Steve Manley, the youngest ever Sheffield Chamber of Commerce President and joint managing director of Universal Office Products believes the “unique” site is offering “more than just academic qualifications.”
He made the comments during a visit to Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, on Attercliffe Common, where he discussed a number of facilities on the site including Oasis Academy Don Valley and UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.
Almost 900 students from Darnall, Attercliffe and the wider Sheffield City Region are learning new skills and accessing new opportunities, which, in the future, will include employment at research centres, sports facilities and companies located in and around the Park.
At UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park – the city’s second University Technical College – 13 to 19-year olds specialise in Computing, Health Sciences and Sport Science. Students can start in Year 9, Year 10 or Year 12 to study a combination of GCSEs and A Levels alongside a technical specialism.
The first cohort of 50 students to graduate achieved a 100 per cent technical qualification pass rate for Computing, Health Sciences and Sport Science with 70 per cent of students securing university places. At GCSE level, students also gained a 100 per cent technical qualification pass rate for all three specialisms.
Oasis Academy Don Valley is an all-through inclusive school which will grow year-on-year until it reaches full capacity in 2022 when it will educate 1,200 pupils between the ages of two and 16 years old. Following its first Ofsted inspection, the Academy was recognised as ‘good’ in all areas and has seen extremely positive results in its first Y6 SATS assessments.
Steve said: “This was my first visit to Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and I was hugely impressed, particularly with the strong commitment to supporting the next generation of young talent, which is something I’m incredibly passionate about in my new role as President of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.
“The unique set up at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is providing students with a valuable insight into the jobs of the future in health, technology and sport science as well as opportunities to contribute to the local community.
“Being co-located alongside sport and health research centres and world-class sports facilities such as the English Institute of Sport, used by current and future Olympians, means the school and college are able to offer the young people so much more than just academic qualifications.”
In addition to educational facilities, Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park boasts a Community Stadium which is home to the Sheffield Eagles and Sheffield United Women’s Football Club, green areas, run routes, cycle paths and outdoor community facilities.
When fully complete and incorporating research centres and offices and laboratories for the private sector partners, the Park will bring together elite athletes, professional sports, education, new skills and applied research into one location.
Steve added: “As a proud Sheffielder, it is fantastic to see the revival of this site. If you say ‘Sheffield business’ to people, they almost always reply steel or manufacturing and of course we continue to make many leaps and strides advancing on our industrial heritage.
“But Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is an incredible development which is putting the city on the map for a different reason. The regeneration is creating opportunities for youth, local companies as well as global companies in the health and wellbeing sector and acting as a catalyst for the transformation of the surrounding area.”
David Hobson, Project Director for Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, said: “It was fantastic to welcome Steve to Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park in what was one of his first official visits in the role of Chamber President.
“By developing facilities such as Oasis Academy and the UTC we are playing a key role in ensuring education and youth entrepreneurship remain a focal part of this region’s economy.
“We have made a huge amount of progress in redeveloping the site, which in turn is regenerating the local community and creating significant opportunities to attract leading names to the Park which will place Sheffield City Region at the heart of advances in health and wellbeing.”