Northern Training Academy still ‘committed’ to providing industry training

The Northern Training Academy remains “committed” to providing industry training after losing its contract to run travel apprenticeships.

The training specialist has run travel consultant Level 3 courses since March 2015 but is no longer licensed to run the course.

It currently has 30 travel apprentices from agencies nationwide with a further 200 apprentices on non-related travel courses.

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The academy said it was helping to transition travel apprentices to other providers and was “actively involved with their smooth transfer”.

The news follows an Ofsted inspection in May 2023 which rated the Northern Training Academy as inadequate.

Managing director Jo Roche said: “It is a huge blow that our contract is ending in the next few months but we are currently completing our existing travel apprenticeships where this is possible and also helping with the transitioning of ongoing travel apprentices to a suitable provider.

“I remain committed to supporting the travel industry with the various training and development requirements that they have and am actively working on helping to source both apprenticeship and other training opportunities either directly or through partner organisations.”

Roche said the academy was remaining “at the forefront of advising the travel industry about apprenticeships as well as other vocational opportunities to help with the skills shortage” but was not seeking to regain an apprenticeship contract “at this time”.

Roche said she and business development director Mandy Priest were determined to continue to provide travel-related training and development. She said the academy had already embarked on several e-learning projects with travel firms and those outside the sector.

“Travel is in my blood and is all that I am passionate about, so I’m tirelessly working on solutions that best fit the industry,” she said.

Roche also criticised Ofsted, saying she believed there was “a hidden agenda” after the report highlighted the academy’s quality of education, leadership and management, adult learning programmes and apprenticeships as inadequate.

Roche said: “None of our travel employers or their apprentices were within the scope of the inspection in May 2023.

None of the very persuasive and excellent evidence of the quality of our delivery was evaluated during a distinctly uneven and unfair inspection.”

Ofsted said it does “not comment on individual inspection reports”.

MoreComment: Apprenticeships are a credible route into the workplace [Aug 23]

Advantage targets 50 apprentices within 12 months [Sept 23]

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