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Activity provider Aspire named best of Birmingham in double award win night

Activity education and training provider Aspire Active Education Group was crowned Birmingham business of the year when it won two prestigious awards in one night.

Birmingham-based Aspire Active Education Group was named as the best business in the UK’s second city at the Birmingham awards for its work tackling child inactivity and creating employment for young people in the region.

For the second year in a row, Aspire also won the education engagement award for its impact on apprenticeships at the Greater Birmingham Apprenticeship Awards, with both ceremonies being held on Friday night (Nov 11).

Based in Spitfire Road, Birmingham, and with 56 team members, Aspire provides innovative delivery and training services along with education resources with an aim to “end physical inactivity forever” and help one million children move by 2025.

The Birmingham Awards, held at The Eastside Rooms, are billed by the organisers as a “unique opportunity to highlight and recognise the ongoing contributions of its citizens”. This year the organisers received almost 500 nominations for the 19 awards up for grab.

The Birmingham Awards citation for Aspire said: “This organisation has shown impressive growth, year on year and the judges could clearly see the passion and commitment across the team to support young people.”

Director Paul Griffiths, who launched Aspire with co-founder James Trowman, said the recognition of winning two prestigious awards was testimony to the efforts of the team. Paul said: “For Aspire to be named as Birmingham business of the year, everyone should be proud of the impact which their combined work has made over the last year.

“Every success for Aspire is the result of a genuine team effort so we are delighted to be recognised as a leading business in our home city, especially in a year which has seen the Commonwealth Games showcase our region to the world.”

The team at Aspire Active Education Group played their own part in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, delivering 97 days of activities to 65 schools in just eight weeks through the ‘Bring the Power’ school sport workshop programme, which was rolled out across the West Midlands to get 14,500 young people moving ahead of the event.

Held at Edgbaston Stadium the same night as the Birmingham Awards, the Greater Birmingham Apprenticeship Awards 2022 celebrate the best and brightest learners, training providers and the employers who are helping them to succeed.

Aspire delivers apprenticeships through its training arm Aspire Training Solutions. Aspire scooped the education engagement award for the second year running in recognition of the team’s work promoting the apprenticeship brand to tackle the youth unemployment challenges, engaging learners with an interest in children’s activity provider-based activity employment.

This year saw Aspire Training Solutions deliver sustainable workforce development plans through apprenticeship training for 52 organisations, with 130 learners enrolled, a 190% increase from 2019.  In total there were 91 new apprenticeship starts with a 92% retention rate and 76% achievement rate, well above the national averages.

James Trowman said: “We recognise the challenges around employment for young people and work hard to deliver apprenticeships and promote youth training opportunities in our region. As a Birmingham-based company with a national impact it means a lot to see our apprenticeship work recognised in the region where we continue to grow.”

The awards wins are the latest recognition for Aspire. Luke Johnson, Aspire Active Partnerships Manager at the growing Birmingham-based business, won the prestigious Young Leader prize at the West Midlands Leadership Awards 2022 in March.

Last year Aspire was named a winner in the Lloyds Bank Small Business of 2021 awards, which honour businesses across the UK, followed by two Greater Birmingham Apprenticeship Award wins and the community impact award at the Business Desk West Midlands Business Masters awards.

This week Aspire was named as a finalist with partner miMove for the Tech Collaboration prize at the West Midlands Tech Awards 2022, for their work on implementing the miMove app which encourages young people at schools around Birmingham to become more active.

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Front seated, from left, Aspire founders James Trowman and Paul Griffiths celebrate the double award win with the team

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