“We take a broad look at lifestyle and experience, and where we may be able to concentrate our intensive work-focused support.”

Recognising a Housing Provider who has demonstrated exceptional commitment in delivering services for their residents, particularly regarding employment support. Kindly sponsored by Cognisoft


Aspire Housing was one of the first housing associations to offer its tenants a life-changing service providing employability support. Called Aspire to Work, the programme provides a tailored customer training scheme to improve the skills of participating tenants whilst offering vital housing and wellbeing support. Gaining employment, and moving away from a reliance on benefits, has seen an increase in participants’ confidence, self-esteem, aspirations, and wellbeing.


The Aspire to Work service is available to anyone living in an Aspire property, including these who have a job but are looking for a change in career.

The service is delivered by PM Training, Aspire’s training facilitators. Annually, the team engages with around 400 tenants and figures reveal that 60% of its customers make some measurable positive progress with 35% gaining employment.

The work-focused support is designed to meet an individual’s personal requirements and considers their lifestyle, work experience and any barriers that are affecting their chances of finding paid work.

There are opportunities to gain accredited qualifications including NVQs, Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS cards) and HGV licences. There are also introductory training schemes in retail and security as well as short courses that are required for employment in food retail and health and safety.

Aspire to Work runs an employment hub where clients can receive help with job searches, interview and self-employment advice. These services are available via an online portal that also features coaching sessions.

To improve the flow of suitable vacancies, the team has cultivated a network of local employers who send their job adverts directly to Aspire’s training team.


“We take a broad look at lifestyle and experience, and where we may be able to concentrate our intensive work-focused support.”

Jack Grocott, Communications and Events Coordinator with Aspire Housing,

“In her late 20s, unemployed Joanne has been diagnosed with bipolar and has a history of self-harm and low self-esteem. Our team helped Joanne to access training that prepared her for work and eventually she was able to secure employment in the retail sector. She enjoys her independence and now regularly accesses mental health services.”    

Aspire to Work team member


Congratulations to Aspire Housing. This category has been won by a housing association demonstrating that the service they provide is not just about bricks and mortar and refurbishing homes, it is about providing the tools and services to rebuild lives and create a firm foundation for future employability.