From education to employment

VT’s Simon Withey Speaks of Growing Education and Skills Strategy

In recent weeks, shipbuilding and support services firm VT Group has acquired two training and skills companies to further develop their coverage in the marketplace.

The move marked a successful stride forwards in the company’s mission to provide better and more comprehensive training and education to different sectors. Mr Simon Withey, the VT Group Education and Skills Managing Director, spoke to FE News about the move and declared it to be a step forward in the organisation’s marketing and development.

The Acquisitions

The first acquisition was of the Hotel and Catering Training Company (HCTC), which is one of the leading work-based learning providers specialising in the hospitality sector. HCTC Ltd. was purchased for a total cash consideration of £10 million, which sum will be payable upon the completion from the Groups existing cash balances. HCTC Ltd. had a turnover for 2005 of £14 million.

The second company acquired was Touchstone Learning and Skills, which was purchased for £12 million and provides work based training for the retail sector. Touchstone has annual profits of some £1 million, and both training providers work primarily through government funded contracts with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), Education and Learning Wales (ELWa) and Scottish Enterprise.

Part of the Plan

Speaking after the announcement, Mr. Withey said: “Our two recent acquisitions in vocational training, HCTC Ltd. and Touchstone Learning and Skills Ltd., are further evidence of our strategy to grow our Education and Skills business. We now have an annual run rate of around £100 million and believe that there is considerable potential to expand this.

“In particular,” he continued, “we see good opportunities in the Building Schools for the Future programme where we are short listed in Greenwich and Lewisham. We have a significant amount to offer this programme based on our experience in project management and education and skills support, including facilities management, ICT, education consultancy and administrative support for schools.”

Jethro Marsh

What should VT acquire next? Predict the FE market in the FE Blog

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