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Pearson to exit adult learning business

Following a review since October 2012, Pearson have decided to start the process of closing Pearson in Practice, its adult training business:

Pearson in Practice was built around Pearson’s 2010 acquisition of Melorio plc. It provides high-quality, industry-specific training and qualifications through apprenticeships, work-based, technical and specialised training programmes. Over the past year, changes to the apprenticeships programme – and in particular the shift from a programme-led to an employer-led model – have reduced demand for the type of programmes offered by Pearson in Practice and limited the funding available to support their delivery. Pearson believes Pearson in Practice no longer has a sustainable business model and that we can better address learner needs in other ways.

WHile this is an understandable position given the changes to the apprenticeship programme in the UK – as mentioned, the shift of resources from programmes provided by training providers to employer provision, The FT provide a useful overview on the decision here. It also raises interesting questions given the recent announcement from UK government on introducing graduate apprenticeships for the professions in terms of longer-term sustainability of these apprenticeships without proper funding.

Update: Graham Attwell gives his views on the exit here in the context of privatisation of VET. In essence, direct provision of VET is a risky but necessary business – like so many public good activities – so rather than rely on the private sector, the risks should be socialised, eg, properly funded through the state

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