Aizelwood’s scheme leaves apprentices out of pocket

Barking and Dagenham sports apprentices have been left unpaid by a course run by a former international football player.

Luis Michael Training, which held a NVQ sports apprenticeship programme at Dagenham and Redbridge Football club between �October 2010 and January, owes around 18 young �people six weeks pay – �570 each.

The company, run by former Welsh international Mark Aizlewood, says it is unable to pay the �apprentices because their contractors, South Thames �College, has terminated the contract and withheld funding.

Whether the apprentices will get their qualification is also in doubt.

The college claims it stopped the funding �because LMT had not “delivered to our expectations”.

It was due to meet apprentices today to discuss the issue.

One, Aaron Nevill, 19, of Blackbourne Road, �Dagenham, says the �95 weekly payment stopped around two months after the course started.

Most Read

“They told us it had something to do with the bad weather at first,” he said.

“After a lot of unanswered calls and emails we got some pay but then after Christmas it stopped again and we were told that the South Thames We’re withholding funding. Since then we haven’t had anything.

“The amount of money might not sound a lot to some people but for us it is. Luckily I’m living at home but I know of one person who has been evicted because she can’t pay her rent. I think it’s appalling the way we have been treated.”

Keith Williams, a director at LMT, told the POST that the company has lost a number of contracts with colleges across the country and around 1,000 apprentices are waiting for payment.

“We haven’t been told exactly why they have �terminated the contracts and our legal team is looking in to that.

“We our devastated for the young people as they are always our number one priority. We continued with the Dagenham course even though the funding wasn’t coming through because we wanted to make sure the apprentices received a qualification.

“Unfortunately without the college funding we just don’t have the money to pay them.”

A South Thames College spokeswoman said: “Regrettably, LMT has not delivered to our expectations and we are no longer working with them.

“We have terminated the contract and are in �direct contact with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Apprenticeship Unit and the �Dagenham and Redbridge and Football Club in �order to resolve the issue.”