City & Guilds buys third training provider

Trade Skills 4U joins from private equity firm Palatine

Trade Skills 4U joins from private equity firm Palatine

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Education giant City & Guilds has acquired its third training provider.

Trade Skills 4U, which delivers electrical engineering training including through skills bootcamps and apprenticeships, has joined from private equity firm Palatine for an undisclosed fee.

It becomes the third training provider to join City & Guilds. Intertrain, a large provider for the railway industry, was acquired in 2019 after Gen2, which claims to be the largest training provider to the UK civil nuclear industry, joined in May 2017.

Andy Moss, managing director at City & Guilds said investing in Trade Skills 4U “further strengthens our training delivery offer by extending our reach in the electrical engineering market”.

“By investing in the business, we will build on the great foundations already in place to accelerate our combined growth in electrical training,” he added.

Established in 2005, Trade Skills 4U claims to have helped train and retrain over 90,000 individuals through a range of commercial courses in its training centres across the country, including Gatwick, Leeds, Coventry and Warrington, as well as online programmes.

It began delivering apprenticeships last year and also delivers the government’s new skills bootcamps in partnership with Intertrain.

Ofsted is yet to publish a report on Trade Skills 4U, but City & Guilds told FE Week the provider received an early monitoring visit in August which resulted in a mix of ‘reasonable’ and ‘significant’ progress judgements. 

Kirstie Donnelly, chief executive of City & Guilds, said Trade Skills 4U joins her group at a “critical time as the UK grapples with severe skills shortages”.

Carl Bennett, founder and chief executive of Trade Skills 4U, added: “Together with City & Guilds it is our mission to support the delivery of electrical training in the UK. The data on skills shortages expected in coming years is alarming. So, as we rely more on our digital capability and the electrical system that powers it, we must make electrical training provision a priority.”    

Palatine backed Trade Skills 4U in 2017. Matt Coles, impact fund investment director at the private equity company, said City & Guilds “represents a natural home for Trade Skills 4U to continue to grow its scale and impact and we look forward to following the business’ future journey”.

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