Elmfield Training Ltd, who have been scrutinised by the BIS Select Committee for their delivery of apprenticeships with Morrisons, are starting to make redundancies.

A spokesperson for Elmfield Training told FE Week: “In respect of the staff consultation, part of running a business is to make sure there are the right people in the right geographical areas to meet customers’ needs and this consultation is part of this process.

“Having gained new customers recently, as well as continuing to work with existing ones, we expect to be able to redeploy the majority of staff who might be affected and where this is not possible we will make every effort to help them get alternative jobs.

“The current changes taking place affect a relatively small proportion of our workforce.”

The spokesperson did not disclose how many redundancies are taking place, or if there are more to follow.

FE Week approached Elmfield Training about the redundancies following an unpublished comment posted on the FE Week website. It reads: “The ‘little guys’ are already beginning to pay the price as Elmfield started its first round of redundancies this week.

“As a dedicated employee who has been involved in assisting learners to enhance their skills and increase their employability prospects (which is what the company so proudly presents as its goals) we are now faced with being thrown on the scrapheap as a result – hypocrisy in the worst form.”

Another comment left on the FE Week website, which has not been published, claims that assessors are being pressured into accrediting Morrisons apprentices prematurely.

When asked about the claims a spokesperson for Elmfield Training said: “This has been a highly successful contract with great outcomes for learners.

“Our stringent governance and quality control arrangements mean that our work is very carefully monitored, with all of our staff working within a strict code of conduct and any deviation away from this is taken very seriously.”

The CEO of Elmfield Training, Ged Syddal, was accused by an MP of a “rip off” during an evidence session held by the BIS Select Committee for their inquiry into apprenticeships.

It follows pre-tax profits of £12.3 million for the company in 2009/10, which Mr Syddall has confirmed “was all government money”.

The provider was also scrutinised during the BBC One Panorama programme, “The Great Apprentice Scandal.”

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


  1. Whistleblower112

    Nothing that seems to be thrown at Elmfield Training seems to stick. They have managed to run a sub standard Apprenticeship Scheme in stores where until Christmas as a desperate attempt to achieve their 100.000 target they were signing off QCF parts of the qualification in 1 Visit. Despite their assurances that their quality procedures would not allow this. I am an Assessor on the Morrisons Contract and I am totally aware of the pressure that we all felt before Christmas to ” Just shove it under their nose and get them to sign”. Internal quality auditors looked the other way and managers asked no questions for fear that targets were not met. Now that we have not actually hit the target even though we have told Morrisons we have. We have been told this week that they have revised the methodology so we can complete in less visits. So the new learners can be signed off faster. None of us assessors feel there is any learner journey in these qualifications and that they Are worthless. We were all given daily sign off targets of 10. This is an outrageous target if elmfield say the quality is there. I am so angry and we all feel so used and lied to. Please continue to ask difficult questions as I am sure myself and other assessors have more ammunition to give you.

    • I quit working for Elmfield over two years ago after a horrendous 11 months and then when they asked me to join the Morrisons contract, I say asked they tried to tell me I had no choice, what pleasure I had telling them to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, Couldn’t and wouldn’t put my name against any of the crap they call qualifications. I now know of several companies that would never employ an ex Elmfield assessor after the bad press and bad practices Elmfield call the Methodology, mud sticks. My advice is to omit your employment at Elmfield from your CVs and say you have had a sabbatical to all those facing redundancies.

    • Ex Elmfield

      Big cuts again as 200 people are being made redundant. I can agree with whistleblower, there are plenty more stories out there about getting claims in on time even if they have to be contrived. I was told it is OK to do 2 assesment visits on the same day as long as the A8 record is done for each one. I have had enough of trying to get a manager to sign that learning has been achieved.