More than a dozen apprentices left high and dry by the closure of an Aberdeen organisation have found a new training centre – 30miles up the road in Peterhead.
Peterhead Engineers Development (PEDL) will take on 13 apprentices who were training at ITCA when it was placed into liquidation last month.
PEDL is the training partner of Score Group, whose managing director, Conrad Ritchie, said he was “delighted” with the development.
The apprentices are employed by 11 different companies.
Mr Ritchie confirmed that the 13 trainees would stay on the books of their current employers while training with PEDL.
ITCA opened in the north-east in 1989 and became one of the biggest engineering apprenticeship firms in Scotland.
But the centre was hit hard by the downturn and the subsequent drop in spending on training programmes, as well as an increase in business rates.
The organisation tried to lower its cost base, but its efforts ultimately fell short.
Its liquidation put 10 staff members out of work and left 125 apprentices scrambling to find places at other centres.
PEDL managing director Leighton Willox said: “We have been in discussions with SDS and now employers on taking over the training provision for a number of the engineering apprentices left without provision due to the ITCA closure.
“Whilst we welcome working with new employers and will ensure these apprentices receive good support the whole situation is very disappointing.
“Industry in the north-east needs options in terms of training providers for modern apprenticeship provision and the remaining training providers are going to come under threat unless there is more effective distribution of the Apprentice Levy funds.
Mr Ritchie said: “We are delighted to be able to offer these trainees a pathway to secure the completion of their formal apprenticeship training and we thank Skills Development Scotland for working with us to secure these 13 places.”
A spokesperson for Skills Development Scotland (SDS) said: “Working with all those involved, we have now identified alternative training providers for all those wishing to complete their apprenticeship.
“Employers will continue to be consulted and kept up-to-date on the transfer process.
“SDS took a range of factors into account for the apprentice transfers, including the type of training offered by each alternative provider, employer preferences and importantly and the providers’ performance.”