Aspire Director celebrates 20 years

National Apprenticeship Week 2016 was a huge success for local training and apprenticeship provider Aspire Training Team.  The theme of the week was ‘Rising to the Top’, which was particularly well suited to the Training Team Director of Aspire, Kelly Russell, who in April of this year reached her 20 years’ service.


Kelly joined Tops Day Nurseries, another company under the Hadland Care Group umbrella with Aspire, in 1996 as an apprentice; one of the first apprentices to start working with Tops Day Nurseries. Kelly started as a Modern Apprentice in the Parkstone nursery where she completed her Apprenticeship Frameworks in Early Years Levels 2 and 3, before being instrumental in the opening of Tops Wareham in 2000.  It was here she took up the position of Supervisor for the 2-3 year olds and shortly afterwards, the role of Deputy Manager.


2002 saw a new challenge as Kelly moved to the Training Team, completing her assessor’s qualification.  This was a new and exciting step, and shortly after she became the Key Assessor for a Wareham nursery. After returning from maternity leave in 2003, Kelly remained as a Key Assessor until 2006 when she was promoted to Training Manager. She was then promoted to her current position of Training Director in September 2007.  Since becoming a Director, Kelly has achieved her qualification in Learning and Development and Level 7 in Management.


“The company has always been like an extended family to me, I myself have grown with the company,” Kelly comments, “I love watching new apprentices achieve their dreams and qualifications, with some being promoted up through the company to senior roles, just like I did.”


With employment levels at an all-time high, staff retention is an important factor in creating a successful working environment and hiring apprentices is an excellent way to achieve this level of loyalty and dedication.  Employer of choice and Ofsted Outstanding Aspire Training Team is proud to have had almost 60% of staff achieve their long service status, with 5 years minimum length of service.


Donna Burt, another former apprentice who is now Senior Manager for Aspire Training Team, said, “I have hit all my milestones of engagement, marriage, children, mortgage and all the areas in between, and I can honestly say through all of this Tops and Aspire have been my constant support, taking me from a fresh-faced apprentice to a wiser manager.”


There are many more success stories of apprentices who have grown and developed with Aspire Training Team, and in turn have helped Aspire Training Team, Tops Day Nurseries and Hadland Care Group expand further.  To find out more details about how hiring an apprentice can have the same success in your business, contact the team on 01202 551553 or email




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