Slough Aspire to cater for business needs


Slough Aspire_steering_committee_2

One of the country's most innovative training and development projects, Slough Aspire, has been launched. Developed by SEGRO, with the support of private and public sector partners including East Berkshire College, Slough Aspire will become the 'first port of call for training and development needs' for businesses and the local community. The project will help the local community to develop the confidence and skills to take advantage of a rapidly changing employment market and ensure that employees have access to a talented and productive local workforce.

Slough Aspire forms an integral part of SEGRO's Vision for the Future master plan for Slough Trading Estate. Neil Impiazzi, Partnership Development Manager at SEGRO, said: "The concept behind Slough Aspire was created by SEGRO to help the local community access the 4,000 job that will be created over the next 20 years as part of our "Vision for the Future" master plan. However, given the benefits of the project we are committed to delivering Slough Aspire ahead of schedule in response to the needs of our customers and the local community. This project will not just underpin our exciting development plans for Slough Trading Estate but also help maintain its position as a leading business location in the Thames Valley.

"SEGRO has played an important role in the Slough 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".

The launch event marks an important milestone in the delivery of the project that will culminate in the opening of the Slough Aspire Centre, a 3,000 sq ft inspirational learning space on Slough Trading Estate later this year. The centre will be open to companies, schools and local residents and will play a critical role in enhancing and strengthening links between the community and local businesses.

A key programme being delivered as part of Slough Aspire is Business College Slough founded by East Berkshire College in collaboration with SEGRO. BCS supports business by creating and delivering tailor-made flexible training courses for staff that meet the needs of business.

Kate Webb, Principal of East Berkshire College, explains: "We are delighted to play a lead role in Slough Aspire. As part of this innovative public-private partnership, the College will be involved in resourcing and managing the Aspire Centre as well as utilising its expertise in delivering flexible training to meet the needs of business. The Business College Slough marks an exciting new direction for the College and builds upon our success in providing education and training for businesses and individuals in Slough over the past 35 years."

Amanda Davies, HR Director at Mars Chocolate UK, said: "We are very proud to be hosting the launch event for Slough Aspire and to showcase our Work Inspiration week, this is an excellent opportunity to provide students with some initial business experience and showcase a range of exciting careers within diverse industries including the food and drink sector. At Mars, engaging with students at an early stage is crucial to developing our business, identifying future talent and ensuring that we can help students to make informed decisions about their career path."

SEGRO is working in partnership with Mars, Ipsen, Lonza, Polycom, O2, RIM, UCB, Federation of Small Businesses, East Berkshire College, Slough Borough Council and Learning to Work (formerly the East Berkshire Education Business Partnership) to deliver the project. The centre is being delivered and funded through a public-private partnership.

Slough Aspire will deliver three core programmes:

Aspire for Schools aims to bring the world of work alive for young people. With direct involvement from the local business community the programme will raise aspirations and inspire young people by giving them the advice and skills they need to enjoy a successful career. Aspire for Schools is about shaping the future talent of Slough and every business should have an interest in this.

Learning to Work (formerly EBeBP) are the lead organisation for Aspire for Schools and have a proven track record of facilitating the link between education and local business. Learning to Work will provide support for all Aspire Partners who would like to engage in the programme.

Aspire for You is being led by Slough Borough Council and is designed to break down the barriers between residents and businesses in Slough. Slough is the 3rd most productive town in the UK outside London with a £2.5 billion output and although it continues to be a successful economic hub, its residents are missing out. People who live in Slough earn a lot less than people who work in Slough and we need to reduce this discrepancy.

Aspire for Business. Championed by East Berkshire College, Aspire for Business will deliver a range of training, mentoring and business development activities that aim to help Slough businesses maintain their competitiveness. The College is working with local business partners to ensure that Aspire for Business programme offers professional services for business including flexible, integrated learning, taught courses and apprenticeships. This demand-led training will respond to the needs of employers and enable businesses to partner with training providers and education institutions, including the College's new initiative: Business College Slough, a flexible modular higher skills offer for business and employees.

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