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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

IPPR comment on breaking collapse of LearnDirect

Commenting on the news that LearnDirect, the UK's largest adult training provider, is 'on the brink of collapse', Joe Dromey, IPPR senior research fellow, said:

"The unfolding events at LearnDirect are truly shocking. Just six years after it was privatised, LearnDirect has been left on the brink of collapse, burdened by tens of millions of pounds of debt, and found to have been inadequate in an Ofsted report it tried to block in the courts.
"But this isn’t just the failure of a private company. It’s the failure of the biggest provider of adult training in the UK and, most importantly, it is a failure of public policy.
"While this is shocking, it’s perhaps not surprising. The Government has pushed competition between private providers in adult skills, it has eased controls on quality, and it has slashed funding in the system. This looks more like a systemic failing than an individual scandal. The Government must urgently learn the lessons of LearnDirect."



Ash Singleton,, 07887 422 789.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Joe Dromey,, 07736 667 917. 


An investigation by the FT and FE Week uncovered a suppressed Ofsted report that private equity owners of the former not-for-profit training provider for adults have extracted millions from the company.

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