Building work begins on “game-changing” skills centre

Gullivers (photo Luke Ryves)Gullivers (photo Luke Ryves)
Gullivers (photo Luke Ryves)
BUILDING work is underway on an innovative and immersive careers experience centre in Rotherham.

South Yorkshire’s new Skills Street - part of a winning bid secured by Rotherham Council through the government’s Levelling Up Fund - will be built on the Rother Valley site of theme park, Gulliver’s Valley.

Representatives from Skills Street partners Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park, The Work-wise Foundation and The Source Skills Academy were joined by Rotherham Council on site to mark the step forward in the development that aims to change the way the region delivers work-related experiences and training for young people, schools, families, and educators.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Expected to open in 2024, the site will be a Centre of Excellence offering a hands-on approach to learn about the world of work across all sectors and industries and develop, grow, and hone skills.

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.

Retail shops and leisure and hospitality outlets will also demonstrate the customer service and other skills needed to succeed in these careers.

Julie Dalton, managing director of Gulliver’s Valley, said: “We have been thrilled by the support from the local business community and educators to date and can’t wait to have a building to show them round.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Skills Street will be a real game-changer for the pipeline of employment in the region.

“This fully immersive street will see us working with children from the ages of five upwards.

“We need to start harnessing the excitement that our younger children have and developing that from an early age.

“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.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

John Barber, CEO of the Work-wise Foundation said: “This is going to be wonderful for our region and is one of the most exciting projects to happen in the field of skills and careers for young people in our region for a long time.”

Tricia Smith, chief executive, The Source Academy, said: “We are thrilled to see work underway on the building of Skills Street. We are involved in this project because we believe in the young people of South Yorkshire and we believe that we can support business to drive and innovate curriculum development, work experience and the education of young people.

“We’re working with local businesses to ensure that the jobs and careers on offer locally are not only showcased but that the skills needed to fulfil these roles are learned from a very early age.”

The project is part of a £20million investment secured by Rotherham Council to help improve the leisure economy and boost skills in Rotherham.

Other attractions benefiting from the Levelling Up funding include Wentworth Woodhouse, Thrybergh Country Park, Rother Valley Country Park, Magna and Maltby Learning Trust.