Qube Learning, one of the England's largest Training Providers, has ceased trading today.
According to an article on FE Week - ' Owner Claire Whichello informed more than 200 staff of the “heart-breaking” decision to close today, which will affect around 3,500 learners who are mostly apprentices. In an email to staff, seen by FE Week, she said that “increased competition in the apprenticeship market, challenges regarding stagnant funding bands, uncertainty around adult education budget contracts and the expected expiry of our traineeship contracts has meant there is too much uncertainty for the business to continue”.
The decision comes just days after the Department for Education ended the provider’s HGV skills bootcamp contract. It is unclear how big a part this contract termination played in Qube’s decision to cease trading. The company’s latest accounts are for the year ending December 31, 2021 and show a £10.9 million turnover but a loss of £590,000 compared to a profit of £744,000 the year before.
Qube holds Education and Skills Funding Agency contracts worth £3.1 million in 2022/23 for adult education, traineeships and non-levy apprenticeships. The provider’s levy-funded contracts for this year are not yet known but in 2020/21 – the latest available data – it earned £7 million worth. In December 2022 Ofsted published a report that downgraded Qube from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’. The provider was incorporated in 1994 and has been one of the largest independent training providers for many years.'
This is very sad news for all those staff and learners affected, and this is becoming an all-to-familar story in our sector, with Qube being the latest in a number of major providers closing over the past year or so.
On a positive note, the Training sector has stepped up before, and is doing so again to help those affected ... LinkedIn was flooded with offers of help and support within just a couple of hours of this news going public. There are currently lots of vacancies in our sector, so hopefully lots of Qube Learning employees will be able to find new roles quickly.