Sophia, 16, is an A-star recruit for property company

Sophia Ward was caught up in the GCSE grades chaos like every 16-year-old from the COVID-19 class of 2020.

But she didn’t worry about her future…Sophia landed a job interview during the pandemic and started a digital marketing career on July 6.

The High Storrs pupil wanted to get into I.T. via an apprenticeship rather than study A-levels. But when COVID-19 hit the economy, she thought chances were slim.

On spotting an admin apprenticeship with The Source Skills Academy she jumped, but Kerry Cook, Business Development Officer for the Sheffield training provider, thought Sophia was perfect for a more demanding digital marketing apprenticeship.

The role had been advertised before lockdown by Sheffield estate agents Blenheim Park Estates, but had been put on hold.

When Kerry explained she was a stand-out candidate, Blenheim interviewed Sophia.

“When I got the job I couldn’t believe it,” said Sophia. “I grabbed the opportunity of a career with both hands.”

Blenheim take on apprentices across their Estates and Developments businesses, reaping many benefits from moulding them into permanent staff.

Marketing Manager Emma Brocklebank, a former apprentice, said: “Lockdown had put plans on hold, but the matchmaking skills of Kerry at The Source introduced us to Sophia.

“She is perfect for us. Hiring an apprentice was the right thing to do. Our business is thriving and we’ve given a 2020 school-leaver a career.”


Flexible office space now available at The Source

The Source Skills Academy is opening up to businesses looking for COVID-19 compliant, flexible workspaces and meeting places.

The not-for-profit registered charity on Meadowhall Way has 2,000 square metres of premium space. Government hygiene and social distancing guidelines are adhered to throughout.

But with much of the building under-used because of the pandemic, offering the extra space to others was a logical step.

“This brings in income to support our work, while giving very flexible solutions to businesses who may have had to give up offices during the pandemic, or are not ready to move back to their premises,” said Dale Robinson, Director of Business Development.

Offices can be set up for a sole trader, small teams or companies with up to 12 employees for a day, a week, a month or longer term.

Costs are low and based on length of stay and flexibility required.

The site has tram, train and bus links on its doorstep, secure parking and is easily accessed from the M1, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Enquire on 0114 2635600 or at