APPRENTICESHIP funding for an ambulance trust has been axed after a damning Ofsted report revealed “insufficient progress” had been made to safeguard students.

Ofsted inspectors blasted the trust after it found that leaders have been “too slow making changes to improve the safety of their apprentices”.

The report revealed that a “significant minority” of apprentices still experience “inappropriate behaviour”, despite senior leaders increasing the number of staff in the safeguarding team.

Inspectors carried out a visit back in January after concerns were raised over the safeguarding of apprentices, and found students felt less able to raise concerns about poor behaviour.

As a result of the criticism against the trust, the Education and Skills Funding Agency has withdrawn funding for its level three and level four apprenticeship learning.

While the trust will continue to employ apprentices and provide clinical training, the education of students will be transferred to another training organisation.

The decision will not affect university placement provision.

At the time of the visit, a total of 661 apprentices were studying level three and level four apprentices with the trust.

During the inspection, Ofsted also found leaders and managers don’t encourage apprentices to discuss low level concerns that arise and, as a result, managers have an overly optimistic view of the issues that still exist in the service.

However inspectors did acknowledge that leaders take swift action when concerns are raised about a member of staff and they fully support managers to establish the culture change needed within the service.

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The trust has insisted that it’s working with Health Education England to look at how it can improve education and training for the future.

To address Ofsted feedback, the trust has taken a number of actions which include investing in a culture programme and campaign to tackle poor behaviour and encourage all learners and staff to raise any concerns.

The ambulance service are also providing. additional support for managers to ask about and challenge behaviour in the workplace.

Tom Davis, interim CEO of EEAST, said: “We’re working closely with partners to make sure the transition to a new learning provider is as seamless as possible for our apprenticeship students and are determined to make improvements so that these learners feel well supported while they continue their clinical placements with us.

“We want every staff member to have a positive experience of our organisation. We’ve since put further changes in place to strengthen our safeguarding training and student support, and will be undertaking a detailed review of our education and training provision so that we can improve student experience now and in the future.”