The National Skills Academy Logistics (NSAL) has been put into liquidation after its financial support was pulled by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).
The NSAL’s National Employer Board was critical of the SFA’s role in the demise of the organisation, which helped employers meet legislative requirements and develop training courses.
A statement released on behalf of the board claimed the SFA did not like how NSAL’s executive team ran the academy.
However, it alleged the SFA still invited the board to resubmit a business plan in March this year, in the hope that funding could be continued.
The board said it subsequently attempted to reform NSAL to deal with the SFA’s concerns.
However, it added: “While knowing that time was of the essence, the SFA has continually missed deadlines in terms of decisions and response, which has elongated the process, despite continued expressions of support and substantial new business prospects.
“When they finally turned down the resubmission, the SFA did say that it would support the development work that had taken place during the re-submission period.
“The SFA then changed its mind, twice, before finally confirming this week [beginning November 25, 2013], that there were no further funds available.
“There is no other alternative but to put the academy into liquidation.
“The board, as a group of unpaid volunteers, has been let down by the SFA.
“We strongly believe that the NSAL experience should be taken as a lesson to other employers who give their time to government-based initiatives on a free and voluntary basis.”
It is understood the SFA funded NSAL between August 2011 and August 2013, but not for the last three months it was in operation. It was unclear how much money was paid to NSAL.
An SFA spokesperson said: “We have been working with NSAL over the past two years, to ensure delivery against their their year start-up plan remained on target.
“As a result, we asked NSAL to review and submit a revised delivery plan, to address concerns we had raised against them achieving their their year delivery plan targets.
“Following assessment of the revised plan, the agency’s decision was to not support and we understand NSAL will now cease operations.
“The agency’s priority is to work with NSAL and the Sector Skills Council over the next few months, to ensure that any learners and apprentices are supported by their current providers and employers so that they can continue their learning and apprenticeships.”