Big Gig to look at unique approach to training young people

Posted: 11/04/2016

The April Big Gig innovation event will be held at SOFEA Unit 1e Trident Park, Basil Hill Road, Didcot OX11 7HJ beginning at 6 p.m.

The event will focus on an innovation challenge from South Oxfordshire Food and Education Academy.

SOFEA was founded in 2014 to serve the needs of families in the Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. The vision is to supply local charities with fresh, nutritional produce and to provide training for those disadvantaged in the labour market.

By April 30th 2015 SOFEA had achieved the following:

  • We have worked with 25 charities across the Thames Valley
  • We have shipped over 100 tonnes of rescued food
  • We achieved a gold rating in our external audit

SOFEA we has worked with over 100 young people and 40 adults in the past year.

During this time over 25 people have gained their forklift licenses and 50 functional skills tests in Maths and English or both. We’re constantly working with local businesses to create employment opportunities for our trainees. SOFEA also works through our own employment agency, Futures Placed, to help our trainees find gainful employment.

Sofea offers courses in:

  • Customer Service
  • Business Administration
  • Warehousing and Storage (including forklift training)
  • Land Based (horticulture)
  • Digital Media (web design, social media, marketing, graphics)
  • Employability (leading to a wide range of employment)

It’s like going to college, but smaller, and more flexible – with high levels of support to make sure young people succeed.The courses run in Didcot (except Land Based which is in Wantage) for between 3 and 5 days per week.

For more information on the Big Gig events or to attend the event on 27 April please contact Paul Essery on