London 2 November 2022 City & Guilds, the global skills development organisation, has today announced the acquisition of Trade Skills 4U, one of the UK’s leading training providers for electrical engineering, from private equity firm Palatine.

Established in 2005, Trade Skills 4U has helped over 90,000 individuals of all ages train and retrain in skills that lead to continuing work and careers in the electrical industry.

We deliver a wide range of electrical courses and assessments in the electrical sector including Skills Bootcamps, C&G 5357 Electrical Apprenticeship, and City & Guilds accredited electrical qualifications. Our courses are delivered via electrical training centres across the country, including Gatwick, Leeds, Coventry, and Warrington, and also via a range of market-leading online programmes.

With this acquisition, Trade Skills 4U strengthens City & Guilds’ offer across engineering, construction, and transport following that of rail training company Intertrain in November 2019. It also supports City & Guilds’ responsible business agenda, with Trade Skills 4U already delivering a suite of green and renewable energy electrical courses to support people in living and working more sustainably.

City & Guilds Tackles Skills Gaps Across the Country

With significant skills gaps across the country, City & Guilds’ Great Jobs research published earlier this year revealed there will be 3.1 million essential job openings in industries including construction, engineering, and transport in the next five years. There is substantial demand for skills development in these key industries to meet this demand. By combining the strengths of both City & Guilds and Trade Skills 4U, they will deliver electrical training that supports the workforce to ensure efficient and safe practice in homes, places of work and societies.

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, Chief Executive of City & Guilds said:
“Trade Skills 4U is joining the City & Guilds community at a critical time as the UK grapples with severe skills shortages. Trade Skills 4U prides itself on inclusivity and removing barriers to work, ensuring individuals from all walks of life can access high-quality skills training that leads to meaningful careers. This perfectly aligns to our City & Guilds purpose of helping people into jobs and by championing this together we can ensure that we are further providing opportunities and the skills needed to succeed.”

Carl Bennett, Founder & Chief Executive of Trade Skills 4U said:
“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 provisions a priority. Although there is a lot to do, together we are part of the solution, and we will do all that we can to support our industry.”

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. We’ve worked with the team at Trade Skills 4U for many years, and we’re proud to now be coming much closer together. By investing in the business, we will build on the great foundations already in place to accelerate our combined growth in electrical training.”

Palatine backed Trade Skills 4U in 2017 as the first investment from its Impact Fund which was established to invest in commercially driven businesses with a mission to positively impact society or the environment. Since then, it has supported the business to open two new training centres in Leeds and Coventry, appoint a new chairman and financial director and improve the digital infrastructure.

Matt Coles, Impact Fund Investment Director at Palatine, said:
“As our first-ever Impact investment we are incredibly proud of all we have achieved with Carl and the Trade Skills 4U team over the last five years. Together we have grown an exceptional business that is having a clear impact on addressing skills shortages and improving social mobility in the UK. 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.”