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First FE sector acquisition for Operam Education Group

Operam Education Group – the BGF-backed education recruitment specialist – has completed its first acquisition in the further education (FE) sector in the latest in a series of strategic acquisitions.

Operam Education Group, headquartered in Barnsley with operations in Liverpool, has acquired Nottingham-based Provision Recruitment for an undisclosed sum in a deal supported by HSBC and BGF.

Founded in 2004, Provision Recruitment has built up a strong reputation in the FE sector, supporting colleges with the recruitment of lecturers. It is the third Midlands based acquisition by multi-award winning Operam, joining Teachers UK and First for Education. The latest deal not only strengthens its regional footprint, but also enables the specialist education recruitment group to further expand into the FE sector across the UK, complementing its expertise in primary, secondary, SEND and tutoring recruitment.

Commenting on the acquisition, Operam CEO Eddie Austin said:

“Traditionally, the business has focused on mainstream and SEND education, as part our buy-and-build growth ambitions. This is our first acquisition in the further education sector which enables us to broaden our reach, both from a geographical and sector perspective, integrating a well-established businesses into the group that has real potential to scale across different locations in the UK.”

He added: “This latest acquisition is hugely complementary to our existing suite of services and means we now have the ability to support those in education right from primary school settings through to further education.”

Last year, BGF committed a further £2.5 million in follow-on funding to support Operam’s buy-and-build growth strategy, alongside £2.5 million of senior debt from HSBC.

GF investor Rob Johnson added:

“This is another exciting addition to the Operam portfolio – one which will further diversify both our service offering and client base. We look forward to welcoming Provision into the group, as we continue to cement Operam’s position as one of the leading education recruitment services providers in the UK.”

Operam Education Group were advised by Squire Patton Boggs (legal), and Connect CF (deal origination).

Provision Recruitment Limited were advised by Nelson Solicitors (legal)