New Aspire Centre opens on the Slough Trading Estate

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One of the country's most innovative training and development projects, Slough Aspire, has now opened on the Slough Trading Estate. Slough Aspire is designed to be the first port of call for training and development needs for businesses and the local community.

Developed by SEGRO, Aspire has been delivered in partnership with Mars, Ipsen, Lonza, Polycom, O2, BlackBerry, UCB, Federation of Small Businesses, East Berkshire College, Slough Borough Council and Learning to Work.

The project aims to help the local community develop the confidence and skills to take advantage of a rapidly changing employment market and ensure that employers have access to a talented and productive local workforce.

The centre is open to companies, schools and local residents and looks to play a vital role in enhancing and strengthening links between the community and local businesses. Slough Aspire will offer a range of training programmes, events and career advice services that will help employers address their training and recruitment needs by connecting them with the local community and training providers.

Gareth Osborn, SEGRO's Business Unit Director for the Thames Valley said: "We are delighted to have opened the new Slough Aspire centre on the Slough Trading Estate. With the help and support of our customers and local partners, this business-led community project offers companies of all sizes an exciting opportunity to develop a skilled and talented local workforce.

"Slough Aspire underpins our exciting plans for the Trading Estate as well as helping to maintain Slough's position as a world class location for business. SEGRO has played an important role in the local community for nearly a century, providing a quarter of all jobs in the borough, and Slough Aspire will provide a fantastic opportunity to train local residents so they can compete more effectively for job opportunities."

Guests at the launch were joined by a local youth film group run by Resource Productions, who is already utilising the Aspire centre. The group is currently developing a promotional film, filming five events over the coming months to deliver the project by the end of the year. The filming at Slough Aspire was the first part of the assignment enabling them to learn new skills including lighting, photography and editing.

Student Leigh Reid (16, from Slough), who is currently studying a BTEC Media course at Windsor College, was one of the young people filming the event.

"Filming the launch of the new Slough Aspire Centre is a great learning opportunity. It has given me the chance to put the skills I'm learning at college into practice and gain real work experience. As well as filming some of the activities at the centre, we will also be interviewing the people and companies involved."

Saira Majid, winner of the Princess Badiya Mentor of the Year Award, also encouraged use of the centre through the entrepreneur network run through Aspire for You, in addition to the Mosaic programme which provides mentoring for disadvantaged young people.

Fiona Jones, Slough Aspire Manager, explains: "Slough Aspire is dedicated to developing the skills of local people to meet the needs of businesses and ensure the future prosperity of the town. Business involvement is vital to the success of the project and there are many ways businesses and individuals can get involved; from mentoring programmes and guest speaking to hosting an event or delivering industry specific taster sessions. The new centre will be a great resource for the whole community and I'm looking forward to working with all the Slough Aspire partners to put skills development and community business engagement at the top of everyone's agenda."

Slough Aspire delivers three core programmes:

- Aspire for Schools, led by Learning to Work which raises the aspirations of young people by bringing the world of work alive

- Aspire for You, led by Slough Borough Council and designed to break down the barriers between residents and businesses in Slough

- Aspire for Business, led by East Berkshire College, which will deliver a range of training, mentoring and business development activities that aim to help Slough businesses maintain their competitiveness

Since the launch of the Aspire programmes last year, more than 3,600 young people, their parents and teachers have engaged with local businesses at careers fairs and other pre-employment events. The programme has supported 21 local residents to improve their interview skills through workshops held by local businesses; delivered a range of short courses in team leading and management, held a series of Slough specific careers training workshops to local front line careers and employment advisors whilst also helping the creation of seven new businesses through the Inspire Business Network.

To find out how you can get involved in Slough Aspire, please contact Fiona Jones, Slough Aspire Manager via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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