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8 April 2009

Another private sector firm funded by the DWP to provide training to unemployed people has gone bust, leaving behind angry staff and clients.

CeeMac websiteNorfolk based CeeMac Projects (UK) Ltd went into administration at the end of March.  However, angry former employees posting on the IndusDelta website have alleged that the parent company CeeMac Ltd has simply opened up shop a few miles up the road and had the contract transferred there, leaving its debts behind.

CeeMac Projects had various training contracts with government agencies, including the Learning Skills Council.  But their main contract was a European Social Fund financed initiative administered by the DWP.  The project gives long-term unemployed people skills training to help them get back into work.

The company had a damning Ofsted report in January of this year, prior to closing down.  It was awarded the lowest grade – grade 4 – in every single area.  Inspectors found, for example, that there there were no procedures in place to background check staff and that the promotion of equal opportunities was inadequate.  

Indeed, inadequate was the only word to describe the whole operation, as this extract from the Ofsted report demonstrates:

“The overall effectiveness of the provision is inadequate. Achievement and standards, the quality of provision, leadership and management and equality of opportunity are inadequate. The provision for advice and guidance and for business and management are inadequate.

CeeMac has an inadequate capacity to improve. Learners make slow progress. The quality of the provision is inadequate as are leadership and management.”

One poster claims that they were completing an NVQ with Cee-Mac Projects and alleges that they had three different assessors during an eight month period because staff kept leaving.  They now don’t know how they will complete their training. 

CeeMac's former website has been taken down, with just a placeholder and the European Social Fund logo plus an email link remaining.

CeeMac Projects joins Instant Muscle and Carter and Carter in a growing list of DWP funded companies which have gone down the drain.  With the credit crunch deepening, rumours abound of other companies heading for the same plughole.

Visit the IndusDelta website for more on this story.

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