Company History

learndirect was launched in 2000 by Ufi. The government created Ufi two years earlier, in 1998, in response to the New Labour concept of a University for Industry. Ufi was given a remit to use new technology to transform the delivery of learning and skills across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Through learndirect this vision has been realised. Even back then, we challenged the norm and took a bold step to deliver learning online.  In doing so, we have built a unique and market leading position – using technology to provide learning solutions.

learndirect has become the UK’s leading online learning provider, reaching into local communities, the workplace and people’s homes with flexible, accessible and supported online learning. With a mission to transform the skills and productivity of the working population by using technology to bring people together to work, share and learn online, we have shown how we can transform people’s lives and help businesses thrive.

Our work has needed to evolve to reflect the changing demands of our learner, the sector, as well as the political and economic landscape.  Technology enables to us to do this – the explosion and power of the internet pushes us to find new ways to help people and businesses achieve their goals.

In 2011, the Ufi Charitable Trust (UCT), sold Ufi Ltd and learndirect to private equity house Lloyds Development Capital (LDC).


JHP Group Limited was established in 1983 by JH Pitman, with a family history of training commitment dating back almost two centuries.

In early 2010, a management buy-out by the Executive Board in partnership with LDC (Lloyds Development Capital) gave significant growth opportunities to the business, and enabled skills and employability services to be offered to many more customers.

In Autumn 2012 learndirect and JHP merged under the learndirect name to offer a wide range of customers a seamless service such as: employability support to help people find a job; skills crucial to getting and retaining a job like maths, English, IT and soft skills like communication and team building; in-work training through online courses and Apprenticeships. We have a comprehensive offer to customers and can build continuous learning journeys from pre-entry courses and qualifications to level 4 and beyond.

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