Embattled training firm Learndirect wins reprieve from lenders

Learndirect, the former state-owned training provider, has won a last-ditch reprieve from its lenders as it seeks to rebuild its finances in the wake of a controversial report by the education watchdog, Sky News learns.

Sky News has learnt that a syndicate including Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) agreed to extend a £5m working capital facility to Learndirect ahead of a deadline for filing its accounts on Tuesday. 

Securing the new borrowing headroom enabled EY, Learndirect’s auditor, to provide a going concern statement to Britain’s biggest adult training and apprenticeships provider, according to City sources.

Learndirect is responsible for training more than 70,000 people, and has apprenticeship contracts with big private sector employers such as Marks & Spencer and Tesco.

The company, which is backed by the Lloyds-owned private equity firm LDC, was left reeling in the summer when details of a highly critical report from Ofsted were published.

Learndirect had warned that it faced collapse if the report was published, and has been told by the Department for Education that its funding will be withdrawn from July next year.

Learndirect and LDC have disputed significant parts of Ofsted’s report and much of the subsequent media coverage of its difficulties.

Read more Embattled training firm Learndirect wins reprieve from lenders

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