Director ban for bogus apprenticeships firm chief

A seven year director disqualification has been served on the boss of apprenticeships provider London College of Global Education Ltd

A seven year director disqualification has been served on the boss of apprenticeships provider London College of Global Education Ltd

The owner of an east London training provider has been slapped with a seven-year director ban after investigators found fake apprenticeships that earned him almost £1 million.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency investigated London College of Global Education Ltd after an Ofsted new provider monitoring visit found “examples of people on the list of apprentices who were not studying at the provider” in 2021. 

Narayan Sah, the provider’s owner, was paid £994,690 for 471 apprentices in 2020/21. Following Ofsted’s visit, the ESFA alerted Sah that the agency would be investigating his training provider.

Shockingly, following the notification, an “internal verification of learners” conducted by Sah led to 463 of his 471 apprentices being removed for being ineligible for funding, if they existed at all.

DfE figures record 400 starts at London College of Global Education when the company began delivering apprenticeships in 2020. None of the learners enrolled completed an apprenticeship qualification for which funding was obtained, the Insolvency Service said.

Most of those ghost apprenticeships were advanced and higher-level ICT programmes. Ofsted reported all off-the-job training was delivered remotely.

Taking away the eight apparently eligible learners, the ESFA demanded the return of £885,989. By the time the company went into liquidation in July 2021, this was reduced to £429,189.

Sah founded the company, originally known as Sagarmatha Consulting Limited, in 2010, but is now disqualified from company directorship until May 2030.

Liquidators report that investigations with the ESFA are ongoing in their latest update, published on Companies House in September 2022.

“Meetings were carried out with the ESFA to discuss concerns that they have raised in the conduct of the company. The matters identified from these investigations are ongoing however, so as to not prejudice any potential future litigation, the joint liquidators do not intend to disclose the specifics of the investigation to date,” the report said.

Among the company’s £1 million-plus liabilities to creditors, including the ESFA, over £20,000 is owed to HSBC, over £18,000 to Dubai-based ed tech company Seeding Brains Education and Training, and FE Week’s publisher, LSECT, is owed £168.

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2 Comments

  1. Tony Allen

    Good luck with getting your £168!!

    Seriously, this calls into question the lack of effective account management of providers, and is a great example of what happens when, as a previous CEO of the ESFA said to me, “I am not paying civil servants to have tea and cake with private providers”. Perhaps a couple of cups of tea might have saved £1m!!

    • Steve

      Account management? Is there something like that? ESFA account managers sit on their arses and penalise providers for their own failings in management. There is no oversight or support by ESFA, but they are ever ready to terminate contracts of independent training providers