27 September 2023

UNITED KINGDOM: ‘Unsafe’ trainer struck off

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The UK Public Service Apprentices Scheme is to be reviewed after a training provider was dismissed for “unsafe” recruitment practices.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency terminated the funding of Premier People Solutions following a damning monitoring report from the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Schools (Ofsted).

The watchdog warned that “leaders and managers cannot be sure that their members of staff are safe to work in the sensitive environments of the employers for whom their apprentices work”.

The provider, which trades as Premier Partnership, delivered apprenticeship training to Government Departments including the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and the UK Visas and Immigration Service.

It will be removed from the register of apprenticeship training providers next month.

The Cabinet Office said a decision had not yet been made on what to do for the 686 apprentices who trained with Premier.

“The Cabinet Office is currently reviewing education and training providers for Civil Service apprentices and will appoint a replacement in due course,” a Cabinet Office spokesperson said.

Ofsted’s poor verdict on Premier was made more surprising by the fact the company had successfully tendered to be placed on the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) call-off list from September 2017.

The CCS is an executive Agency sponsored by the Cabinet Office, and making its list is seen as a badge of quality for any provider.

Premier was included on the list of approved apprenticeship providers despite the fact it only began recruiting its first levy-funded apprentices in August 2017, and its apprenticeship provision had not been inspected by Ofsted.

London, 25 November 2018

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