Slough Aspire celebrates five years of making a difference POSTED BY NATALIA ORLOWSKA: MARCH 2019 

Slough Aspire, one of the country's most innovative training and development projects, is celebrating five years of creating jobs, training solutions and partnerships. Friends, partners and beneficiaries gathered last week to mark the occasion and celebrate the Centre’s work which has positively impacted the people and businesses of Slough and the wider Berkshire community. 
Opening the event with a look back at their achievements and highlighting the positive impact Slough Aspire has had on the local area Fiona Jones, Chief Executive said: “Over the past five years, we have delivered hundreds of events that have helped local people get jobs, develop new skills, start or grow businesses and find out more about the world of work. We’ve done this through building constructive partnerships with local organisations and bringing business engagement to their valuable work. By putting business at the heart of what we do, Slough Aspire works as a conduit for skills and employment between the business and resident populations in Slough with the Aspire Centre as a hub.” 
The Centre’s long list of achievements are impressive, welcoming 15,536 visitors; engaging with over 400 local businesses committed to improving skills for Slough; enhancing 4,601 training and development interventions for unemployed residents; enabling 15,537 young people to engage directly with business professionals to improve careers awareness and raise aspirations; contributing to the creation of over 40 new company start-ups; and, supporting 2,483 local business professionals through workforce development, networking and recruitment services. 
Commenting on the growth of the private public partnership, Kate Webb Chair of the Slough Aspire Board of Directors and CEO of The Windsor Forest Colleges Group said: “The commitment to partnership and community integration has paid off for Slough Aspire with the investment from SEGRO and our colleges group cementing this success. Slough Aspire isn’t by itself, it is part of the community and if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a town to develop skills for its people. Slough Aspire is a nexus for that but it doesn’t do that alone, we all do that together.” 
A number of leading organisations joined the celebrations and shared their stories of how Slough Aspire has provided support and solutions to skills gaps for businesses and residents’ skills including: Andrew Hogger, Managing Director of Universal Security, Tim Smith, Chief Executive of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, Brian Murphy, lead for the East Berkshire Executive Job Club, Natalia Orlowska, Aspire Centre Apprentice, James Swindlehurst, Leader of Slough Borough Council, and, Gareth Osborn, Regional Unit Director, Thames Valley, for SEGRO Plc. 
Closing the event with birthday cake, guests took the opportunity to consider the Slough Aspire’s future success with Gareth Osborn commenting: “The Trading Estate is full of SMEs and Slough Aspire enables those companies to connect people for potential employment and training. This network is key to creating contacts between businesses and the local – something I think is important to the future success of both Slough Aspire and the local businesses. It’s our responsibility through this forum to inspire local businesses and young people.” 
To find out more about upcoming events and projects at Slough Aspire or how your business can benefit from support with workforce development, apprenticeships, recruitment and corporate social responsibility please contact Fiona Jones, Chief Executive of Slough Aspire via 
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