The move has stunned staff at the centre who claim the courses were well attended.
One told the News & Star: “This is another nail in the coffin of the future of Carlisle and Cumbria’s youngsters.
“Hundreds of kids have been earning qualifications and jobs over the years through the Carillion centre. We had 78 kids apply to come here in September who will now be turned away.
“It also means we are going to lose key skills for the county’s economy. We already have to bring in foreign labour on construction sites, this decision will make that worse.
“Not all kids are studious; the ones who come here want to learn practical skills that will get them a job. There has been a slight drop off in numbers in the last few years, but we are certainly not the worst performing centre.”
A Carillion spokeswoman said: “The centre has been there for seven years and in the last few years, the number of people applying has diminished. Unfortunately that means the centre is no longer viable.
“We have to have a certain number of people coming through and the numbers in Carlisle have been declining for two or three years.
“Although 78 people are said to have applied this year, not all would have been accepted.
“Eleven staff are affected and the centre will go through a phased closure, eventually closing in early 2011.
“The apprentices who are currently at the centre will be able to complete the courses they are on.”