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NCFE announces acquisition of ForSkills

National awarding organisation, NCFE, has announced its acquisition of ForSkills, an e-learning business that provides diagnostic assessments and learning resources for Functional Skills qualifications to organisations across the UK.

Newcastle-headquartered NCFE has already worked with Mansfield-based ForSkills on a partnership basis, providing customers with access to ForSkills’ diagnostics and interactive learning resources in order to support them in delivering NCFE Functional Skills. Building on this, NCFE decided to enter into an acquisition agreement with ForSkills so that the organisation can continue to meet customer needs and adapt to changes in the sector.

This follows on from NCFE’s acquisition of St Albans-based awarding organisation CACHE last year, and is part of its ongoing plans to grow and diversify.

ForSkills will continue to operate from its offices in Mansfield and County Durham, with its 14 staff – many of whom are specialists in online diagnostic testing and learning content for Functional Skills and GCSE qualifications. ForSkills will now be overseen by a management board made up of NCFE directors and Myles Ponsonby, Executive Director of ForSkills.

Esme Winch, NCFE’s Managing Director, said: “As a result of recent changes and challenges in the awarding sector, we are looking to diversify from our core business of awarding and this acquisition aligns with that growth strategy.

“With ForSkills as part of NCFE, we will have a full end-to-end solution for the Functional Skills market, which is a sustainable market protected by the legal entitlement to funded training and qualifications for English and Maths. We will be in a strong position to increase our market share with an offer that meets the proposed new Functional Skills standards in 2018, and we look forward to working closely with ForSkills to achieve this.”

Myles Ponsonby, Executive Director of ForSkills, said: “Following on from a successful few years, in which we have enjoyed working with NCFE, we are pleased to now become part of the organisation. This is an exciting new chapter for us, and we are confident that NCFE – an ambitious and forward thinking organisation – is the right company to take ForSkills forward and pursue the opportunities in the growing Functional Skills qualifications market.”

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