Pearson is to exit its UK adult training business, Pearson in Practice.
After launching a comprehensive review into the business in October 2012, Pearson has decided to close the business, at a cost of around £120m.
The company, which was built around Pearson’s 2010 acquisition of Melorio p.l.c., delivered industry-specific training, including apprenticeships and work-based programmes.
Pearson said in a statement that: "Over the past year, changes to the apprenticeships programme—and in particular the shift from a programme-led to an employer-led model—have reduced demand for the type of programmes offered by Pearson in Practice and limited the funding available to support their delivery." It has now entered into a consultation with the staff.
Pearson added that they would continue to support people still undertaking their courses, in some cases by transferring their training to another provider. Pearson is also looking to transfer the Pearson in Practice assets to other providers.
Pearson, which owns trade publisher Penguin and the Financial Times newspaper as well as their education businesses, also runs Pearson Work Based Learning, which delivers workplace training and industry qualifications to young people in the UK.
John Fallon, Pearson’s new chief executive who took over from Dame Marjorie Scardino at the start of the year said: "Pearson in Practice has provided quality training programmes to thousands of young people who have a real need for skills that help them secure a job.
"We very much regret the decision to plan for closure, but we believe we have explored and exhausted all alternatives. Our focus in the coming months will be on working with our partners in the further education sector and industry to ensure minimum disruption to learners who are currently enrolled in one of our programmes."
He added: "We continue to believe that preparation for the workplace is a hugely important part of education provision in the UK, and we are committed to providing those services from other parts of Pearson."