint managing director in 2011.