EXCLUSIVE - Rutledge staff “at risk”

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Thirty one staff at the Derry branch of Rutledge are “at risk of redundancy” the company has confirmed.

Management at Rutledge have blamed a “fundamental shift” in government funding towards adult apprenticeships for the fact that all 240 staff at its 14 branches across Northern Ireland are deemed “at risk.”

The company provide vocational training and educational services for approximately 3,200 learners across the North.

Yesterday the training provider confirmed that, as yet, no one has received notice.

A spokesperson for Rutledge, said: “The Department of Employment and Learning announced on July 31, 2012 that a number of occupational areas funded under the Apprenticeships NI programme were no longer available for financial support which came into effect on August 27.

“The business will continue to seek placement opportunities in sectors whereby training can still be facilitated and will endeavour to introduce efficiency savings across the branch network in order to secure jobs.”

Rutledge dismissed rumours that its Derry office is to close adding: “Our operation in the city will remain open and this current situation will not in any way impact on the service provision for its clients.”