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BGF invests £5m in Apprentify

BGF News 02.08.2022
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Apprenticeship training provider, Apprentify, has announced a £5 million investment from BGF.

Alderley Park-headquartered Apprentify specialises in digital marketing, social media and tech courses, enabling employers to recruit and train apprentices skilled ‘for the jobs of tomorrow’.

The investment, alongside debt funding from OakNorth, has allowed the business to acquire West Midlands based Netcom Training, a leading digital training provider for adults seeking to up or reskill, whilst also positioning the group to execute an ambitious buy and build strategy in the apprenticeship and adult education market.

Commenting on the deal, Jonathan Fitchew, Executive Chairman at Apprentify, said: “For most businesses, grappling with talent issues continues to be their greatest challenge. We help to solve this for businesses, developing peoples’ skills to enable them to take on quality roles, while closing the skills gap across sectors. In recent years, we’ve built up a strong reputation amongst employers for our value-add approach and active involvement in the development of high-quality candidates, significantly contributing to our high apprentice success rate.”

Paul Drew, Group CEO at Apprentify, added: “By maintaining a steadfast approach to delivering high quality outcomes, we are keen to expand our presence in digital marketing, social media, tech and other in-demand apprenticeship training spaces. Moreover, the acquisition of Netcom opens up the AEB (Adult Education Budget) market and increases our touch points along the adult learning pathway.

“To achieve our ambitious goals, we were keen to partner with a highly regarded minority investor with a long-term outlook – one that has a strong track record of helping businesses scale through buy and build, whilst offering additional value-add on strategy, and we are therefore delighted to be welcoming BGF to the shareholder group.”

The deal was led by Pinesh Mehta and Josh Bean, investors in BGF’s Manchester team. As part of the deal, experienced private equity non-executive Warwick Nash will also join the Apprentify board as non-executive chair.

The apprenticeship and adult education market has been subject to increased focus over recent years, with the launch of the apprenticeship levy in 2017 and increased devolved funding for adult education.

BGF’s Pinesh Mehta said: “The adult education and apprenticeship market, particularly for digital related courses, is being driven by a favourable political environment and growing skills gap across the UK workforce, and provides an exciting platform for growth. We were attracted to the strong growth and exceptionally high quality of outcomes achieved by the team at Apprentify, together with the strong and experienced management team. Netcom adds another piece of the jigsaw, expanding the range of courses and course types the business can deliver to better serve the UK’s adult workforce looking to upskill or retrain. As such, we’re delighted to be joining the team on the next stage of their growth journey.”