Learndirect under new ownership just days after PeoplePlus deal falls through

Learndirect has a new owner, after striking a deal with entrepreneur Wayne Janse van Rensburg for his firm Dimensions Training Solution to take the reins.

But it remains unclear how many jobs will be saved at the troubled provider, as government income beyond July will be limited to Learndirect Apprenticeships Limited (LDA) which began recruiting apprenticeships last May.

As previously reported by FE Week, PeoplePlus Group Limited had been in talks with the owners of Learndirect, Lloyds Development Capital (LDC), but it is understood this deal fell through early last week.

LDC then turned to entrepreneur Wayne Janse van Rensburg with the offer of a deal.

Mr Janse van Rensburg is the Managing Director of the Stonebridge College Group, which supplies Learndirect with a Virtual Learning Environment known as PEARL.

Stonebridge College Group includes Dimensions Training Solution (DTS), a training provider that Mr Janse van Rensburg purchased in 2015.

Within just a few days the Education and Skills Funding Agency had approved the change in ownership of LDA on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers.

A deal could then be struck in which LDC would financially support a DTS business plan to own and run Learndirect.

It is understood that the deal means DTS will take ownership of Pimco 2090, which includes the subsidiary companies of Learndirect Centres Limited, Learndirect Limited and Learndirect Apprenticeships Ltd.

Speaking exclusively to FE Week, Wayne Janse van Rensburg said: “The acquisition of Learndirect has protected the future of the Learndirect group and its learners and apprentices.

“We have the building blocks through which to deliver a service of the highest quality and respond to the ever changing face of the skills and apprenticeship market.

The LDA brand will remain, as it is well respected by our employers and recognised as the brand of the largest dedicated provider of levy apprenticeships in the country.”