Northern Ireland

40 jobs go at staff training firm First4Skills

The Belfast branch of the staff training company First4Skills is to close with the loss of around 40 jobs.

The company, which has around 600 staff across the UK, has gone into administration.

A spokesperson for the administrators, Deloitte, said branches in Wales will also close.

Parts of the company in Scotland and England have been sold on to new owners.

It is understood about 40 people worked at its premises in Belfast, located at the former gasworks site.

The company First4Skills carries out vocational training programmes.

Deloitte said most of the business had been sold to a joint venture company, but said "unfortunately, a sale of the Northern Ireland and Welsh apprenticeship business was not achievable, leading to the closure of these businesses".

Nick Edwards, partner at Deloitte, said: "Although First4Skills had been trading profitably, its cash position was falling.

"Students affected by the closure of company's Welsh and Northern Ireland apprenticeship programmes are being informed of the closure and we are actively working with the relevant government bodies to assist with the transfer of the learners to alternative providers."