Empowering Learning

In May 2017, Graphite committed development capital to back an experienced management team in building a recruitment business providing supply teachers and support staff to UK schools.

The business plan is based primarily on strong organic growth supported by a limited number of  acquisitions. The company acquired Empowering Learning on inception and TimePlan in August; two of the most established and well respected agencies in the supply teaching market. The venture is led by Mohammed Azam, a highly talented CEO with an extensive and successful track record in the sector. Graphite has significant relevant experience in this market, with Capital Partners VII having generated 5.8x cost and an IRR of 68.1% from its investment in Education Personnel. 

The organic growth plan is driven primarily by attracting a large number of talented recruitment consultants and opening a substantial network of offices in the UK. The management team has a record of successfully growing companies rapidly where the hiring of significant numbers of staff and the opening of multiple sites have been core strategic drivers. 

Supply teaching involves the provision of temporary staff to cover planned and unplanned vacancies in school classrooms. The market is relatively stable as absences are not heavily influenced by the economic cycle. Short-term vacancies typically result from sickness (the rates of which are high amongst teachers) and training days. Longer term placements are driven by maternity leave cover (majority of teachers are female) and unfilled full-time vacancies. The group’s recruiters will focus on both areas in addition to permanent placements.