learndirect, the UK’s leading training provider, has achieved a Grade 2 (Good) for its delivery to clients and Grade 1 for effective leadership and management in a report released today (18 April).
In its judgment Ofsted praised learndirect’s ‘inspirational leadership at all levels and exceptionally good team working’ and said ‘learners attending centres clearly enjoy their learning and the learndirect experience, showing significant improvements in self-confidence and the ability to learn’.
Ofsted highlighted ‘the extremely positive views of hundreds of learners… and the infectious enthusiasm of staff, the learndirect experience being a life changing event and achievement of a qualification giving the confidence to go forward and find employment’, acknowledging ‘learners are well motivated and some find their lives transformed through the positive experience of learning’.
Inspectors also said ‘arrangements for quality improvement and performance management are exceptionally well carried out’ and ‘a very good proportion of learners achieve their planned qualification in learndirect centres; overall the outcomes for apprentices are good and workplace learning achievement of qualifications was very good in 2011/12’. It also highlighted how ‘management of subcontractors is excellent’.
This inspection came during a period of transition for learndirect as it continues work to merge with the JHP Group, a leading provider of Apprenticeships and employability services.
Given this Ofsted praised the organisation’s continued focus on providing quality services for learners saying ‘over a period of significant change, standards for hundreds of thousands of learners across the country have been maintained at least at good levels. learndirect has developed a positive culture clearly focused on helping learners improve skills and enhance their chances of employment’.
Sarah Jones, Chief Executive Officer at learndirect, said: “This report is an outstanding testament to the pride, passion and capability of every single person involved in delivering learndirect, whether in our own organisation or in our supplier network.
“We know thousands of people every week walk into a centre or give us a call on the first step on a journey to transform their own and their families’ lives. For the inspection team to recognise this and to praise the work we are doing gives me a huge sense of pride and satisfaction.
“As we continue to grow and diversify our commitment to our customers across the country will remain constant. This report provides us with a clear mandate to continue doing what we do, but also to continuously improve and to innovate, ensuring we can help thousands more people gain skills, get qualifications and to find sustainable employment.”
In its last inspection in 2008 learndirect was awarded an overall grade of 2. In 2012 the provision of the JHP Group was inspected and achieved an overall grade 2.
Areas for improvement cited by the inspection team include monitoring workplace learning programmes, improving taught learning sessions and improving the course search facility on the website.