The Department for Education has passed its findings from its ongoing investigation into Aspire Achieve Advance Limited (3aaa) to the police.
It comes as the Education and Skills Funding Agency announced it had terminated all its contracts with 3aaa, one of the UK’s largest apprenticeships providers. It received more than £31 million in government funding last year.
The directors of 3aaa said they had "no option" but to place the company into administration after its funding was withdrawn.
The funding agency said it came to the decision in conjunction with its recent investigations – which are still ongoing – into apprenticeship provider.
Referred to Action Fraud
Last month, the company’s founders Peter Marples and Di McEvoy-Robinson said they would leave the board of 3aaa 10 years after setting the company up.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We have terminated our contracts with 3aaa. Our priority now is to find new training providers as quickly as possible for the affected learners.
“We have put a specialist team in place to identify new providers and help learners with as little disruption as possible. Following our investigation, we have referred our findings to the police, through Action Fraud.
“We will look very carefully at what lessons can be learned as a result of this investigation.”
The chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, Mark Dawe, asked why the warning signs weren’t picked up sooner, adding: "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."