‘Two years wasted’: Apprentice left in the lurch by training provider closure

Jordan Jewell says he's wasted two years after Construction Training Specialists closed down, leavin

Jordan Jewell says he's wasted two years after Construction Training Specialists closed down, leaving the apprentice with an unfinished qualification. - Credit: Archant

A Norwich teenager has said he has 'wasted' two years of his career following the closure of Construction Training Specialists (CTS).

Bricklayers at CTS. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Bricklayers at CTS. Photo by Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Training provider CTS announced it had gone bust earlier this month apparently leaving hundreds of apprentices in the lurch.

Jordan Jewell was learning bricklaying with the company and was just weeks away from gaining enough UCAS points to apply for an architecture degree.

But having learned of the educator's collapse, Mr Jewell attempted to contact the business to no avail.

"I'm really annoyed because it feels like I've just wasted two years and now I'm back to square one," the 18-year-old said.

"I read about CTS online and tried to call the CTS bosses but never spoke to anyone. I went there the following day and it had completely shut down and been packed up. My boss got a letter but I was never told."

Mr Jewell was undertaking a level two diploma in bricklaying while working for BesCon near Dereham.

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"There were about 15 of us in my class and we've all been left in the dark. I'd estimate there were between 300 and 500 apprentices with CTS.

"The problem is all my paperwork was in a folder which I don't think I'll get back - all my health and safety notes and my theory work.

"All of my practical work was also in the building so I've got nothing to show for two years of working. I was just a few points away from applying to university and now it feels like I'm back to the beginning."

CTS received a number of grants from both the European Social Fund and the government - its latest public funding grant totalling around £487,000.

It has made 16 people redundant following its closure.

Mr Jewell is hoping to work with another college or school in Norfolk to finish his course.

"I hope someone can help advise me on where I can finish my course and what I can do," he added.

After the news of the closure Greg Hanrahan, director of CTS, said: "The welfare of our apprentices is at the forefront of our minds and we are working closely with the Education and Skills Funding Agency and other parties to find alternative providers to support apprentices and their employers in completing their studies."