In twelve months (August 2012 to August 2013) Babington saw its learner numbers increased by 160% from just over 1,200 to approximately 3,000, following the acquisition of work-based training provider Training for Today.
Skills Support Training
During the same period the company also experienced increased demand for skills support training courses for the unemployed. Babington trained over 1,200 NEETs – young people who are “Not in Education, Employment or Training” – of which over 900 secured employment. Babington currently works with over 1,600 employers supporting young adults to move into employment.
Background to Babington
Founded in 1974, Babington provides high quality training in a number of areas including Accountancy, Business Administration, Contact Centre Operations, Customer Service, Financial Services and Team Leading & Management. The company pioneered the first accountancy apprenticeship in the country and the first insurance apprenticeship in the North of England.
In 2009, Babington secured the backing of specialist fund manager Bridges Ventures and since then the two teams have been working closely together to fulfill the company’s growth ambitions – both by organic growth and via acquisitions. Bridges focuses on investing in growth businesses where financial returns can go hand-in-hand with positive impacts for society across different sectors, including education and skills.
Last year Bridges funded the acquisition of Bolton-based Training for Today, a move that strengthened both businesses. Over the last few months Babington has expanded its course offering further into financial services and broadened its geographic footprint with the opening of four new dedicated sites.
It has also launched a new website and developed a fully integrated e-learning platform which will offer learners the benefits and flexibility of online learning.
Carole Carson, Managing Director, Babington Group, said:
“We have been able to manage rapid expansion due to our consistent ability to provide excellent programmes that are designed to meet learners’ needs. The job market is becoming increasingly competitive and more young people are attracted to the idea of learning on the job. In order to meet that demand it’s crucially important that we continue to offer courses that are flexible in both their content and format.”
Garret Turley, Partner, Bridges Sustainable Growth Funds, said:
“Since we first backed Babington in 2009, we have been very supportive of the management team’s growth plans and we are delighted to see the lockstep of commercial success and social impact as learner numbers increase rapidly through classroom, work-based and online delivery.”