Following an Ofsted inspection late last year which saw NLT Training Services graded ‘inadequate,’ the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is to withdraw funding. Sarah Temperton NLT Chief Executive, however is confident funding can be re-secured if NLT receives the backing of local employers.

She said: “We are actively campaigning amongst employers to whom we provide apprentice training, to support us. Employers are very much in the driving seat now where apprenticeship training is concerned, so the future of engineering training proving in Chesterfield is in their hands. If enough employers tell the ESFA that they back us, we can push forward and secure jobs and engineering training in Chesterfield.”

Sarah, who was appointed to the Chief Executive role late last year, was praised in the Ofsted report, which stated: “The current chief executive officer, appointed in late 2017, is ambitious for the company and the success of apprentices and learners. Under her guidance, directors and senior managers have started to identify key actions to improve standards.”

NLT has provided training to young people throughout Derbyshire and Lincolnshire since 1974. It employs 30 people across its Chesterfield and Scunthorpe sites and has 238 learners, of which 216 are apprentices. Closure of its Chesterfield and Scunthorpe sites would result in a significant reduction of choice for learners and employers.

Despite the grading, the Ofsted report praised the range of NLT’s apprentice training provision saying: ‘Leaders and managers have worked very effectively with employers to plan a range of apprenticeship programmes that meet the needs of local and regional industries.”

It also added that: “Most apprentices who complete their programme secure sustained employment. They often progress to the next level of apprenticeship, particularly in engineering.”

In the middle of a business turnaround programme, the ‘inadequate’ grading has shocked and disappointed NLT’s management team which was working hard to meet the organisation’s ‘good’ Ofsted grading it received at its last inspection in 2014.

In 2016 the NLT board identified ‘very significant performance shortfalls’ and subsequently appointed a business turnaround specialist Simon Marsden in early 2017, who set about restructuring NLT and bringing it back to profitability.

This was followed by the appointment of a new Chief Executive. Sarah added: “Myself and all the staff are very saddened by the outcome of the Ofsted report however we are absolutely committed to ensuring the most positive outcome possible for everyone concerned.”

Earlier this year NLT scored highly across all performance areas in an independent employer satisfaction survey conducted on behalf of the ESFA. Relevancy of courses and locality were cited in the survey as key reasons by employers for choosing NLT to deliver its apprenticeship training.

If you are an employer and would like more information about the recent Ofsted grading, please get in touch with your local Business Development Team.