Real-Time Training Ltd, which trades under the name RTT Group, has had its £3.3m contract with the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) terminated.

A spokesperson for the SFA told FE Week: “The Agency has taken the decision not to re-contract with RTT for the 2012/13 academic year and has issued notice to terminate the current contract in accordance with our agreed terms and conditions.

“The Agency continues discussions with RTT over the concluding position on its contract including any financial out turn.”

The spokesperson added that the Agency is working with the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and RTT to protect public funds and ensure “minimal disruption to learners” while they are placed with local providers and employers.

The Agency has not revealed however why the contract with RTT was terminated.

At the time of publication Mike Barton, executive group chairman at RTT Group, told FE Week he was “99 per cent” sure the company, based in Leicestershire, would be put into administration later that day.

“Since we opened the learners have been – and will be until we’re no longer connected in any way – our main priority,” he said.

“That’s always been our philosophy, and will continue to be so.”

Mr Barton said he had written to all of the FE colleges which RTT works with to inform them of the situation.

The family company, which includes managing director Emma Barton and director James Barton, is understood to have also worked for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

A spokesman for the DWP said: “We have received a call from RTT to say that the offices have closed temporarily. The DWP has not been told anything formally at this stage.”

Christian Gibbs was enrolled on a Security Industry Authority (SIA) course with RTT when it closed last week.

“I received a phone call on Friday and was told not to come in on the following Monday as it was a training day, but to attend on Tuesday as sessions would commence as normal,” he told FE Week.

“I must have waited just over an hour with a group of other students for one of the RTT employees to open the shutters so that we could begin, but that didn’t happen.

“None of the students were notified in any way by the RTT Group and had to find out for ourselves what had happened.”

A former employee told FE Week he was “extremely saddened” to hear that the company might close.

“Most of all I feel sorry for the staff,” he said.

“I know many of them have been so loyal to the family, working long hours and giving their all.”

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  1. Disappointed!

    I am currently on an apprenticeship with the RTT group. My assessor left four weeks ago, due to instability of the company. Myself and the other two apprentices at my workplace were told that we would be contacted soon, after a few weeks we tried to contact them and all emails bounced and telephones\mobiles were off or dead. I dont see this as making the learners a priority, I now have two months to complete my NVQ and now without even a learning provider, however our employers are working on it. If it doesnt happen soon i could well finish my contract with my employers without the NVQ. Maximum disruption!!! Very unimpressed.

  2. Adrian Faben

    The company has been in trouble since January, it has lied to its employees over reasons for late payment of expenses on numerous occasions, blaming bank errors, most employees are owed 3 months expenses and have not recieved their salary since April. There has been very little communication from senior management until too late, the directors have point blanketedly blamed the apprenticeship team for this, however as a director I would have expected this to have been picked up on earlier.

    The apprenticeship team worked hard to make sure all their learners were catered for until it was made impossible for them to do this, being put on a 3 day week and still expected to see all learners became impossible, a 4th day was introduced only to sign more learners up, assessors could not even tell them when they would be seen again.

    The paperwork in the main office was a joke, assessors used to send it in on a weekly basis and ensured that their MIS was updated daily, ofen the paperwork was not filed or it was lost or remained unopened.

    RTT concentrated on the workskills as it was a big money generator for them, they did not (directors) care about the apprenticeship side of the business.

    I feel sorry for all the learners and I have apologised to all my ex learners for leaving, but in reality i was not given an option to stay due to the working conditions (pay). I hope they sort out mess the directors hve made and are held personally responsible for what they have done to all their learners and employees.


  3. Cheatedandletdown

    The only priority they had was for themselves. Staff hours were reduced, ones that left not replaced and the ones remaining trying very hard to pick up the pieces in extremely difficult circumstances of non payment of expenses and then salaries. Many are owed thousands and are struggling to make ends meet, while news seeps through that the Bartons have set up another company. Scandalous!

  4. Graham fone

    As an ex employee I wasn’t even told that they had gone bust, leaving others like me owed Mays pay and 3 months expences and bonuses. I as an assessor am trying to ensure that all my learners are completed on their awards