Aston Group's aim is to increase and drive awareness of the vast range of careers available within the Build Environment, raise aspirations and embed the skills and knowledge that are crucial to attaining a role within our industry.
In 2019 we developed our Pipeline to Employment programme that allows us to identify and employ, up and coming talent, by supporting local people into work through a number of different avenues. We have been successful in recruiting through each aspect of the programme, developing strong relationships with local colleges, training providers, job centres, local supply chain, councils and community groups in order to engage with residents and deliver our initiatives, which are bespoke to each community.
We encourage our Suppliers and Sub-Contractors to recruit locally and invest in young people through offering work experience and apprenticeships. We ensure that our recruitment represents the community diversity and demographic and prioritise and proactively support residents with a Social Housing tenancy or who are long- term unemployed and living in a deprived ward to access new job opportunities.
Whilst our Pipeline to Employment programme is a fantastic way to create a pool of local talent for our personal business needs, it is critical to our social value mission that we support, upskill, encourage and inspire community members to attain their employment dreams and goals regardless of role or industry. Aston Group appreciate that communities thrive best when enhanced by a collection of different skill sets and attributes. We therefore believe that it is our privilege to help build confidence, embed sustainable employability skills, improving social mobility and enterprise that allows us to contribute to a strong, resilient society, who have the capability to secure employment, enabling them to support their families for many generations to come.
Upskilling the future workforce
Throughout over 50 years of trading from our first incarnation as Aston Heating, Aston Group has always shown a commitment to investing in our workforce. As part of our social value programme, the Aston Group Pipeline to Employment programme extends our commitment by supporting local people into work with ourselves or other employers.
With research suggesting that 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025 as technology adoption increases (The Future of Jobs Report, World Economic Forum 2021), the ability to develop and practice a range of skills is of increasing importance in the workforce.
Our programme recognises that the communities the business operates within contain a diverse knowledge base, range of abilities and experiences. For this reason, the programme has been devised to utilise multiple streams to facilitate access and engagement of residents of all ages and backgrounds.
Through a variety of free activities and events, Aston Group delivers a blended delivery format of virtual and face to face engagement where possible. The elements that make up the Pipeline to Employment programme include:
- Pre-employment Training Workshops and Courses: Delivered virtually and on site across local community centres, libraries, hubs, schools and colleges to assist with upskilling and supporting local residents into employment.
- 1-2-1 and Group Mentoring: Designed to complement our pre-employment workshops and courses, Aston Group offer bespoke 1-2-1 mentoring, delivered to groups and/or individuals, virtually and on site from various locations in our local communities.
- Work Experience Placements: Aston Group has hired several local residents who have completed a work experience placement. By providing opportunities to network and engage with mentors and potential employers, the business can effectively identify emerging talent from our programme.
- Internships: Our internship programme operates across multiple departments and offers a professional learning experience related to a student's field of study or career interest, whilst offering a reciprocal opportunity for the business to evaluate the intern’s potential future employability at Aston Group.
- Apprenticeships: Aston Group partners with local colleges and training providers to help young people find their next workplace opportunities. By offering apprenticeships as part of long-term contracts within our business, the apprenticeship programme provides employment opportunities and upskills local talent.
- Insight Days: Through Q&A sessions and interactive activities with our Contract Managers and apprentices held in schools, colleges and community spaces, Aston Group Insight Days raise awareness of the breadth of roles available within the Construction, Building Services and Facility Management sector.
- Job and Careers Fairs: Through participation in local community jobs and careers fairs, Aston Group provide practical and useful CV writing, job hunting and careers information to attendees.
Creating social value in the local workforce
Through the creation of a range of employability initiatives, Aston Group have made offers of employment to those within our local communities whilst supporting those hired and others who participate in our programme the chance to develop employment skills they can utilise across a wide variety of fields and industries.
Who can apply?
All residents of the local communities that Aston Group works in.
How much does it cost?
All Aston Group employability programmes are free, with apprenticeships and some internships/work experience opportunities offering paid learning opportunities.
Are there any restrictions to age, nationality or employment status?
No, Aston Group is an equal opportunity employer and is happy to support any interested local residents.
Do I need any qualifications or experience?
The vast majority of our pre-employment programme does not require any specific qualifications or experience, however, some apprenticeships/internships may require a certain level of qualification or experience, depending on the level or role.
When and where do events take place?
Apprenticeships, work experience placements and internships take place within Aston Group and our supply chain. All other activities are delivered virtually or face to face in local community centres, job centres and libraries. Aston Group currently holds multiple events monthly, take a look at our event page to see what is happening locally. You can read more about our school engagement programme here.
How do I apply?
Contact Aston Group’s Social Value Manager Rachel Statter at R.Statter@astongroup.co.uk or call 07917 676157, if you are interested in taking part in any of our employability initiatives. You can also contact Rachel to discuss Aston Group delivering an employability activity at your school, college or community group.