The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has agreed to continue funding training for existing apprentices until the end of their training programme, paving the way for a take-over of NLT by WEBS Training Limited.

The decision has secured apprenticeship training provision across NLT’s Chesterfield and Scunthorpe sites.

The announcement follows an Ofsted inspection late last year which saw NLT graded ‘inadequate’, resulting in the ESFA withdrawing funding and which threatened the longstanding training provider with closure.

WEBS and NLT have worked together for a number of years, with their respective Chief Executives sitting on each other’s board. They are also both Group Training Association (GTA) members, committed to delivering a unique experience to both learners and employers and developing and delivering outstanding training for industry by industry.

WEBS, a specialist manufacturing training provider based in Nottingham, 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. The takeover of NLT’s Scunthorpe and Chesterfield operations will give WEBS a full East Midlands presence and expand the number of apprenticeships offered across all three sites, further helping meet local training demand.

Commenting on the takeover, Sammy Jones, Managing Director of WEBS Training, 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.”

Sarah Temperton, Chief Executive of NLT, added: “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 in Chesterfield.”

The takeover by the Ofsted Good rated provider, will see NLT rebranded and all of its 200 Level 2 and 3 apprentices transferred ahead of the new academic year in 2018. 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.”