In February, Darwen Aldridge Community Academy welcomed a new business, Jets GPS Fleet Solutions, to their Creates Bridge – a modern and flexible workspace inside the academy which houses start-up businesses and young entrepreneurs.
The Bridge, an initiative funded by the Aldridge Foundation, not only provides a physical space for businesses to grow, but also links businesses and education with the aim to transform and encourage ambitious minds in the community to put their entrepreneurial ideas in action.
On their move to DACA, Managing Director of GPS, Jan Evans, said “2018 is going to be Jets GPS Fleet Solutions best year yet. We now have the management team and the office in place to move forward with our growth and vision.
Moving into the Bridge at DACA is completely congruent with our growth strategy of bringing apprentices into the business, training them to the highest level, and allowing them to grow with the company. I see them as the future of our company and we very much want to nurture and encourage their talent.
We want to give as much back to the local community as we can, and alongside our partnership with the East Lancs Hospice, working within DACA allows us to provide work experience, help and advice to their students within our normal working day.
Moving to DACA made complete sense and it’s proving to be a fantastic working environment, it has to be one of East Lancashire’s best kept secrets!”
Not only does DACA house real businesses and social enterprises, it contributes to the entrepreneurial education that is a feature of all Aldridge schools. Principal Lisa Dolan said: “Alongside academic success we help our students develop key skills that employers and universities value . Creativity, determination, passion, problem-solving, risk-taking and teamwork. We call them the Aldridge Attributes. These are skills which help our students succeed in their studies but also in the challenges and opportunities they will have beyond school.”
“DACA students are also encouraged to join ‘Team Academy’, another initiative from the Aldridge Foundation, where they work in teams to create businesses with a social purpose. They participate in activities, some of which are delivered by local businesses, and learn from the experiences of local employers – and that’s why it’s great to have some based in the school!”
“We know that GPS will be a great addition to the Bridge and will provide an excellent source of learning about enterprise for the DACA students, welcome!”
(Photo credit: Business Lancashire)