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MP investigates into abandoned apprenticeship programmes

Written by on 17 January 2018

Sittingbourne & Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson looks into the future of training centre in Sittingbourne.

The MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey Gordon Henderson has said he was sorry to hear about the apprentices being turned away earlier this week and  would be contacting the company to find out exactly what is the situation, after dozens of apprentices turned up for work on Monday morning, only to be told to go home.

The training centre on Sittingbourne’s Trinity Trading Estate, which teaches school leavers carpentry, brick-laying, painting & decorating, is run by failing construction company Carillon, which has hit national headlines over the past week and employs over 20,000 people across the UK.

The company announced its crisis talks with creditors to restructure it’s £1.5 billion debts over the weekend had failed.

Mr Henderson said: “I know that Carillion nationally are in deep financial trouble and can understand them scaling back their apprenticeship programme, however, I am concerned that they did so without any warning.

“We have a host of jobs in the pipeline locally and it is important that we provide our young people with the skills needed to take those jobs.

“Therefore, should the Carillion training centre close, then I will be working with other local training organisation, such a Mainstream and East Kent College, to see whether they can supply similar construction apprenticeship courses.

Students turned up at the centre on Monday morning to begin another week of training were told to “turn around and head back home”. One student asked his tutor “Can you tell us what is going on?”

The tutor’s reply was “Good Luck” after shaking the student’s hand.

Over 80 people were being trained at the centre currently, back in 2014 over 150 trainees were signed up at the site.

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