Recruitment giant Reed has acquired digital and technical training provider Code Nation.

Addressing the tech industry’s widening skills gap, the acquisition will enable Reed to offer specialised tech training. 

This will help to widen the talent pool available for businesses, by reskilling those with an interest in the sector, as well as offering opportunities for businesses to upskill their current employees to support talent retention and development.

It will also allow the company to drive better inclusivity in the technology sector. Reed will be able to use its recruitment expertise to source underrepresented talent, including women or those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and tap into Code Nation’s technology experts and industry knowledge to reskill such talent.

“The stark gap in digital technology skills is a known, wide-scale problem. The pace of change and fierce competition for technology and digital skills is far outstripping the workforce,” said James Reed CBE, chairman and CEO of Reed.

“We realised that partnering with a training provider wasn’t enough. We needed to be able to recruit and reskill new talent, or upskill existing employees, at a pace that matches market demands. Acquiring Code Nation allows us to do just that.”

Record revenues for listed Northcoders

Reed said the acquisition will also benefit Reed Talent Solutions – a contingent and permanent workforce solutions provider – by strengthening its ‘recruit, train and deploy’ solution for clients.

“By having Code Nation’s expertise on side, we will be able to offer more bespoke solutions for training to help resolve any particular, unique pain points that businesses are experiencing and begin to narrow the persistent skills gap the technology industry is battling,” added Reed.

Code Nation was founded in 2018 and quickly became one of the fastest-growing digital and technical training providers with a pioneering ethos around ‘creating employable talent’.

The companies aim to work with clients to make sure they are keeping abreast of current market needs by understanding specific technology developments to ensure training curriculum matches demands. The current training programmes offered will focus on four core subjects that are strongly in demand: software engineering, data, cybersecurity and robotic process automation.

FUEL Liverpool – how to build a ‘dream team’

Code Nation founder David Muir will continue to be involved in the business as managing partner. He will be joined by Michele Smith, managing director of client services at Reed Talent Solutions, who will take on the additional role of managing director of Code Nation.

“This acquisition represents a pivotal moment for our colleagues at Code Nation, our learners, our funding partners and our employers, as well as Reed,” said Muir.

“We are excited to see this merging of complementary strengths and resources to create something quite unique in the market. We will be able to offer a comprehensive suite of Reed Company Confidential solutions to employers struggling to fill those technical roles and for job seekers struggling to find their footing in the competitive tech space.

“By joining forces with a well-established and renowned company like Reed, with a mission of ‘improving lives through work’ we can continue to fulfil our mantra of creating work-ready, employable talent.”

James Wright, primary Investor and owner of Code Nation, said: “I’m proud to have been with Code Nation from the outset of its journey through the pandemic and to securing an Ofsted Grade 2 rating recently. 

“This acquisition will see Code Nation flourish with expanded reach and conversations with employers and extended solutions for employers and learners.”

Founder-friendly blueprint launched for UK software spinouts