The Opportunity Centre in Bradford is officially launched
09 March, 2017
Business and Education chiefs from all over the UK descended on Bradford on Thursday, 9th March, to watch as Natalie Cramp, Chief Operating Officer from The Careers and Enterprise Company, launched the former Bradford Chamber of Commerce building in Cheapside as The Opportunity Centre.
The VIP reception to mark the occasion was also attended by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Bradford, Cllr and Mrs Geoff Reid, alongside representatives from the local LEPS, councils, schools, colleges and businesses.
As a souvenir of the occasion, Natalie was presented with a replica of the sign which now hangs outside the Opportunity Centre. Afterwards, Natalie said;-
“I wanted to write to say what a pleasure it was to be part of your very special moment on Thursday – thank you so much for the privilege. You must be so proud of what you have created here – 400sqm of opportunity! What a space! I cannot wait to see what you achieve within it as the possibilities seem endless. You could tell from the packed room what a fantastic range of partners you have who will help make it happen – and I hope you do count us as one of those.”
Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company also wrote to express their gratitude:
“Thank you for including us in your opening. We are honoured to be a part in this achievement.”
Steve Stewart, Executive Director of Careers England said;-
“The Opportunity Centre is a fantastic place with endless potential. Huge congratulations to you and your team for a great welcome to a great place.”
Aspire-igen Group Ltd moved into the historical building in January 2017, having previously been based in two Bradford premises at John Street and Baptist Place.
There was a true sense of celebration and optimism at the event about what The Opportunity Centre brings to the city. It is two months since the building in Cheapside opened its doors, and it has consistently welcomed around 250 people every single week day. People of all ages drop in to see an independent careers advisers, use the IT facilities or explore the careers library. Young people are able to attend a number of free vocational courses run through the aspire2work programme. Local businesses can make use of the events space and business hub to host events or hire an office. Other services also running at the centre, include the FutureJobs programme alongside Shine Careers, both working with local schools and colleges to improve pupils’ chances of career success. On a more global scale, aspire-international provide support for people wanting to work, study or live abroad.
Caroline Harrison, Group Chief Executive Officer of aspire-igen said:
“I’m delighted that we were able to acquire this fantastic building to create the Bradford Opportunity Centre. The Skills Minister, Robert Halfon has recently talked a lot about the importance of good quality careers advice to the success of Britain’s industrial strategy and the Government’s drive to ensure that young people enter the jobs market with relevant skills. Our launch event brought together partners and stakeholders from across the country and I’m excited about what we can achieve together. Our motto is “It’s all about you’ and we’re here to do all we can to help the Yorkshire community realise their aspirations and help the region prosper. I encourage people to visit The Opportunity Centre and see for themselves the great resources that are available.”
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