Skills Training UK on brink of insolvency

More than two hundred jobs are at risk if insolvency goes ahead

More than two hundred jobs are at risk if insolvency goes ahead

21 Jul 2023, 17:36

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A high-profile independent training provider, Skills Training UK, is close to collapse, FE Week understands.

The national provider, which has centres across the West Midlands, London and the South East, could file for insolvency and go into liquidation next week with the loss of over 200 jobs.

Staff were told this afternoon that they are not required to come back to work as bosses hold crunch talks with liquidators. A final decision on the future of the business is expected early next week.

Earlier this month, Skills Training UK was one of several big name training providers that missed out on a national adult education budget (AEB) contract in the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s most recent procurement. The provider does though hold devolved contracts in London and South Yorkshire.

The company also had traineeships as part of its portfolio, a government programme that was scrapped by ministers earlier this year. Its 16-19 allocation for 2022/23 was worth £4.2 million.

On apprenticeships, Skills Training UK started 820 apprentices in 21/22 and 550 in the first three quarters of 22/23. Apprenticeship numbers have gradually reduced from a high of 1310 in 2018/19 according to DfE data.

Ofsted last inspected the provider in 2017 and gave it a ‘good’ overall judgement.

Skills Training UK recorded a loss of £3.5 million in its 2022/23 accounts, in comparison to a profit of £1.2 million the year prior. Turnover also slipped to £10.3 million from £18.0 million, which it blamed on the coronavirus pandemic, the economic troubles and their high fixed costs.

The provider’s cash pot also vanished last year, from £2.2 million the year prior. Skills Training went into its overdraft by more than £6,000.

Skills Training UK also elected not to pay out a dividend “given the poor performance of the company”. It paid out a £3.9 million dividend the year before.

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    • Jonathan James

      And the joker before that – oh yes, Chairman of AELP with a gong. It was always coming with the range of activities and they sold out and left the business with a whole heap of debt.

      He will be able to polish his MBE without fear of any repercussions but he was to blame for this shambles

  1. Skills Training basically told everybody a week before payday that there’s a high chance that nobody will be paid. Many were told that they would be employed until the end end of August and have made plans based on this. Those in control knew this was coming yet continued to give false hope to just about everyone. This is a cold, calculated and planned action put into place by people who obviously do not care for the employees and students effected. Exams cancelled means no qualifications, no money could result in financial disaster for many yet those in charge will walk away to their holiday homes in the Mediterranean and carry on without a care in the world.

    • Anonymous

      Unfortunately, this is the case in many training providers at the moment. I too work for a small training provider in South London and it is the same. We lost out on an AEB and now we are all at risk with many people already having had the chop. What’s worse is having to find out through FE Week about not getting the funding than through your own management team.

  2. David Russell

    Interesting that my comment about the £3m+ in dividends taken out of the company the previous year has been moderated out of existence by the FE Week team…