Youngsters stranded by company administration

A London-based social enterprise company that worked with young adults to help them to find jobs has gone into administration.

The Walwyn Trust is believed to have left scores of youngsters unsure of their futures.

Miranda Cook, from Cambridgeshire, contacted FE Week claiming that her 17-year-old daughter, Charlotte, a Walwyn apprentice, was not paid last month.

“None of the young people have had a penny in wages or any idea what will happen to their diplomas, written work, references and, in some cases — although fortunately not my daughter’s — provision of their ongoing training,” she said.

Ms Cook said she also had concerns about the Walwyn’s sister company, Mymar Training, which has a current Skills Funding Agency (SFA) allocation of £4,579,466.

An automated response from the email address of Walwyn, which lists its contact details in Penzance, Cornwall, reads: “Please be advised that Walwyn is in administration.”

However, a Mymar worker who answered the phone at its Plymouth HQ said it was continuing to trade.

She declined to put FE Week through to management and said no statement would be issued on the situation of the two companies.

A joint statement from the SFA and the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) said: “Walwyn Trust is the sister company and employment arm of Mymar Training Limited (who the agency holds a contractual relationship with).

“The agency and NAS have been advised by Mymar that due to new investment they are able to continue to trade.

“The agency and the NAS are working with Mymar to make sure that learners are continuing their learning at Mymar Training. Mymar has reassured the agency that all learners’ wages have been paid.

“The agency and NAS are committed to ensuring that learners receive their full learning and training and to ensure that all apprenticeships meet statutory quality standards and offer a good experience for apprentices and their employers.”

It added: “Any concerned parents or learners can contact Mymar Training in the first instance or the agency’s email address: mymar@skillsfundingagency.bis.gov.uk.”

Last summer, Walwyn launched a partnership with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), providing young people with access to paid, one-year workplace apprenticeships.

An REC spokesperson said: “We have contacted Walwyn and are waiting for a further explanation of their current status and whether they are still delivering their workplace apprenticeships scheme.

“If any of our members have encountered any problems working with Walwyn, we would encourage them to get in touch with us through our inquiry line.”

The REC inquiry line is on 020-7009 2100.