Workforce Development Trust buys People 1st out of administration


The Workforce Development Trust has acquired key strategic elements of People 1st, the skills and talent management organisation that went into administration last week.

People 1st had led the development work on new apprenticeship standards and served as the External Quality Assurance (EQA) body for apprenticeships through sector employer leadership.

The acquisition will allow it to continue as a standalone organisation and continue focusing on its key activities including apprenticeships, EQA, accreditation services and work in the devolved nations and international markets.

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The Workforce Development Trust pledged to invest further into its apprenticeship services and EQA role following the takeover.

Edward Gallier, head of learning and development at Jurys Inn Hotels and chair of the Hospitality Apprenticeship Board, said: “As a charity and not-for-profit organisation, the Workforce Development Trust is an ideal new owner for People 1st and has ensured its financial stability. We are delighted that all of the EQA staff and expertise of People 1st will continue to work with us to ensure the success of our new apprenticeships.”

People 1st has been particularly successful in leading international developments and the international team have wholly transferred with the acquisition. This will ensure continuity of the service and mean that all future commitments will be honoured.

Simon Tarr, CEO of People 1st, said: “Working to facilitate the development of over 20 new apprenticeship standards has been a key achievement, as is the work we have done to support employers through the changes to apprenticeships and the numerous successful international contracts we have. WDT and People 1st share a common vision and have similar values, so becoming part of the WDT Group is an ideal solution for our clients and our people.”

The administration was handled by specialist business restructuring firm FRP Advisory.


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Zoe Monk

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