Carillion, the facilities management and construction company, went into compulsory liquidation yesterday (15 Jan). They provide facilities management and catering services to a number of schools as well as being involved in several education building projects, and providing apprenticeships.
Yesterday, Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington, was clear in his statement to the House of Commons that fewer than 250 schools have direct contracts with Carillion, but there is still concern about how the 900 schools and colleges, and 1400 apprenticeships might be affected by the compulsory liquidation of Carillion.
Steps have been taken to transfer the training of all Carillion apprentices to the Construction Industry Training Board and DfE will continue to work with the apprentices who have been affected.
Mark Dawe, Chief Executive, Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), said:
AELP was very sorry to hear the news about Carillion. We know that there are some very dedicated and experienced staff in the company who have transformed the lives of young people through apprenticeships and we wish them well.
We have been in contact with the ESFA due to the concern of some of our members and we are pleased to see that the agency has moved swiftly to put the arrangements with CITB in place. As always, AELP and our members are always willing to work with the Agency to support and protect apprentices in situations like this. Continuity of their learning is vital.
Stefan Stern, director of the High Pay Centre, said:
Carillion is a reminder to critics of pay ratios, who sometimes argue that businesses will take the "easy option" of outsourcing to massage their ratios down. It never has been an easy, uncomplicated option.
Graham Hasting-Evans, Managing Director of NOCN Group said:
We are of course saddened by the news of Carillion’s demise, but we cannot let this undermine the careers of so many talented young people who really deserve the best help we can give them. I have met with CITB and we have jointly agreed that our organisations will work closely together to ensure Apprentices are properly looked after over the coming months. We will also liaise closely with ESFA to ensure all other Carillion learners can gain their qualifications. We share the same vision, to get these young people back into work and training as soon as possible with the minimum of disruption.
Asheem Singh, International Activist, Social Entrepreneur, and Journalist, said:
Government outsourcing megaliths like Carillon, who rinse the public for profit, are the antithesis of the moral marketplace of social enterprises. Our public services are a ticking time bomb as a result of contracts made with companies like Carillion.
The Government’s regrettable indifference to the real potential of social enterprise to reform public services and place social value at their heart – if it continues - will only result in waste and misery. I trust that Carillion’s collapse will be the stimulus for radical change.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
Our priority is to ensure schools can continue to operate as usual. We have planned extensively for this and have been working with local authorities and academy trusts since before Christmas to make sure contingency plans are in place.
We are continuing to offer support to schools help minimise disruption for pupils through our designated advice service.
For Carillions apprentices, we have taken steps to protect learners by transferring the training of Carillion apprentices to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), and we are grateful to CITB for helping us ensure learners can continue to gain the skills they need.
We will continue to work closely with the CITB to support apprentices to remain in existing placements or to find new employment with other local organisations so they can complete their training.
All schools have been able to continue to operate as usual, and DfE have been working closely with schools to provide as much support as possible.