Sport apprentices locked in legal limbo

Sports apprentices are still owed a qualification and hundreds of pounds from a company run by a former international football player.

Around 18 youngsters took part in a NVQ sports apprenticeship programme with Luis Michael Training (LMT) at Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club between October and January this year.

The firm was due to pay the apprentices �95-a-week, but payments stopped two months after the course started, leaving each student �570 out of pocket.

LMT, run by former Welsh international Mark Haizelwood, claimed it was unable to pay because its contractors, South Thames College, was withholding funding.

The college says it terminated the contract and stopped funding because LMT had not delivered to its expectations.

Apprentice Aaron Neville, 19, of High Road, Dagenham, said he has heard nothing from LMT but he and the apprentices received �200 each from the college. He said: “I’m glad we got something, but we’re still owed �370, which to most of us is a lot of money. And we have no qualification to show for the course. I’m going to be careful when choosing courses in future.”

LMT has lost contracts with colleges across the country and is reportedly taking legal action against the institutions.