Learners let down by Learndirect, say MPs

The BBC reports that the government has been criticised for its role in giving millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to a UK training provider accused of failing to deliver.

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee says Learndirect Ltd has failed to tackle its poor performance, letting thousands of learners down.

The committee says the situation raises concerns about government outsourcing services to private companies.

The PAC report says that, in the wake of the collapse of construction giant Carillion, questions are “rightly being asked about how government manages companies who deliver our public services”.

Learndirect Ltd, which received £121m from the government in the academic year 2016-17, expects to receive more than £105m from its main government contracts in 2017-18, the report says.

It says: “Ofsted had concerns about Learndirect Ltd in spring 2015, but despite the company’s 75,000 learners making it the UK’s largest commercial further education provider, Ofsted decided not to inspect until November 2016.”

Meg Hillier, who chairs the PAC, said: “Thousands of learners have been let down amid poor oversight by government and at significant public expense.

“It cannot be right that individual contractors should command such large sums of public money regardless of their performance.”

Read more Learners let down by Learndirect, say MPs

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