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Advice for Members affected by the collapse of Options Skills

800 learners and counting. That’s the number who have come forward so far seeking help after the sudden collapse of training provider Options Skills.

Many of these had signed up to training packages costing up to £8,000 and found themselves with no access to their records, no idea if the evidence they’d submitted was lost forever, and little hope of seeing their money refunded.

TESP  is working closely with awarding organisation EAL to provide support for learners in what is currently a messy and complex situation. Options Skills operated a bespoke online system which EAL does not have access to, and although learners were mainly taking EAL qualifications, many were not registered so EAL has no way of identifying them unless they come forward.

Once learners are identified, we need to look at them individually to confirm which qualifications they were taking and  whether any evidence was assessed or can be retrieved.

Then comes the  big challenge: finding ways to allow those affected to continue their training.

Options Skills was one of a number of training providers selling expensive packages of qualifications, many of which are not required for qualified status but give the impression of being essential to become a “professional electrician”. 

Concern has been growing about this practice and the fallout from Options Skills’ collapse must be a wake up call for industry and the awarding bodies who license these providers. Once the immediate priority of support for learners is addressed, TESP will be leading work to see how we can put measures in place to ensure that this can never happen again.

Any ECA Members who have employees affected by this are advised to contact ECA Head of Education and Skills Carolyn Mason for advice, at