From education to employment

Check first with ESFA to get funded for transferred 3aaa apprentices

In conjunction with recent investigations, ESFA have issued notices to terminate contracts with 3aaa.

Since the closure of 3aaa, ESFA have established a taskforce to implement alternative arrangements for apprentices and their employers.

ESFA are working to ensure that every apprentice is transferred to another provider to complete their apprenticeship.


Employers who pay the levy can make their own arrangements to transfer their apprentices, using the Find Apprenticeship Training website to select another training provider.

If you are a levy employer and need help with this, please contact the National Apprenticeship Service by telephone on 0800 015 0600, or via email at [email protected].

Training providers who attempt to recruit apprentices without the approval of the employer and ESFA may not be funded for this activity.


ESFA have been grateful for the many offers of support from apprenticeship training providers who want to help those apprentices directly affected.

In cases such as this, ESFA have a managed approach to provider failure, which ensures that apprentices can continue their programmes with alternative providers who have both the capacity and capability to deliver high quality apprenticeship provision.

If you are approached by a levy paying employer to take on their apprentices affected by the closure of 3aaa, then you are free to enter into a contract with that employer and restart the apprentices programme. You do not need the permission of ESFA to do this.

If an employer asks you to take on their apprentices who are funded directly by ESFA, then you must contact ESFA via email at [email protected] and obtain their approval before re-starting the apprentices programme.

Where employers ask us to select an alternative provider, we use a range of qualitative information to identify those providers who are best placed to support the apprentice and employer.

In such cases, we will contact you, obtain your agreement to work with the employer and you will provide us with assurances that you have the resources available to support apprentices to restart and successfully complete their programme.

Aspire Achieve Advance 3aaa apprenticeship training provider termination of contracts.

In conjunction with recent investigations, ESFA have issued notices to terminate contracts with 3aaa. The notices will bring the contracts to an end in a three month period, in January 2019.

During the notice period, the suspension on apprenticeship enrolments remains in place. Their investigations will continue until all concerns have been addressed.

ESFA’s priority is to protect the apprentices and to ensure minimum disruption to their learning. ESFA will source high quality alternative provision as quickly as possible and support apprentices and employers to enable them to continue with their apprenticeship programme. They will write to all apprentices and employers to explain the next steps.

In the meantime, for enquiries from concerned apprentices, parents, or employers the ESFA has a dedicated support e-mail: [email protected]

3AAA logoStatement from the Directors of 3aaa:

“The Directors of 3aaa (the Company) have today requested Receivership to administer the business arrangements of the Company with immediate effect.

“This follows a meeting with the ESFA on Wednesday 10th October at which the ESFA confirmed there would be no further progress payments for Learners on Programme. This immediately removes the ability for the Company to continue to operate.

“This affects the employees, apprentices and clients with whom 3aaa has a relationship and to whom each employer of the apprentice must now determine with whom they wish the apprentice learning should take place in the future.

“The new management had hoped that the ESFA would have allowed it to have transferred the business to another qualified operator or in the worst case arranged an orderly closure of the business.

“The ESFA has opted not to allow that to happen so, in these extreme circumstances, the Directors have no option but to take this course following this ESFA decision.”

MarkDawe 100x100Responding to the announcement Mark Dawe, Chief Executive, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) said:

“Why weren’t the warning signs picked up sooner?

“Once we see the results of the investigation we will understand what appropriate action is needed to prevent this in the future while not inadvertently penalising good providers who employers are keen to work with.”

Izaak Crook100x100Former 3aaa marketing apprentice, Izaak Crook, Content Marketing Manager at AppInstitute, commented: 

“3aaa as a provider were a little bit of a mixed bag – I did feel there was a little bit of a lack of communication between employers, management and apprentices within the business at times. However, overall I had a very positive experience with them – specifically with the trainers and assessors I had throughout my Level 4 apprenticeship, who went above and beyond to help me complete my qualifications. I think with apprenticeships you get what you put in – if you do the bare minimum and don’t really engage in learning about the industry you might fall behind, but if you really put in the work they provide brilliant opportunities to get your foot in the door.

“To those that are worried about their training being stopped, don’t panic. Whilst 3aaa were one of the bigger providers there are plenty of others who will be looking to take you on. Keep working hard and doing what you can by yourself to stay ahead of the curve in your industry. 

“I would hope this news doesn’t deter people from starting apprenticeships. There are so many great opportunities out there to start a career that you’ll genuinely love, so keep at it!”

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