Wednesday, March 2, 2016

News: Magna challenges its apprentices


Enterprising apprentices at The Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham are cooking up a business breakfast event to showcase the benefits of apprenticeships in the workplace.

Set in the former Templeborough steelworks, Magna is a family attraction with more than 100 hands-on exhibits. Millions of pounds have been invested in conference facilities at the centre which is operated by a charity, the Magna Trust.

The apprentices are organising an event themselves during National Apprenticeship Week as part of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2016, a national competition to find the best apprentice team in the UK.

Guest speaker Shaz Ghalib of the Skills Funding Agency will highlight the business advantages of offering apprenticeships, and a networking opportunity will follow, allowing delegates to meet the apprentices and hear about their experiences first hand. Breakfast refreshments, including bacon sandwiches, will be provided.

The event, open to all businesses in Yorkshire, will take place at 7.45am on March 17.

As part of the UK-wide challenge organised by Brathay Trust and the National Apprenticeship Service, teams are required to undertake activities that develop new skills and showcase their employer by engaging with young people and businesses to promote the benefits of apprenticeships. They include an awareness raising activity - such as the business breakfast - and a community project.

The team from Magna is being led by 18-year-old Molly May Charlesworth, a former Horizon Community College student from Barnsley who is on an intermediate apprenticeship in business administration.

Molly May, who is working with the corporate sales department at the visitor attraction and plans to go into a career in events, said: "I'm hoping the breakfast will help bust some of the myths around apprenticeships, like the perception that they are cheap labour for businesses, or that they are for people who fail the exams needed to get into college.

"I love the hands on experience I get at Magna and learning in a working environment is so much better, for me, than learning in a classroom every day."

The apprentices organising the breakfast and taking part in the challenge are aged between 16 and 32 and work in a variety of departments at Magna including hospitality, business and administration, electrical engineering, site joinery and technical theatre.

Working alongside Molly May in the team are: Danny Wade, Danny Till, Lewis Cross, Luke Rodgers, Alex Torr, Simon Tomlinson, William Wright and Laura Cottle. All are based at Rotherham College.

Darren Percival, operations manager at Magna, said: "Apprenticeships are about giving young people opportunities as well as benefiting businesses. Investing in home grown talent through apprenticeships is our commitment not only to the community, but also to the future of Magna."

Charlie Grayson, business development manager at RNN Training, part of the RNN Group formed from the merger of Rotherham College and North Notts College, added: "We're proud to be working with the team at Magna to place our apprentices from Rotherham College. They are a fantastic example of a diverse and forward thinking organisation who have created opportunities for young people. The apprentices involved in the networking breakfast and Brathay challenge are a credit to our region."

Magna website
RNN Training website

Images: Magna


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