A BRADFORD non-profit organisation has been told it needs to improve  its youth training programme by Government inspectors.

Aspire-i is the region's largest provider of employability training, and an Ofsted report into the group's Aspire2Work scheme was released yesterday.

Inspectors deemed the project for 16 to 18-year-olds "required improvement" after visiting in early July.

They said outcomes for learners were not sufficiently high, that development of English skills was "variable" and that the quality of sub-contractors used for training was inconsistent.

The head of the group, Caroline Harrison said there were issues, but she was confident the project would achieve a "good" or better result at the next inspection.

She said some of the subcontractors the project worked with last year have not had their contracts renewed.

Aspire-i provides training in different vocations, and uses subcontractors to train young people, who are often from disadvantaged backgrounds. In the last year almost 1,000 16-18 year olds have been involved.

It got the same result at the last inspection in 2013, and the report says: "The performance of subcontractors vary considerably, with considerable differences in the success rates for different vocational subjects. Retention is the main factor where outcomes are low."

It says that performance on hairdressing, beauty therapy and sports courses was high, but on construction, hospitality and catering was poor. It says staff did not always have enough experience or qualifications.

However it does add: "Learners, many of whom have few previous qualifications and arrive with low confidence and self esteem develop good personal, social and employability skills."

Mrs Harrison said: "Outcomes have improved by almost ten per cent since the last inspection in early 2013, and now stand above the national average for the provider group. The observations of Teaching and Learning carried out during the inspection were 71 per cent good or outstanding.

"Too many young people in Bradford do not stay on and complete their programme, and this impacts in a reduced overall outcome. It also adversely affects their life chances and this is something we are working hard to overcome.

"One of the biggest problems we experience is young people not turning up for their work placements. This is a great shame for all concerned, but it is a reflection of the impact of the huge challenges many of these young people have faced during their short lives.

"We are working to improve the lot of every young person we come into contact with, and not just those we believe will work hard and stay on to complete their qualifications. The programme works with some of the hardest to reach young people in our society. I am proud that we are able to support these youngsters in their quest for a brighter future."