Hundreds of people have been affected by the postponement of an apprenticeship programme led by a major provider.

Zenos, a provider of ICT apprenticeships, has told around 300 of its 19+ candidates that there will be a “short delay” to their programmes, which were due to start today (January 9).

The training provider, which is owned by Pearson and has an apprenticeship allocation from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) in excess of £45 million, is blaming “recent recent changes in the Government policy” on the delay.

Jason Moss, managing director of Zenos, added: “We are now working hard to ensure that the Zenos provision is fully aligned to the latest policy and that our learners continue to receive the best programme.

“All of the existing affected candidates will be starting a relevant programme imminently that will support their aspirations to gain an apprenticeship within the original time frame

“We have consistently adapted our programme over the last 18 months to reflect the government guidelines and we have a flexible and dynamic operation that can respond to these changes.”

Although the exact details of which policy have not been revealed by Mr Moss, the provider’s Facebook page sheds more light on the situation – as well as a number of comments from disgruntled learners.

The statement said: “Within the past 24 hours The Funding Agencies have told us that anyone starting an Apprenticeship now needs an employer and a specific job identified, prior to starting on the programme.

“This is out of our control and we can understand that this may cause you uncertainty, which we can only apologise for.

“We are working very hard on your behalf to ensure that you have a successful career in the IT sector and at present we anticipate that although the start of the training may differ slightly that overall you are on the programme for the same amount of time.”

For more on this story, see the next edition of FE Week.