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People 1st acquired by Workforce Development Trust

People 1st acquired by Workforce Development Trust

The Workforce Development Trust (WDT) has bought elements of People 1st, which went into administration last week.

The employment and learning company, which led the development work on the new apprenticeship standards, will continue to operate as a standalone organisation thanks to the acquisition.

The company’s collapse sparked concerns regarding the potentially damaging loss of People 1st’s apprentice services and role in External Quality Assurance (EQA).

But the WDT has confirmed that this work will continue in its entirety with fresh investment from the new parent company set for this summer.

Under its new ownership People 1st will maintain its focus on its key activities including apprenticeships, External Quality Assurance (EQA), accreditation services and work in the devolved nations and international markets.

The chairs of the EQA Apprenticeship Boards have supported the transfer. Edward Gallier, head of learning and development for Jurys Inn Hotels and the chair of the Hospitality Apprenticeship Board, said: “Working for our employer board, People 1st has made significant investment in developing our apprenticeship and EQA systems.

“The Workforce Development Trust has been able to step in to ensure that this investment is not lost. As a charity and not-for-profit organisation, the Workforce Development Trust is an ideal new owner for People 1st and has ensured its financial stability. We are delighted that all of the EQA staff and expertise of People 1st will continue to work with us to ensure the success of our new apprenticeships.”

People 1st’s international development work is also expected to continue following the transfer of the entire international team as part of the acquisition.

People 1st chief executive Simon Tarr said: “I am extremely proud of the People 1st staff and their genuine commitment and dedication to supporting employers in the visitor economy to benefit from high quality skills solutions. Working to facilitate the development of over 20 new apprenticeship standards has been a key achievement, as is the work we have done to support employers through the changes to apprenticeships and the numerous successful international contracts we have.

“WDT and People 1st share a common vision and have similar values, so becoming part of the WDT Group is an ideal solution for our clients and our people.”

The withdrawal of government funding for sector skills councils six years ago was reported to be the main reason People 1st went into administration.

People 1st falls into administration >>

People 1st launches Apprenticeships 101 guide >>

People 1st calls for nominations to new Hospitality Apprenticeship Board >>

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