A HAT-TRICK of contracts totalling around £6 million have been secured by an expanding Bradford-based training and employment company in recent weeks.

The latest deal secured by Aspire-igen is an EU-funded £1 million contract to support people in the Humber region into work.

Aspire-igen had previously beaten national and international companies to advise the Egyptian government on training its future workforce and to develop careers guidance resources for schools and colleges in the Leeds City region.

It has now been awarded a European Structural and Investment Fund contract by the Skills Funding Agency which will see it co-ordinate the development of resources to improve schools’ links with employers in the Humber area.

Caroline Harrison, Aspire-igen chief executive, described the past couple of months as a “whirlwind” for the business, which is moving into a city centre head office on Cheapside.

She said the latest developments followed good and improving Ofsted reports on its programme for 16-18 year olds, Aspire2work.

Caroline said: “Education and careers advice has been a very challenging area to work in over the last six years, with significant funding cuts reducing support to people who need help. But our staff have been superb - working above and beyond the call of duty, and doing really high quality work, sometimes in the toughest circumstances.

“We have more and more organisations wanting to work directly with us. For example, we developed an information resource about working in sectors where opportunities will grow over the next decade.

“We did it to support our partner agencies, but then out of the blue several councils got in touch to buy copies to supply to schools and colleges.

“What began as a small piece of work has now turned into a commercial venture for us.”

Aspire-igen group’s workforce has increased from 69 four years ago to more than 250. The new business wins will create another 30 roles.