Training takeover agreed after funding secured for Ofsted-criticised service

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 12 Feb 2018

FUNDING for all existing learners at Scunthorpe’s under-fire NLT Training Services has been secured, paving the way for a take-over of the “inadequate” rated service by a Nottingham operator.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has agreed to continue funding for existing apprentices, providing employers are happy to continue using the organisation.

It follows an Ofsted inspection late last year which saw NLT graded “inadequate”, resulting in the ESFA withdrawing financial support, and threatening the Ashby Road centre with closure.

Now, after discussions, the change of approach paves the way for a take-over of NLT by WEBS Training Ltd, securing not only apprenticeship training provision but also 21 jobs across NLT’s Scunthorpe and Chesterfield sites.

Sarah Temperton, a new chief executive of NLT Training Services, having followed the interim appointment of vice chairman Simon Marsden in June, said: “It is fair to say that we are all very relieved. We have been working hard to secure the future of the organisation and this sends out a very positive message to employers, apprentices and staff. 

“Our thanks go to our apprentices, employers, the business community and WEBS for the support they have given NLT during this difficult time.”

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WEBS is a specialist manufacturing training provider based in Nottingham, which is rated ‘good’ by Ofsted. It was founded by four of Long Eaton’s major manufacturing companies, and has been delivering furniture training since 1968. 

It has worked with NLT for a number of years, with their respective chief executives sitting on each other’s board. The takeover will give WEBS a full East Midlands presence, more than double the existing apprentice roll and expand the number of apprenticeships offered across all three sites, further helping meet local training demand.

Sammy Jones, managing director, said: “WEBS and NLT have worked together for a number of years, and we are both committed to delivering a unique experience to both learners and employers and developing and delivering outstanding training for industry by industry. The takeover made absolute sense and I am delighted that the EFSA’s decision means we can now press on with our plans to fully integrate NLT. Learners and employers will both benefit from the increased variety and enhanced training provision that we can now offer.

“WEBS is already working hard with us to drive the quality of training forward. The additional resources that WEBS brings will enable the business improvement changes instigated earlier this year within NLT to be accelerated. It is an exciting time for everyone involved and an opportunity to deliver a greater variety of specialised training.”

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The takeover will see NLT rebranded and all of its 200 Level Two and Three apprentices transferred ahead of the next academic year. Currently WEBS has more than 160 apprentices on roll.  

NLT is now calling on local employers to use its services. Sarah added: “Any employers looking for apprentice training or to recruit an apprentice, should get in touch with us as soon as possible. “WEBS will shortly begin recruiting engineering and business services apprentices in Chesterfield and Scunthorpe and we look forward to supporting learners and businesses long into the future.”

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