Logistics recruitment company snaps up HGV training firm

Wigan-based logistics recruitment firm Challenge TRG has acquired Birmingham’s Phoenix Training Services as it looks to expand its HGV driver skills expertise.

Following the deal the company, which rebranded from Challenge Group following the acquisition of TRG Logistics earlier this month, has a reported turnover of £120m.

Phoenix offers training in customer service, administration and forklift truck driving.

The financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

As part of the acquisition, founder and director, Trevor Cox, will remain in the business as a non-executive director, with operations director, Simon Bladon, who worked at Staffline Recruitment for 12 years, also moving over to Challenge TRG Group.

Challenge TRG said they made the decision to acquire Phoenix to help address the shortage of HGV workers, a predicted shortfall of 60,000 drivers across the UK.

It says it will also improve the skill set of its 4,000 temporary workers and 158 permanent employees.

Following the acquisition, the company will launch several training courses aimed at existing drivers, as well as encouraging more people to enter the industry, including a scheme to encourage people currently receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance to re-enter the workforce.

Tom Cropper, group CEO of Challenge TRG Group, commented: “Challenge has been working with Phoenix for over two years as our preferred training partner – for both internal colleagues and, more recently, training delivery for some of our key clients.

“The resourcing market is becoming increasingly difficult and we believe that this strategic investment provides the group with further access and control over our supply chain and an ability to provide a seamless, end-to-end solution for our clients.

“The intention is to overlay Phoenix’s training services across our business, with a focus on developing and engaging our workforce, whether across industrial or driving sectors.”

Phoenix founder Trevor Cox said: “After developing a strong relationship over the last couple of years, we’re delighted to be joining forces with Challenge TRG Group.

“The team has the same commitment and passion for investing in people, and using the latest training methods, to develop a robust workforce that ultimately provides clients with a higher quality of temporary workers.”

The deal was financed by Praetura and HSBC. Challenge Group was advised by SAS Daniels, Hill Dickinson and Grant Thornton, while TRG Logistics was advised by Gateley Plc, Grant Thornton and Boxington Corporate Finance.