GE Caledonian Ltd v McCandliss - University sponsorship contract was not contract of employment [2011] EAT

Where the clear, over-arching purpose of a university sponsorship agreement is to enable a person to obtain education and training, and the company providing the sponsorship is under no obligation at any stage to offer employment to the student, then such a contractual arrangement cannot amount to a contract of employment.

Mr McCandliss worked under an apprenticeship with GE Caledonian Ltd (GE). When he completed this in June 2009 and gained his professional qualifications, he carried on working although he had no entitlement under his apprenticeship contract to employment with GE. From 2006, however, Mr McCandliss had also been being sponsored through a university degree course by GE - this ran for a three year period until September 2009 and as part of the terms Mr McCandliss was obliged to offer his employment to GE for two years on the sponsorship's completion, or else have to refund part of the money provided.

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