Aspire Leads Business Pledge

Businesses turned out in force to pledge support for a North Staffordshire housing group that has transformed homes and neighbourhoods, and provided life-changing opportunities for thousands of local people.

The Aspire Group welcomed representatives from 125 companies to the business to business event. It called on suppliers to share its main aims of encouraging neighbourhood regeneration, raising skills by recruiting apprentices from its social enterprise arm PM Training, and providing financial support for the Realise Foundation.

Every year Aspire spends £25 million with suppliers of goods and services. Moving forward, the organisation will take into account suppliers’ support for training and community regeneration when evaluating tenders.

Chief Executive Sinead Butters introduced guests to the newly launched Realise Foundation which will invest £0.5 million in the area and its people in the next 12 months, and called on businesses to be bold in their thinking over local labour.

“By working together we can have a much greater impact locally,” she said.

“It is most rewarding to see that so many organisations share our vision, values and commitment. Our passion is North Staffordshire and its people.”

Will Nixon, Chief Executive of PM Training – a social enterprise that tackles worklessness among young people, and part of the Aspire Group – praised the 300 businesses that have already partnered with the enterprise.

“In the past two years, the number of apprenticeships we have delivered together has grown from 54 to 150,” he said.

“This is down to successful partnership working and a very strong belief that every person has potential, they just need an opportunity.”

Following the event at Britannia Stadium, PM Training received enquiries from 37 businesses keen to source apprentices from PM Training.

Financial support was also given to the Realise Foundation, the group’s unique and inspirational charity that makes a positive difference to lives and communities in North Staffordshire.

Craig Taft, MD of Stable Developments Limited, was honoured to become the charity’s first platinum partner, pledging an annual donation of £2,500.

“As a business that undertakes all forms of building work, we care passionately about the external environment and want North Staffordshire to be a place that everyone can be proud to live and work in,” he said.

“At the same time it is vital that we nurture local talent and skills and help local people back into employment.

“The Aspire Group, and Realise Foundation in particular, is helping the area thrive and its residents prosper. We are extremely proud to be part of this.”

Businesses that would like to source apprentices from PM Training should contact Dan Canavan on 01782 279121. If they want to find out more about Realise Foundation they should contact Ben Morris on 01782 635200.