A little-known education entrepreneur has swooped to seal an audacious takeover of Learndirect, Britain’s biggest provider of apprenticeships and adult training services. Sky News reports
Sky News can reveal that Dimensions Training Solutions (DTS) struck a deal on Saturday to acquire Learndirect in a deal which will preserve roughly 1,000 jobs and the training courses of thousands more people.
It will bring to an end months of uncertainty about Learndirect’s future, with doubts about its survival prospects exacerbated by an adverse Ofsted evaluation of part of its business but which were originally triggered by government cuts to adult skills funding.
Learndirect, which has had apprenticeship contracts with companies such as Marks & Spencer and Tesco, has been owned since 2011 by LDC, the private equity division of Lloyds Banking Group.
The company has recruited hundreds of thousands of apprentices to its programmes, with that part of its business seen as an important contributor to a wider government target of delivering three million apprenticeships during this parliament.
In a statement issued to Sky News, Wayne Janse Van Rensburg, DTS’s chief executive, said: “The LDL [Learndirect’s adult skills arm] sale protects learners and the future of LDA [its apprenticeships business] was never in doubt.
Learndirect’s finances have been in a troubled state for some time, having warned that it faced collapse if a critical Ofsted report was published last year.
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