Elmfield to ‘take steps to put the company into administration’

Elmfield Training has confirmed that its “directors have taken steps to protect the company through an administration process”.

In a press statement sent to FE Week, Elmfield said: “The board and its advisers have been working hard with major stakeholders in recent weeks to try and put the business on a sounder long term footing.

“These efforts are continuing in order to seek to preserve jobs and protect learners.

“Whilst this is on-going the directors have taken steps to protect the company through an administration process.”

The statement follows on from an email Elmfield sent to their employees stating that its necessary to “take steps to put the company into administration.”

The email seen by FE Week, which was issued late last night (Thursday 24 October) also informs staff that Elmfield Training Ltd “cannot presently process salaries.”

The email, signed off by “the executive team” said: “As you know, Elmfield has faced a number of very difficult challenges in the past few weeks. We have been working incredibly hard with our major stakeholders to try and put the business on a sounder footing.

“Despite these efforts we have failed to reach a conclusion so far and as a result cannot presently process salaries.”

The email goes on to add that the executive team “will continue to work with stakeholders and potential buyers over the weekend and into next week and will try our hardest to preserve jobs, get the salaries paid and protect our learners. However we can’t be certain that we will be successful and while this process goes on it is necessary that we take steps to put the company into administration.”

This development comes after last week’s news that former Elmfield director Ged Syddall and a representative from the Skills Funding Agency look set for a “no-holds-barred” grilling by MPs over allegations of apprenticeship malpractice.

Elmfield is contracted to deliver apprenticeships in partnership with Barclays, as previously reported in FE Week, which recently announced it wanted to double its intake to 2,000.

A spokesperson for the bank said it still planned to press ahead with the expansion plans.

He said: “Our commitment to apprenticeships and helping young people into work remains unchanged, including delivering 2,000 quality apprenticeships by 2015.

“We are working closely with the SFA to ensure that our apprentices are not impacted.”

A spokesperson for the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) said: “In cases where a provider enters administration, the agency responds by identifying potential alternative providers. If necessary, we manage the transfer of learners and employers to new providers. We also redistribute funding as effectively and efficiently as possible to ensure that learners and public funds are protected.

“The agency’s priority is to ensure minimal disruption to apprentices, learners and employers and once appointed, we will work with the administrators to ensure that all learners and apprentices are transferred to alternative providers.

“Any concerned learners or apprentices, parents or guardians can contact the agency through a dedicated email address set up for enquiries at elmfield@skillsfundingagency.bis.gov.uk.”

More will follow on developments with Elmfield in the next edition of FE Week.