A new education and skills project spearheaded by The Sheffield College in partnership with top employers has launched to students.

Twelve employer academies have opened this week, from Monday, September 16th, to equip students with the qualifications and skills that regional businesses need.

The academies cover sector specialisms such as catering, engineering, hospitality, and information technology – with more set to open in future.

Organisations involved include Discovery STEM, Liberty Speciality Steels, Millgate Ltd, MSK Ingredients, WANdisco Plc, PJ Taste, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Greene King, Kryolan and 2 Sisters Learning.

Angela Foulkes, Chief Executive and Principal, The Sheffield College, said: “It’s fantastic to see our first cohort of students starting their studies at our exciting new employer academies.”

She added: “Backed by leading businesses, the academies will equip our students with industry know-how, and the skills that employers need, helping them go further in their careers.”

Students will learn about all aspects of the businesses that are backing their academies, alongside completing a vocational qualification.

The employers will provide industry talks, workshops, work experience and placements to enhance students’ employability skills.

The academies that have opened this week are:

  • Discovery STEM Education Academy based across all faculties and campuses
  • Greene King Hospitality Academy at City campus
  • Kryolan Professional Make-Up Academy at City campus
  • Kryolan Professional Make-Up Academy at Hillsborough campus
  • Liberty Steel Female Engineering Academy at Olive Grove campus
  • Millgate Cyber Security Academy at City campus
  • MSK Patisserie Skills Academy at City campus
  • MSK Professional Cookery Academy at City campus
  • PJ Taste Catering Academy at City campus
  • Sheffield Chamber Business and Enterprise Academy based across all faculties and campuses
  • WANdisco Data Academy at City campus
  • 2 Sisters Learning and Development Academy based across all faculties and campuses

All students who successfully complete their qualifications will have the opportunity to progress on to an apprenticeship, employment or a university level course.

Student Ayah Gabar, 17, who has joined the WANdisco Data Academy, said: “It feels very professional. It’s been great to meet the CEO and hear how he has got to where he is now. He’s also shared some really helpful career tips and advice.”

Student Isobelle Tyler, 16, who has started at the Liberty Steel Female Engineering Academy, added: “It’s a good feeling to have started at the academy. I chose engineering because it involves problem solving and there are good job opportunities. My ambition is to go into mechanical engineering.”

Student Ellie Turner, 17, who has joined the Millgate Cyber Security Academy, commented: “I find cyber security so interesting and it’s great that the employer is involved from the start of our studies as that will help us get professional experience.”

David Richards, Founder and Chief Executive, WANdisco plc, said: “Our new partnership with The Sheffield College will help equip young people in Sheffield with the skills and experience to succeed in the future work environment.”

He added: “We were very impressed with the students who were bright, engaged and committed - we met one recruit who has travelled from Lincolnshire for our new course - and wish them the very best of luck.

“The David and Jane Richards Family Foundation is passionate about creating opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to fulfil their potential and realise that rewarding careers are within their reach." 

Mick Hood, Liberty’s UK Human Resources Director, commented: “We are delighted to see these young women take up this unique opportunity and wish them all the best with their studies.

He added: “Liberty Speciality Steels has a wealth of talented and experienced engineers along with various steel production and processing facilities, which the students will be able to access throughout the course.

“Liberty recognises the importance of fully-trained engineers in taking the industry forward into an age of cleaner steel production and recycling.”

Alasdair Jeffrey, Managing Director, Millgate, added: “We believe that the Millgate Cyber Security Academy will make a tremendous positive difference to the experiences and career prospects of all those involved, whether with Millgate or any other future employer.”

Rupert Rowley, Development Chef, MSK Ingredients, said: “MSK has had a long working relationship with The Sheffield College. It is great to now make it a formal agreement that will benefit the young chefs of tomorrow.”

Peter Moulam, Owner, PJ Taste, added: "At PJ Taste we are champions of seasonally inspired local food so it’s a natural choice to team up with The Sheffield College to help develop the next generation of local chefs.”

He added: “We are really excited to be launching our PJ Taste Academy with the College and to work with the students through the year.  Visits and work placements at our premises will help provide an insight to a real work environment along with our own input to classes at the College."

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