Interactive centre to be ‘game changer’ for region’s employment pipeline

Details of South Yorkshire’s new experience to inspire and inform people about the world of work and careers is to be unveiled to businesses next month.

Based on the site of the UK’s newest theme park, Gulliver’s Valley, Skill City is intended to transform the way the region delivers work related experiences and training for young people, schools, families, and educators.

This interactive centre will be delivered through a partnership between Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park, The Work-wise Foundation and The Source Academy, creating a Centre of Excellence to learn about the world of work across all sectors and industries.

Businesses and educators have been invited to a breakfast event on 16 September to find out more about Skill City and learn how they can get involved.

Julie Dalton, managing director of Gulliver’s Valley said: “Skill City will be a game changer for the pipeline of employment in the region, switching young people on to careers across all sectors with its immersive street filled with businesses enabling learning by experiencing for all ages.

“South Yorkshire is a home to some amazing organisations, and we are looking forward to working with them as we showcase this new engaging, innovative experience developed to inspire and inform children, young people, and adults from across the region.”

John Barber, CEO of the Work-wise Foundation, added: “Skill City will inspire our young people as they are shown the amazing world of work and career opportunities available in the South Yorkshire area.

“These will be delivered by a team of edutainers who will bring the opportunities to life and showcase the opportunities on offer and skills needed to succeed.

“It will be a hands on experience for children from primary age upwards as they experience the wonderful world of work in a fun and interactive way through business-driven role play attractions and activities.”

Construction is expected to begin in 2022 with the aim of opening Skill City in 2023.

It will feature an immersive street filled with businesses across a range of sectors enabling learning through experiencing for all ages.

Children and young people will be able to walk into a bank and learn about the different roles and skills needed to work in the financial sector, or step into an engineering environment and have a go at designing or making a product.

Shops will enable customer service and money taking skills to be practiced and leisure and hospitality outlets will demonstrate the skills needed to succeed in these careers – all through hands on play, practice and performance.

Trish Smith, CEO of The Source Academy, said: “We are extremely proud to be bringing Skill City to the region. This will be a space where individuals and families will be able explore the great opportunities for careers and training in the region in a relaxed and informal careers community café.

“It will be a creative environment allowing careers training to flourish at all levels from school leavers to business leaders in the leadership academy through to returners to work.”