Defence giant Babcock offloads part of its training business

New training provider Inspiro has launched following the sale of Babcock's 'non-core' training business and closure of its assessment business

New training provider Inspiro has launched following the sale of Babcock's 'non-core' training business and closure of its assessment business

Babcock International, the defence infrastructure giant, has sold a sizeable portion of its training business in a “portfolio alignment programme” which completed yesterday.

Its end point assessment business, Babcock Assessment Limited, is also “under review”.

The firm announced in September that it had sold parts of its civil training division, which includes thousands of apprenticeships, to investment firm Inspirit Capital but it will retain contracts close to its “core business”.

Babcock International held apprenticeships and training contracts through subsidiary companies including Babcock Training Limited and Babcock Skills Development and Training Limited. Both were graded ‘good’ by Ofsted in the last year.

Provision within the former has been retained by the group to continue to deliver major training contracts with the Metropolitan Police, the London Fire Brigade and the Ministry of Defence. The group kept these contracts as they more closely align with its core business in the defence and emergency service sectors.

Training in non-core sectors like automotive and service industries was sold to Inspirit, with apprenticeships now being delivered through new provider Inspiro, which launched yesterday.

Inspiro have said they “stand on the firmest of foundations with over 30 years’ experience, a team of 500-strong and over 5,000 apprentices in active learning”.

Chief executive of Inspiro Stuart Wilson said: “We are excited to set our direction as an independent business with many opportunities for growth in both our existing services and complementary sectors.”

At the time of the sale, Babcock reported that its end-point assessment arm, Babcock Assessments Limited would be part of the sale. However this has not happened and the assessment business has been retained as a subsidiary of Babcock Training Limited.

FE Week understands that Babcock is now stopping its end-point assessment work, though the firm would not confirm this at the time of going to press, only saying it was under review.

Babcock Assessment Limited is still listed on January 2023’s register of end-point assessment organisation against 15 apprenticeship standards including adult care worker, retail manager and chef de partie. It is currently listed as the sole end point assessment organisation for the funeral director and funeral team member standards.

A spokesperson for Babcock International did not comment on why the sale of its assessment business didn’t materialise but told FE Week: “Having now ceased to support training in the workplace learning & skills, automotive, energy, engineering, and the service sectors, we are reviewing activities of Babcock Assessment Limited, which was not part of the sale to Inspirit.”

Since this article was published, Babcock Assessment Limited’s website has been taken down.

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  1. What with propeller shafts with no grease nipples and bolt heads stuck on with glue.
    Apprentices trained off site, now part of a money tree and not at the side of skilled engineer. You would expect this from a shoddy back street garage.
    What’s next Babcock ?

  2. Bob Smith

    It might be helpful if Companies House reflected the above changes because it doesn’t.

    It will be interesting and worth a FOI I suspect to ask how the change of control came about and if a new EDRS number was issued because if so goes completely against all the procurement rules.

    I am sure the opening balance sheet of the new company will show it full of debt and failing the ESFA solvency tests but …. we know that doesn’t make any difference when it suits the ESFA