Students left stranded by the collapse of two Worcestershire training firms were given fresh hope after administrators said there had been strong interest from potential buyers.
The Birmingham office of PKF was called in to handle the administration of Hagley-based Advent Computer Training and Access 2 Careers after the firms’ directors Ivor Allchurch and Ashley Jones sent out an email saying they were closing their doors – leaving students who had paid thousands of pounds left mid-way through their courses.
PKF partners Ian Gould and Brian Hamblin are running the firms while a buyer is sought and confirmed talks have been taking place with interested parties. Mr Gould said: “We have been really pleased at the response.
“We have had a number of suitably qualified training companies offering to get involved and assist in this matter.
“We are in advanced discussions with a number of parties and all relevant stakeholders.
“However, there remain a lot of matters still to be resolved and it is unlikely anything significant will happen before Friday at the earliest.”
Mr Gould said he wanted to thank all those who had rallied round to keep the businesses going, in particular those staff that had come back to assist and provide information.
He had this message for the students: “I would ask them to bear with us. I know they have been waiting an awfully long time and I cannot make promises, but we are optimistic.”
Mr Gould said he would do his utmost to find the best solution for both the creditors and the students and identify a buyer to take over responsibility for the students and their courses.
He has previously stated that the size of the liability across both companies “will be largely dependent on how successful we are in mitigating the students’ losses through achieving an early sale”.
The collapse of Advent and Access 2 Careers comes as part of a spate of college collapses in the West Midlands which have left students desperately trying to obtain refunds.
Birmingham-based Best Colleges, which offered energy assessment training, collapsed leaving hundreds of local students up to £13,000 out of pocket.
*PKF has set up websites and helplines for those affected by the Advent and Access 2 Careers collapse. The websites are at www.pkf.co.uk/advent and www.pkf.co.uk/access2careers.