January 8, 2024 News

Gazette: Tadley business with passion for helping others

ATS Group CEO and founder, Allan Smith, spoke to the Basingstoke Gazette about the different ways we’ve been helping others and giving back to the local community.

Below is the article published in the Gazette, written by Kiran Sajan.

A BUSINESS based in Tadley, with a man at the helm with a passion for helping others, is making a real difference in the community.

ATS Group, founded by Tadley resident Allan Smith in 2019, has been making waves in the construction, civil, highways, and telecoms industries over the past three years by providing training courses to plug the skill shortage in those sectors.

In addition to its general training courses, the company works with prisons across the UK to rehabilitate inmates and provide them with the skills they need to find employment upon their release.

The company, based at Stacey Industrial Estate, actively supports local sports teams, including being the official club partner of Tadley Calleva youth, providing substantial financial backing to benefit more than 300 young players. ATS Group also supports Silchester FC and British Championship boxer Jake James.

The company is also at the forefront of mental health advocacy, supporting the Lighthouse Club and engaging in charitable activities.

Mr Smith recently took part in a white-collar boxing event where he raised £7,000 for charity.

Despite facing numerous challenges, he has persevered and built a successful business that is not only providing much-needed training but also giving back to the community in a big way.

Mr Smith, who is 39 and a popular figure in the Tadley community, said: “I’m disabled myself and I find it very hard to do physical work. But I realised I should pass my knowledge and experience within these sectors to the community and thus started this company.

“I understand how hard it is if you are looking for work, but you are scared to take that jump.

“We are not just training individuals; we are crafting a workforce ready to tackle the skill shortage crisis in these industries.”

Today, ATS Group has become a beacon of innovation, community support, and inclusivity in the region.

However, it wasn’t an easy journey for Mr Smith and his venture.

When he first started ATS Group, he put his life savings into it, but, just as the company was starting to get off the ground, the Covid pandemic hit.

Mr Smith was faced with the prospect of losing everything he had worked so hard for.

However, with the support of his landlord, John Stacey & Sons Ltd, he was able to keep the company afloat and continue to provide much-needed training to the community.

Later Jason Nash, 50, also joined the venture and became a co-owner, introducing his expertise and knowledge within the telecommunications sector.

The company’s expansion knows no bounds, with plans to establish a training centre in Saudi Arabia.

Mr Smith said: “We are also in the process of setting up the ATS Group Foundation. We are planning to pledge £50,000 worth of free training to people with disabilities.”

ATS Group is actively involved in discussions with local councils and job centres, aiming to extend its support by offering training to candidates, providing transportation, and even free lunches.

It also recently partnered with another company, Momentum Training Recruitment, forming the Skills Fund Training Partnership.

Mr Smith said his company trains 60-70 people daily and he is expecting to double that number next year.

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