learndirect Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

learndirect Reviews

Updated 14 August 2018
214 reviews

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1.6
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learndirect Chief Executive Officer Andy Palmer
Andy Palmer
94 Ratings

214 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • "The companies senior management are appalling" (in 23 reviews)

  • "LDC/Jhp focus on bums on seats and" (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Brilliant Team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at learndirect full-time

    Pros

    Fantastic team in the delivery centres
    Great team that support each other
    Dedicated and passionate tutors
    Flexibility
    Great progression opportunities

    Cons

    Its very changeable due to the nature of government funding and the industry as a whole but this ensures your skill set stays up to date

    Advice to Management

    Keep the focus on developing our teams. We have some great people that will turn into fantastic leaders


  2. Helpful (17)

    "Honestly, you really couldn't make this up..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at learndirect full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Before we open the dark door to the dungeon of truth, let me start off by saying this. The frontline staff at learndirect - Admin, Tutors, Partnerships, BM's and RM's are some of the most dedicated and fantastic staff I have ever had the good fortune to work with. Right to the very bitter end they have remained committed to their learners, referral partners and employers. Also, they have remained loyal to learndirect, a company that quite honestly does not deserve a shred of loyalty (see below for further expansion on this theme). Those actually running the centres deserve so much credit for the way they have carried on in the face of almost impossible adversity. Full respect to you all - you are all amazing people who deserve better. I don't even blame the SMT (although I know that many do) - lets be honest, the damage was done long ago (funny how those actually responsible always land on their feet with a another plum role).

    Cons

    The temptation to go into full on "Gammon / Falling Down" mode at this point would be far too easy, and the last thing I intend to do is to come across as bitter. However...... I don't think I have ever worked for an organisation where the frontline staff are treated with so much disrespect and disdain - especially during the 12 months post OFSTED. The lack of direct communication from the SMT is almost laughable - honestly, you would have a better chance of receiving regular updates via the Ouija board. As for our esteemed colleagues over at LDA - thanks! Thanks for ruining a fantastic company, dragging it through the dirt and then departing with a nice pay off with absolutely zero concern for the colleagues you left behind - I hope you enjoy life with your new masters, be warned though the gravy train is now empty.

    Advice to Management

    Respect your staff. Simple as that. Show some class and actually THANK them for their hard work and dedication BEFORE they close the centre doors for the final time. Just a quick email would do - something to show that you actually realise that they still exist. Seriously, try it - you'll be surprised, it might make you feel better about yourselves.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Business Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Manager in Bradford, Yorkshire and the Humber, England
    Former Employee - Business Manager in Bradford, Yorkshire and the Humber, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at learndirect full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Some very committed ,professional people who respect learners and have a genuine desire to help people. Hardworking tutors genuinely cared.

    Cons

    Ran by incompetent executive team who made decisions on a whim, had no regard for the staff who worked there and seemed oblivious of who we worked with.
    Senior team have a history of withholding information and lying to anyone not in the inner circle of a small few. Nepotism counted for more than ability. They are solely driven by the need to extract as much salary for themselves as possible and have no interest in the learners who used the end product, often referring them as "broken biscuits" . They were so arrogant they introduced a "No Plan B" ethos where it was all their was and no one else had an opinion, The ofsted grade 4 exposed a whole bag of rotten apples with management practices being the worst area. The senior exec response following this was " we need to do this for ofsted" or "just make it look good" no focus on the learners from the top. IT in the company was a joke with platforms constantly falling over stopping training. This however was only regarded as a minor issue where the phones being out of action for the people in head office who all had company mobils was the top priority. I went from being proud of working in the company to having to defend its clouded reputation on a daily basis. I am not as seems bitter as for 9 of my 10 years there I was proud to help numerous people to achieve their individual goals in life,

    Advice to Management

    Try putting as much passion into your work life as you do your social activities. Please change careers you have no place in any company involved in people. Andy stop being misled you were a great manager once.


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Judas', the lot of them."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at learndirect full-time

    Pros

    Was once great to work for - pre PRW and AP.

    Cons

    Unbelievable to think that a £160M company could be brought down by one person's incompetence, but LD are the proof that it can be done. And the vehicle for that? Bullying, lying, threatening, sleeping with anyone that could further her career, no integrity, credibility, respect. An absolute disgrace that this person could end up working anywhere else other than the floor of B&Q from whence she came. And as for the SMT moving across to PeoplePlus: whilst it says an awful lot about their integrity and lack of any moral backbone whatsoever (how many pieces of silver has PF had over the last 3 years?) it also demonstrates how highly PeoplePlus value those types of individuals. Vile, the lot of them.

    Advice to Management

    You can't have any mirrors in your house, otherwise you'd recognise the truly nasty pieces of work you actually are.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Abysmal"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Service Management Analyst in Sheffield, England
    Former Employee - Service Management Analyst in Sheffield, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at learndirect full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Sometimes the management are indifferent instead of belligerent. Don't worry, though, you'll either be redundant or outsourced soon enough.

    Cons

    Dodgy, catch-all job titles that mean nothing but technically require you to do anything you're asked of. Clueless upper management that under sane circumstances would never be in the positions that they occupy. A pageantry of hollow processes in place solely to cover necessary ISO compliance, all of which are circumvented on a whim.

