INSPECTORS were left unsatisfied after a recent visit to a college.

The Greater Brighton Metropolitan College was rated Requires Improvement by Ofsted as “ too few apprentices achieve their qualifications, or they leave before the end of their course”.

The college has about 3,000 students aged 16 to 18, 2,500 adult learners and 1,500 apprentices spread across five sites in Brighton, Shoreham and Worthing.

It was rated Requires Improvement in six of the eight areas identified - the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, leadership and management, education programmes for young people, apprenticeships and provision for learners with high needs.

A spokesman for Ofsted said: “Apprentices do not experience consistently high-quality teaching and training. On too many apprenticeships, staff do not recognise properly what skills and knowledge apprentices already have.

“Their assessors do not make sure they complete their training on time.”

He added: “Governors, leaders and managers have not identified weaknesses accurately or acted quickly enough to improve the quality of education, particularly for apprentices. Too few assessors plan and organise apprentices’ learning programmes in ways that help them develop new knowledge and skills quickly.

“Too often, assessors do not link apprentices’ college training with what they are learning or doing at work.

“As a result, too few apprentices achieve their qualifications, or they leave before the end of their course.”

The inspectors also raised concerns over “irregular attendance” of students and a lack of opportunities for them to “develop their practical skills”.

The report stated that students “experience a very different quality of college life depending on where and what they study and the qualifications they take”.

The college was rated Good on its personal development and adult learning programmes.

The Ofsted spokesman said: “Students with high needs get very good support that develops the personal and social skills they need to become more independent.

“Most students aged 16 to 18 on courses at level 3 do very well at the college.

“Their teachers use their industry and teaching skills effectively. Students develop the skills they need to get jobs or go to university.

“Where apprentices experience better teaching and training, they quickly develop new skills.”

The college was set a list of areas which “need to improve”.

This included giving teachers further training when needed, improving the proportion of apprentices who achieve their qualifications and increasing the numbers of students aged 16-18-who “take part in meaningful, external work experience placements”.