Pearson has scrapped the Zenos brand for its ICT apprenticeships.

Zenos, a training provider owned by Pearson, will now operate under the name Pearson in Practice.

A spokesperson for Pearson in Practice told FE Week: “Zenos has been operating as a fully integrated part of Pearson in Practice for a number of months and officially changed its name at the start of April.

“This is part of the long-term strategic integration of the Pearson in Practice subsidiaries and follows Learning World rebranding as Pearson in Practice in September 2011.”

The former Zenos division has been working on a number of new apprenticeship schemes under the Pearson in Practice brand “for some time”, the Pearson in Practice spokesperson added.

The Zenos website now redirects users to the ‘IT Apprenticeships’ section of the Pearson in Practice website, which says: “Formally the Zenos programme, here you can learn all about the UK’s leading ICT Apprenticeship.

“Although the name has changed, the legacy remains and we will continue to deliver training that is high-quality and employer driven.”

The announcement follows criticism of the apprenticeship scheme delivered by Zenos in the Panorama programme “The Great Apprentice Scandal”, broadcast on BBC One last Monday.

The ICT apprenticeships delivered by Zenos are said to be entirely classroom based and cannot guarantee learners a job at the end of it.

“I’ve said that every apprenticeship has to be a job,” skills minister John Hayes MP told the BBC.

“Now I know that’s tough, and there are people who say I’m too relentless about the quality of apprenticeships.

“That’s why I insisted that all apprenticeships should be employed.

“That’s not to say you can’t have good training, good pre-apprenticeship training, and it may be that Zenos is providing that but it’s not an apprenticeship I’m afraid and I’m not going to call it one.”

Mr Hayes later said that Zenos apprenticeships which do not involve an employer “shouldn’t be called an apprenticeship.”



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  1. Come on mr linford- how about some investigative reporting.

    What about a foi request to start with – how many zenos starts in september 11 were compliant with funding in that they had a job on day 1 even though employed through the pearson in practice ata because the funding guidance is clear. Even if employed through an ata, they had to have a proper job on day 1 – next question, of the september 2011 starts, who paid these learners and where did the funding come from to pay these learners. Allegedly, 100% of their starts had no job until week 18 and then very few obtained a placement thereafter, allegedly. I am sure Pearson will provide appropriate clarification and provide comfort to your questions posed by FE week.

    This is not a subcontracting issue Mr LInford

    I am sure you and your team could get your teeth into this and call for reclaim of funding if rules have not been complied with – sound like a potential £10m – £15m to me ! ( of course they could be fully compliant and we are all being misled.)

    Funny how zenos or pearson in practice dont appear in actor published today allegedly.

  2. Zenos was a fraud and the answers were given to the learners before the exams.

    Learners used to cheat in the Exams and trainers used to make up results.

    There were never jobs, doing job search was “classified” as job.

    Zenos was scam and the management covered it up.

    • As someone who went to Zenos, I can deny that any answers were given.

      During my time there in ’09 – all the exams were properly invigilated and were run through exam setups linked to the test centres. So it would’ve been impossible for trainers to even make changes/edits that you claim.

      Apart from that, I will agree that it was poor at securing jobs. It was up to the learner to do it themselves. The main problem I found was that I could not apply for apprenticeships – as I already had the qualifications they were offering (NVQ L2). I was also never paid during my time there. I had to live off the paltry EMA money I was receiving. So to those who got paid £100 each week, think yourself lucky!

  3. I have to agree with Dave. I recently advertised (on behalf of any employer) an IT Technician Apprenticeship at Level 2. I had 3 candidates apply who had already undertaken and “Apprenticeship” with Zennos. They already had a BTEC Level 2 qualification in ICT. When questionned, non of them had done any form of work experience or paid work and had attended full time training (one for a full year)!

  4. stephen sargent

    Zenos is a sound programme and got me into the IT Sector,

    It cannot promise a IT Job,

    But it can promise the tools and guiadance and if taken on board i truly believe it can help get anybody into the Academy,

    I would be happy to stand up and tell the world about Zenos,

    Because it changed my life.

  5. Mr anonymous

    I went to Zenos’ Birmingham acedemy and I can happily tell you that I have a job. Howver zenos did f*** all to help me in terms of employment. My trainer was great, really helped me learn however the employment team were absolutely useless and focussed on how to help themselves rather than the ‘apprentices’. The TCM (training centre manager) was the most unprofessional B**** that let her authority get to her head.

    • Samuel Platt

      Are you referring to Greta by any chance? Who was your trainer btw? And I fully agree with Stephen, They can’t guarentee anyone a job… but they certainly changed my life.