Pearson owned Zenos IT training provider, that runs thousands of apprenticeship programmes yearly, has notified 300 candidates, scheduled to start their apprenticeship placement in early January, that they will no longer begin as planned. There has been much criticism over apprenticeships of this nature, that have no employer involvement, leading to ‘ghost jobs’ and candidates finding themselves post-apprenticeship left in the same tough job market despite their training.
The Government has recently promised to focus on training programmes that have failed to meet quality standards, skills minister has issued warnings that providers that were over claiming public money would have money withdrawn from them. Zenos has been asked by The Skills Funding agency to review its scheme because candidates aren’t guaranteed employment once the programme has finished. A spokesman for Zenos said they could guarantee a ‘wage’ for the new programme but any wage may just involve expenses.
‘ ‘We will be in touch by January 20th to give you clarity and provide information on the next steps. In the meantime we would recommend that you continue with whatever path you are currently on….’what happens next?’
The FAQ on the Zenos website offers some clarification:
‘We will be working over the next few days to ensure that each person is assessed properly and is offered the exact programme that ensures success. We will be in contact with you over the next few days in order to ask you some questions that will allow us to identify the most appropriate programme for you.’
The Zenos FAQ clarifies that technically apprentices are not classified as employed also states that ‘Our programme is a grade one outstanding quality programme that has a success rate of 91% into employment’
Their new training programme will NOT be officially called an apprenticeship.
The news has had a huge impact on candidates, some claim they turned down jobs thinking they had secured a place on the scheme, but it seems that the training provider have been shocked themselves by the short notice given for them to adapt their programme to fit in with new guidelines. They reassure the 300 19+ apprentices they are working hard to reschedule the training date to fit in with the same amount of time and ‘ensure that candidates have a successful career in the IT sector’.