Aspirations Apprenticeships Striving to Thrive in 2015

One of the businesses currently listed on our marketplace, Aspirations Apprenticeships and Training Ltd, have taken the time to explain where their business came from and where it’s headed.

Aspirations Apprenticeships and Training Ltd are an organisation established for the benefit of local business and young people entering the world of work. Their aim is to help employers and individuals realise their full potential.

Aspirations started on its current trajectory a year after its inception when the owners recognised that the passion and dedication to the business of their MD, Yvonne Lalley, surpassed their own, and that it was in the best interest of the business for them to pass ownership to Yvonne.

Yvonne Lalley

Yvonne developed her experience through working as the proprietor of a café for just over 11 years. Young adults who had learning difficulties frequented the café with their carers as part of their daily activities, and Yvonne recalls enjoying the relationship that she built with the young adults. “They had limited communication, but their body language showed me they fully enjoyed themselves whilst in my company.” Building on this experience, Yvonne decided to become a volunteer in an independent home for adults with physical disabilities and behavioural or emotional problems. Yvonne says, ”I helped to teach them life skills, and hopefully this enabled them to become more independent. It was really rewarding to support them to have a better quality of life. I moved to the role on a full time basis; I stayed in this line of work for over 5 years.”

Maintaining her passion for the business, Yvonne has worked hard over the last 18 months and has achieved growing the business in to a profitable one. Aspirations now has a staff of 6 and is thrilled to now have a new Operations Director – Clare Gutteridge who has many years experience, working for a number of the leading colleges in the Further Education sector. She has project managed the recruitment and delivery of Intermediate and Advance Apprenticeships with blue chip companies including BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Caterpillar. Clare already had a working relationship with Aspirations while she was at Birmingham Metropolitan College as the main account manager, and will be a huge asset to the team as the business expands their delivery into the Apprenticeship market.

Clare’s skills include:-

  • Monitoring project risks and scope creep to identify potential problems and proactively identify solutions to address them in advance
  • Escalating promptly any issues that may impact on operations
  • Producing stage plans, highlight reports, risk logs
  • Ongoing reporting regarding delivery performance.
  • Understanding and document project requirements
  • Expanding and monitor the Apprenticeship qualification delivery
  • Manage employer/client expectations by ensuring the delivery of the highest quality service
  • Acting on employer/client feedback
  • Monitoring staff and team performance

“By providing an excellent standard of training, we try to inspire all learners in the hope that they can develop confidence, self-esteem and ambition to progress in the work environment,” said Yvonne.
Our mission is to ensure that young people and adults deserve the best opportunities to succeed as independent, well balanced and employable people, and that those in work are upskilled within their chosen profession in order that they can achieve and progress. In providing qualified trainers who have experience in engaging hard to reach/marginalised sections of the populace (e.g.. disadvantaged families, individuals with addiction issues) we believe we deliver an excellent programme of training in Employability Skills.”

Clare Gutteridge

“To meet the increasing demand from the partners we are looking to maintain our relationship with Birmingham Metropolitan College but also expand our association with other colleges and have now successfully completed due diligence with West Cheshire College, The Manchester College, The City of Liverpool College and Hugh Baird College. This will enable us in the coming academic year to increase our provision to include Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships in Health & Social Care, Management, Hair and Beauty, Animal Care, and other sector areas. This enhances our outstanding relationship with the Awarding Body, NCFE who have graded us a grade 1 operation, which makes us a centre of excellence.”

“We are also extremely proudto have gained a new working partnership with HMS Prisons which has identified a niche delivery market, which will find us supporting offenders who are close to release, enabling them to have the necessary employability skills to reintegrate into society. We are also looking at working with life term offenders who have no release date who will be working closely with us to deliver the courses to their peers – this will be full cost recovery work, paid through OLASS (Offending Learning and Skills Service) funding stream by HMS Prisons, which will further increase our revenue, and our aim is to expand this service to private prisons. This contract will potentially increase by another £150k pa profit to the business.”

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