Strength in unity - The Source Skills Academy is moving to Magna
The skills academy, which has transformed the lives of over 10,000 people since launching at Meadowhall Way in 2003, will take up residence in September in a move its CEO Tricia Smith describes as ‘a merging of like-minded organisations upskilling the young people of South Yorkshire’.
She commented: “Magna is a unique, immersive learning experience for children and is about to have an exciting revamp, thanks to Rotherham’’s successful bid for £20m from the Levelling Up Fund.
“It is an ideal place for us to be. As are we, Magna Trust is a not-for-profit charity; we have the same values and goals - helping young people to find their best futures.”
Last year the award-winning science centre at Templeborough drew over 110,000 visitors, including 30,000 Key Stage 1 and 2 schoolchildren aged four-11, for whom it provides hands-on STEM learning.
Added Tricia Smith: “Many of the skills children use in its workshops are perfectly-suited to the apprenticeships we specialise in.
“We want to help Magna expand and deliver activities and workshops for Key Stage 4 and 5 pupils and post-16s and be on hand to support those looking to apprenticeships.”
Magna launched in 2000 after a £46m Millennium Project transformed what was the largest electric arc steel producing facility in Europe into a science centre to maintain the heritage of steel-making in Rotherham and Sheffield.
Kevin Tomlinson, CEO of Magna, said: “Supporting the development of young people lies at the very heart of our education offering.
“I am looking forward to welcoming The Source to their new home at Magna’s head office on Sheffield Road.. There are clear synergies between the two organisations, in our common goal of helping to inspire and nurture the next generation.
“Collaboration can only enhance the services that these two major South Yorkshire- based charities bring to the area.”
Magna’s strong road and public transport links, soon to be enhanced by the building of a tram-train stop, also have strong appeal to the training academy, which has pledged to become more deeply embedded in local communities.
Another draw is the Work Wise charity’s Get Up To Speed interactive careers event for learners, teachers and parents, which is staged at Magna each year.
Cost considerations are another factor. During the pandemic, The Source swiftly embraced technology to provide training online and while face-to-face tutoring is again the norm, less operational space is required. Its lease with British Land, which owns the Meadowhall Way building, is due to expire in September.
Commented Tricia Smith: “Meadowhall had long been an ideal base for us but the world changed dramatically and as a charity with responsibility to its trustees, we have to be mindful of cost.