THE boss of a Bradford-based training company says winning a major EU-funded contract in Egypt will help lay the foundations for its post-Brexit future.

Aspire International, part of careers and training group aspire-igen, was a key player in winning a breakthrough £3.9 million deal with the Egyptian government - which will see it operate outside Europe for the first time.

It will help provide support vocational training and careers advice through a consortium led by Athens-based European Profiles.

The two year project, which also involves partners in Turkey and Latvia, is being funded through the European Commission’s EuropeAid programme, which looks to support developing countries around the world.

Since Egypt’s 2011 revolution, unemployment has increased, particularly amongst young people, and a key aim of the project is to improve social inclusion and reduce poverty by helping people overcome barriers to employment through careers advice and guidance.

The project will operate nationally across Egypt supporting the redevelopment of training courses to help match skills with the demands of the labour market.

Caroline Harrison, Aspire-gen chief executive, said the project was an ideal fit for the Bradford company which operates several National Careers Service opportunity centres across Yorkshire offering careers advice to adults as well as careers guidance in regional schools and vocational courses for young people through its aspire2work scheme.

She said: “We are delighted to be entering new territory with this project. We have a well-established reputation for collaborating on European projects and so the move into EuropeAid initiatives was a logical next step.

“The deal is particularly significant following June’s decision to leave the European Union. Not only does it show that we continue to be able to attract large global contracts, but it also begins to lay the foundations for our post-Brexit future – we hope will continue to allow us to champion the exceptional talent and expertise of our staff across Yorkshire on an international stage.”

The contract is the latest significant development for aspire-igen which last month revealed it was investing £1.5m in a new regional headquarters in a historic Bradford city centre building.

The move to bring most of its operations under one roof at the former Commerce House on Cheapside will create around 50 jobs. Aspire-igen will start operating from its new base in January following extensive refurbishment of the premises which were officially opened for Bradford Chamber of Commerce in 1929 by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII.

Aspire-igen, which is celebrating its 21st anniversary, bought the building from Shipley-based social housing group Incommunities.