Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom Starcrest Education The Belt & Road Ltd Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom Starcrest Education The Belt & Road Ltd RSS feed en Mon, 22 Apr 2019 12:58:38 +0100 Genera CMS (Proactiveinvestors) (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[News - Starcrest Education seeks modern day riches on the 'New Silk Road' ]]> China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative has already seen huge investment to build a new trade route between Europe and Asia.

Starcrest Education The Belt and Road Limited (LON:OBOR) joined the LSE’s standard market in January to position itself for what comes next - an army of workers to maintain it

Watch: Starcrest Education targets Chin a's appetite for UK 'gold standard'

Described as China’s Marshall Plan or the ‘new Silk Road’, the aim is to provide a conduit for trade from the East to Europe, says John McLean, Starcrest’s non-executive chairman.

At a projected cost of more than US$1trn, the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative comprises a system of road, rail and shipping routes spanning 71 countries and half of the world’s population.

Informed guesses are that China has already spent more than US$200bn on the project, mostly in Asia.

Chinese exporting construction

Chinese construction firms have been building roads, power stations, airports and other key elements of infrastructure in numerous countries.

And it is through educating the blue-collar sectors that will support the OBOR that Starcrest sees a profitable future.

McLean explains that while China’s cleverest can move into higher education relatively seamlessly, for the next tier and beneath it is much harder to get qualifications.

“In China, there are six million school leavers a year. Of these, a small proportion goes to Uni, the rest do manual work.

“We will give these people access to other qualifications that can help them move onto a degree and a better education generally.”

It will not be a million miles away from a UK BTec, he says, in areas such as construction, carpentry, electrical work and civil engineering.

In other words, the type of unsexy artisan work that every country needs and depends on.

Artisans glue it all together 

“It is the glue that makes places run and will allow people in OBOR countries and China to raise their education levels.”

McLean aims to acquire a network of UK and European education institutions that can teach the practical skills required for workers both in China and other countries along the Belt and Road route.

Britain and Europe are still seen as the gold standard for education in China, says McLean.

Starcrest will buy the educational establishments and offer courses in practical subjects from the foundation all the way up to up to international baccalaureate standard.

Once the institutions have established their brand, the aim is to take them back to China or other ‘Belt and Road’ signatories.

Virtual teaching will enable it to expand the brands without the need for premises in each place.

Potential acquisitions have been identified and preliminary talks are underway, but a first purchase is not imminent.

McLean says it is still early in the process and he is working out the best business mix to achieve its plans.

Fundraise a sign of intent

Starcrest raised £4mln when it listed to give it the breathing space to find the most appropriate deal, a sum that McLean adds was also a statement of intent to show that this is a serious proposition.

China’s population is ageing and it needs its education quotient to rise quickly, he says.

A huge population also means the demand is there, while the Chinese recognise the UK’s gold standard reputation and understand the need for the education provider to make money.

“What’s required is the formula to bring all three elements together and translate them into something profitable.”

At 22.5p, the company is valued at £4.85mln.

Fri, 15 Feb 2019 11:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Media files - Starcrest Education targets China's appetite for UK 'gold standard' ]]> Tue, 12 Feb 2019 04:21:00 +0000