Behind the Deal: Luke Muscat, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Back2Work Group
PALATINE Private Equity’s Impact Fund has taken a stake in fast-growing skills, training and apprenticeships provider Back2Work Group.
Luke Muscat, co-founder and Managing Director, describes building the business and what he hopes to achieve in partnership with Palatine.
After graduating, I thought about a career in finance, but decided instead to launch the business with a family friend, Tony Bailey, as we saw an opportunity for a skills and training company that would work closely with employers to help them fill vacancies with good quality candidates.
We’ve grown steadily over the last 10 years, across all three divisions – unemployed training, employed training and apprenticeships, despite the historically very low unemployment rate.
Clearly, the Covid pandemic has significantly impacted large parts of our economy, and we see Back2Work playing an important role in helping those unfortunately affected and now unemployed learn new skills and return to work.
In particular, Covid has accelerated dramatically the shift towards a digital economy, which emphasises the need for new skills in the workforce. As a result there is soaring demand for digital skills, ranging from front-end developers to cyber security professionals and network engineers. Consequentially we’ve seen incredible growth in e-commerce and its supply chain such as logistics.
We are really pleased to be working with Palatine on this next chapter for Back2Work. We first met the team around two years ago, before we were ready for investment, and we’ve stayed in touch informally, a couple of times a year, since then.
I believe they will be an excellent partner for us – they have a strong track record of working with entrepreneurial businesses like ours and creating value over the long term. There is a really strong sense of shared values with the Impact Fund team alongside Palatine’s commitment to ESG across their business.
Looking forward, I am really excited. We have a clear organic growth plan for all three divisions based on winning more contracts and possible geographical expansion on the apprenticeships side – which is currently focused solely on Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire – and we’ll also look at selected acquisition opportunities to add value to the business.”