    Advice to Management

    When you implemented the "There is no Plan B" initiative, you should've left the B out.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "What a sad and bitter end to a once really good company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sheffield, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sheffield, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at learndirect full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I worked with/for some great people. The company used to be really good before it was sold off to LDC. Prior to that employees used to get proper training, reviews, pay rises and bonuses. You felt respected, wanted and were rewarded.
    You could work flexible hours and were not "micro-managed"

    Cons

    The biggest 'con' was the government selling it off to LDC. From that point onwards it all went downhill rapidly..... there was the awful merger with JHP for starters. Managers were brought in who had no experience in the sector. From once being a non-profit organisation Learndirect was now all about making profit for the greedy bankers and directors ..... all at the expense of the employees and learners (the customers). Everything tried to be done on the cheap..... and so the holes started to show.
    Redundancy became as constant threat as one re-org followed another. Bits of the business got sold off or outsourced in an attempt to make the company look more attractive to potential investors....but there's the old saying "you can't polish a turd". Learndirect was doomed. Standards started slipping and so the company inevitably succumed to an Ofsted '4' rating. The rest has been much publicised in the media....

    Advice to Management

    Go and hang your heads in shame for what you've done. May you never be allowed to work anywhere near an educational establishment ever again or be allowed to clown around at a board level - no doubt you will though. At not once will you stop to think about all the people you have let down or put out of work.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "A sad end to a once great business"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at learndirect full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Even in the death throes of the company, there are still decent people who work here. Allowed to work at home a fair bit.

    Cons

    Well, where do I start? Learndirect used to be a great place to work, the sort of place you'd be proud to tell people about. The ethos of the company was laudable, and it was full of hard-working, brilliantly talented people who believed in what they did.
    So, what went wrong? There's a whole multitude of reasons why Learndirect went down the pan, but the cracks started when the company was, in effect, privatised. Then, a much trumpeted merger with JHP which brought together 2 dysfunctional companies to create a large dysfunctional company. Ex-JHP staff hated Learndirect, and a culture of suspicion and silo working began. Annual bonuses (for most staff - you can probably guess who continued to receive bonuses) and pay rises became a thing of the past. Staff morale became so low that the results of the annual Employee Opinion Survey (which included the bizarre question "what do you think of the media stories of learndirect?") were mysteriously never published. I wonder why? Company restructures became an annual event, and the risk of redundancy grew ever greater the longer you stayed there.
    This led to the infamous Ofsted Grade 4 rating, and the absolutely ludicrious decision to apply for an injunction to stop it being published. Quite why nobody took anyone in management aside to explain why this was a Very Bad Idea is beyond me. When the injunction was inevitably overturned, contracts were terminated, redundancies were announced and a once great company began to disappear from the high street. It's a pretty safe bet that in 6 months, learndirect as a company will cease to exist.

    Advice to Management

    You are solely responsible for the mess that Learndirect has ended up in. Not the media, not Ofsted, not the courts. You have created a culture of greed, cronyism, and incompetence. You should hang your heads in shame and never be allowed to work in the sector again.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Utter mess"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tutor in Preston, North West England, England
    Former Employee - Tutor in Preston, North West England, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at learndirect full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Leaving Leaving Leaving Leaving Leaving

    Cons

    Have to park miles away whilst obese managers who come once a week can park outside
    Was a sinking ship, now its sunk
    Managers with Mickey Mouse quals =£40k, Qualified Tutors Degree / PGCE = £22k

    Advice to Management

    You are fooling no one but yourself. They jump around like Usain Bolt when higher management then spend the rest of the week sat chatting, finding fault with others.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "No word from any one"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Tutor in Plymouth, England
    Former Employee - Tutor in Plymouth, England
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at learndirect full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Team at ground roots level were tremendous. Fully supportive of each other.

    Cons

    Where can I start. No thanks for your dedication but sorry this has happened.
    Disgusting.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate the ones that kept you afloat


  10. Helpful (14)

    "1600 staff discarded like used tissues."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at learndirect full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Brilliant colleagues, supportive Business and Regional Managers, who have made a real difference to peoples lives. The tutors and advisers in the centres are the real heroes of this company and will be a credit to any employer who takes them on.

    Cons

    SMT who couldn't care less about their staff. From the tone of their emails you would never guess that 1600 PEOPLE ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS. We have been lied to and ignored ever since the Ofsted inspection. We are losing our jobs because of THEIR mistakes while they carry on regardless on the good ship LDA. New owners, but same communication technique: let your staff find out what's happening through the press rather than talking to us directly. I've loved my time at learndirect thanks to my amazing colleagues and the brilliant support I have had from my immediate managers, but the events since the turn of the year have poisoned everything. The LDA Senior Managers jumping ship to People Plus after being instrumental in the Grade 4 Osfsted report takes the biscuit and displays their integrity.

    Advice to Management

    Try honesty. Try communication. Try caring. Try being just a tiny bit human. Try not to be self-absorbed narcissists living in a consequence-free bubble. I won't hold my breath when I'm signing on at the end of the month.


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