Aspire to Be offers tailored, sector-specific training for those aged 16-60 with SEND across South Yorkshire. It aims to build on personal skills and provide opportunities to increase confidence, self-esteem, self-development, and improve health and wellbeing as individuals are supported to achieve employment in various sectors. Here, Aspire to Be programme manager Tina Rafferty, tells us more about how the successful service can work more closely with other training provider organisations to put those that they work with truly at the heart of the work they do to equip people with the skills and training needed to get into work.

Last year we received £465,000 from South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority to develop our provision which is targeted at adults from across South Yorkshire who are Deaf/hearing impaired, neuro diverse or those who have any other communication difficulty. This was a massive step for us as we are passionate about helping to make a valuable difference to the lives of the people we work with by developing their skills and supporting them into employment.

Doing things differently

Aspire to Be is an innovative service that does things differently to help people get into work. But what is also important to us is that we don’t work in silos and that we build partnerships with other services and organisations across the region, so individuals get a holistic approach to their education and training.

We are a non-accredited service, so qualifications are not part of what we do. However, that doesn’t mean we aren’t looking to develop relationships with sector-based training providers as we really feel there is a gap where we can add value to other organisations’ training offers. And we’d love to hear from anyone who is interested in finding out more about how we can work together!

Service provided

So, what does Aspire to Be actually offer?

  • Pre-employment training, using five simulated workplace environments where individuals learn the basic industry standards
  • An overview of the businesses we have connections and job opportunities with, so clients understand their values and culture
  • Arrange tours of the workplace
  • Provide guidance on using equipment and health and safety.
  • Explain standard workplace practices such as security procedures, dress code, sick leave and absences and break times
  • Support with job applications, interview processes, awareness training and workplace adjustment support.

Working together

To enhance provision offers and to give the very best to those who need our support, we feel by joining up with other key providers, we can add value and achieve shared goals. By working, not in competition, but by complementing each other is when great things happen and ultimately, we can help people reach their potential.

If you are a training provider who would like to find out more about a partnership with Aspire to Be, please contact me at: