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bookLONDON: British publisher Pearson, owner of the Financial Times newspaper, said on Monday that it will close its adult training unit, in the first announcement made under new group chief executive John Fallon.


"In October 2012, Pearson announced that it had initiated a comprehensive review of Pearson in Practice, a UK adult training business, in response to a radically changing trading environment," the company said in a statement.


"Following that review, Pearson has decided that it plans to exit this business and is therefore entering into a consultation period with Pearson in Practice staff."


The business, which provides industry-specific training and qualifications through apprenticeships and specialised programmes, will continue to provide support for current learners to complete their studies.


Pearson said the division was "no longer has a sustainable business model" and added that the cost of closure and impairment would be about £120 million ($193 million, 148 million euros).


Fallon, 50, became chief executive on January 1, taking over from Marjorie Scardino who stepped down after 16 years at the helm.


He had previously been head of Pearson's international education division since 2008. Prior to that, he was head for the group's Europe, Middle East and Africa unit since 2003.


"Pearson in Practice has provided quality training programmes to thousands of young people who have a real need for skills that help them secure a job," said Fallon in Monday's statement.


"We very much regret the decision to plan for closure, but we believe we have explored and exhausted all alternatives. Our focus in the coming months will be on working with our partners in the further education sector and industry to ensure minimum disruption to learners who are currently enrolled in one of our programmes.


"We continue to believe that preparation for the workplace is a hugely important part of education provision in the UK, and we are committed to providing those services from other parts of Pearson," Fallon added.


Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013

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