Celebrating our future talent

At Ascent, our people are central to our success and that means we believe in developing the talents of our employees.

We have been involved with the Future Talent Leadership programme since 2021 and are delighted to announce that the first of our Level 5 and Level 3 ‘students’ have graduated the programme. Congratulations to Peter Barry (pictured), AJT Training Manager at RAF Valley and Matthew Walker, EFT QFI at RAFC Cranwell.

The Future Talent Leadership programme is all about leadership development and growth, with a focus on a range of ’cutting edge’ leadership skills and the development of core capabilities to progress as managers or leaders.

Ascent MD, Tim James, stresses the importance of investing in our employees: “We are ultimately a people business – reliant on the quality, engagement and talent of our people,” he says.

“Leadership development, talent and succession are central to what we do. We want our teams to develop and grow, and we provide the resources and time to do that. We value development and growth in the company and get massive benefit from it.”

What is the Future Talent Leadership programme?

The Future Talent Leadership programme aims to blend individual development and growth, with real world challenges in the business – future-proofing emerging leaders to achieve the agile, collaborative and transformative mindsets and behaviours they need in order to thrive in the fast-changing world of work.

There are currently 24 Ascent colleagues on the programme across Level 3 and 5, with the 14-month Level 3 course focusing on team leader and aspiring managers and Level 5, a 16-month course, helping existing managers develop their skills.

The four modules and 15 missions that make up the courses focus on the essential hard and soft skills needed to help employees develop the mindset and behaviours to thrive.

The open programme means that there are many interactions with peers in other companies, helping to build a network and learn how people in often very different organisations face similar challenges.

Providing management confidence

So, what do Peter and Matthew think of the programme?

“I found it a really useful, as I am a person experiencing a ‘management’ role for the first time. It has provided me with confidence in my decisions, as it confirmed my instincts in managing particular situations that have occurred during my time in this role,” says Peter.

“It has also sent me on a voyage of self-discovery and reflection, as it became increasingly clear that in order to have a chance of being a good manager to others, I would need to have a good understanding about myself, my traits, how I am perceived, understanding about feedback and applying that for the benefit of myself and the team.”

Peter adds that the programme also provided him with some much-needed tools to help better manage his time, a major consideration when studying at the same time as carrying out a job.

“My tutor in particular has been instrumental in developing the courseware to tailor my schedule and we have regular dialogue so that we are able to adjust to my work schedule, providing me with the best opportunity to complete the course,” says Peter.

“The results for myself and the team have been fantastic. For me, some of the extra applications within each discipline, that I have been able to apply to my role, have proved to be extremely effective.”

Management support crucial

Matthew adds that the programme is a big commitment from both the company and the individual: “Support from your line manager is essential!” he says.

“The course itself is very rewarding. A logical progression from self-awareness right through to budgets and project management. I feel that I have learned the knowledge, skills and behaviours to make me a more effective employee at my current level, but also to prepare me for future challenges and career development opportunities.”