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Up-skilling acquisition to boost Adecco sales in fast-growing recruitment field

By Kalyeena Makortoff

Recruiter Adecco has snapped up US training firm General Assembly in a deal that values the American business at $412.5m (£289m).

The Zurich-based company - which employs 3,000 people across UK and Ireland - said the acquisition would position Adecco as a leader in the "fast-growing up-/re-skilling segment". Adecco added that it would complement its existing talent development, career transition and professional staffing businesses.

Adecco chief Alain Dehaze said: "Our clients are looking for partners to improve access to scarce 21st-century skills and help navigate workforce transformation.

"Demand for digital skills is growing but supply remains constrained."

Mr Dehaze cited data from the McKinsey Global Institute, which shows that as many as 375 million employees across the world will need to transition into new roles by 2030 due to the rise of automation.

"By offering General Assembly's services alongside the group's existing talent development, career transition and professional staffing solutions, we will be able to better respond to these client needs, enhancing supply of the most in-demand skills," he added.

General Assembly - founded in 2011 and with revenues of around $100m (£70m) in 2017 - offers training in areas including tech, data, design, and business.

General Assembly will operate as a separate division within the Adecco Group under chief executive Jake Schwartz.

"As our work with employers has grown, so has our need to connect in a deeper way with the world of human capital, and that is why we are so excited about the transformational opportunities that come with this partnership," said Mr Schwartz.

"We chose the Adecco Group because it brings a multitude of opportunities to serve clients, solve pervasive digital skills gaps, and align our offerings with the world-class brands that comprise the Adecco Group network."

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