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Pearson announces exit from UK adult training business

Pearson said Monday it has decided to shut down its UK adult training business Pearson in Practice following lower-than-expected demand.

Pearson said Monday it has decided to shut down its UK adult training business Pearson in Practice following lower-than-expected demand.

Pearson in Practice - built around Pearson's 2010 acquisition of Melorio - provides industry-specific training and qualifications through apprenticeships, work-based, technical and specialised training programmes.

The FTSE 100 learning company said a review of the business last October revealed changes to the apprenticeships programme over the past year had reduced demand for Pearson and Practice services and limited the funding to support its delivery.

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"Pearson believes Pearson in Practice no longer has a sustainable business model and that we can better address learner needs in other ways," the firm said in a statement.

The cost of closure and impairment was estimated at £120m and will be reflected as a loss on disposal in Pearson's 2012 statutory accounts.

Pearson will work with the Skills Funding Agency to ensure learners and apprentices continue to receive the support they need.

They will help learners complete their courses on their current timetables through Pearson in Practice or through transfer to another training provider.

Pearson is set to hold discussions with Further Education colleges and other providers about the transfer of learners and apprentices, to ensure that they can complete their programmes.

John Fallon, Pearson's Chief Executive, 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."

Shares dropped 0.65% to 1,214.00p at 10:48 Monday.

RD

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