SFA names 14 providers whose funding contracts were terminated early

Fourteen training providers with combined allocations of nearly £6.9m in adult skills budget (ASB) and almost £5.8m for 16 to 18 apprenticeships had their contracts with the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) terminated early in 2014/15, it has been revealed.

Of these providers named by the SFA on November 16, six had combined ASB and 16 to 18 apprenticeship allocations totaling more than £1m.

The SFA may terminate a funding agreement for a number of reasons including, an SFA spokesperson SFA, “where there are quality issues, an Ofsted grade four or where we have other evidence of poor quality delivery or serious breach of the contract”.

Building Engineering Services Training Ltd (BEST), which provides training and apprenticeships in the building services engineering sector, had its contract with the SFA terminated following an inadequate rating from Ofsted in June.

Tony Howard, acting head of BEST, which was allocated £531,389 in ASB and £1,440,872 for 16 to 18 apprenticeships, said the organisation had since entered into a “strategic relationship” with another training provider.

“We are also developing a new concept and model for apprenticeships to answer employer engagement and ownership issues for the future,” said Mr Howard.

John Budu-Aggrey, director of Alpha Building Services Engineering (Alpha BSE), said its most recent Ofsted inspection in November 2014, which resulted in an inadequate rating, did not accurately reflect the full range of what they did.

“We have young people who dropped out of school, who don’t have grade C.

We take them through level one.

We give them employability skills, Functional Skills,” said Mr Budu-Aggrey.

Alpha BSE, based in London, was allocated £67,556 in ASB and £718,776 for 16 to 18 apprenticeships in 2014/15.

“We are doing only fee paying courses now,” added Mr Budu-Aggrey.

Four of the 14 providers are no longer operating, with Companies House records showing they were in liquidation.

They were MIC Skills & Employability, Targeted Training Projects, Visage School of Beauty Career Development Center. Business Impact UK was listed as in the process of winding down, while the annual return of Venture Learning was overdue.

FE Week was unable to contact Venture Learning.

All six of these had been rated inadequate overall at their most recent Ofsted inspections.

A further six, with a combined ASB allocation of £4m and a combined 16 to 18 apprenticeship allocation of £1.71m, declined to comment.

These six providers, all of which were rated inadequate by Ofsted at their most recent inspections except for one which did not have an Ofsted report, were Barford Education and Training (North East); Blue Training; Herbert of Liverpool (Training) Ltd; Kats Learning; Four Counties Training, and ABA Training (which had not been rated by Ofsted).

The SFA spokesperson was unable to confirm when each of the funding agreements was terminated.

The final claims for 2014/15, which will show how much each provider was paid, are being calculated and will be published next month, the spokesperson said.

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