A TRAINING centre which specialised in apprenticeships has closed after entering insolvency.

Catten College, based in Challenge Way, Colchester, has stopped operating with its contracts being passed to other firms.

The college, which ran Government-funded apprenticeship training in subjects including business administration, hairdressing and childcare, closed last month with staff being made redundant.

Bianca Catten, a director of Catten College, confirmed an insolvency practitioner was involved in the process.

She said: “We did have a contract with the Education Skills Funding Agency which we do not have anymore through no fault of our own.

“We cannot comment any further on anything which is ongoing.

“Training at the centre has stopped.

“Staff will receive redundancy payments and we have found jobs for them.”

The college has been operating in the area for about 35 years and has worked with several schools in north Essex including St Helena School in Colchester and Harwich and Dovercourt High School.

Ms Catten said: “I have been at the college for 25 years and we have trained thousands of people over the years in north Essex.

“We are devastated we will not be able to do so anymore.

“We would like to thank all the people who have worked with us over the years and all of the staff who have been incredibly supportive.

“Everyone has been found employment because we did not want anyone to be left in a difficult position.

“We are very sad and it is to do with Government funding regulations which caused us to close down.

“All we wanted to do was train people to help improve their lives and we have loved the opportunity to do that.”

The Gazette contacted the Department for Education over the matter and invited it to comment.

However, it did not respond by the time of going to press.