The Young Technicians Academy team share a wealth of knowledge and experience in the creative sector and a willingness to pass down their passion and skills to the next generation of aspiring industry professionals.
Collectively the Social Echo team have over half a century of voluntary sector experience between them. Social Echo believes that communities can become more cohesive, caring, and capable in the face of change by developing their own ecosystem for social trading: trading with the good of the community at its heart, in which businesses aim not only to make profit but also to support local people in need, build the infrastructure necessary to sustain local wellness, and help their local economy thrive.
The Story So Far…
Young technicians started life in the Cambridgeshire town of Whittlesey in January 2016, founded by Pino Soccio, a local musician and technician. Pino had been working in a local secondary school and wanted to deliver something new, exciting and rewarding to young people. He launched the first after school club in the town and since that date the offer has expanded across Cambridgeshire.
Since the 2016 launch, the Young Technicians have made strides to educate and inspire the next generation of students that have a shared passion for the live events sector. Pino and his team of exceptional tutors have always encouraged real world education and experiences. This was demonstrated in May 2016 when contact was made with the Yaxley Festival organisers who were more than happy to allow the students to work on the stage as crew. The students worked closely with industry professionals, helping them to create and develop a skillset and a lifetime experience within a live festival environment. The festival organisers and the Young Tech team have now worked together ever since and the event is a main highlight of the year for many of the students.
Educational structured sessions in 2016 were delivered as two one-and-a-half hour sessions per week for one group of students. This was broken up into a theory session followed by a practical and team building exercise. The original group size in Whittlesey was small compared to where the organisation is today. The session format has also adapted and developed over the years to meet the needs and standards that students and schools deserve. The organisation now runs weekly two-hour sessions in secondary schools and weekly 45-minute sessions in primary schools across Cambridgeshire..
In 2017 Young Technicians explored the possibility of becoming a Community Interest Company (CIC) and were delighted to achieve this in the July of the same year. Becoming a CIC not-for-profit organisation has really enabled the company to grow in the right direction. Profits are invested into the future of the scheme and the students within the community.
The 2017 – 2019 period saw the expansion of the CIC into many more schools and educational provisions. In these settings, the organisation delivers structured theory and practical sessions, and working with the performing arts departments, to work on the live event delivery for all school productions, including pantomimes, concerts, Summer shows, sports days, or end of year celebrations. All the live elements of lighting and sound engineering and design, stage designs and constructions, rigging, show production and management were implemented at these productions.
2017 also saw a working partnership form with The Yaxley Partnership, a group of organisiations and individuals with one aim – to develop community projects to achieve measurable social impact. Members of this innovative partnership then went on to join forces with Lord Bird of The Big Issue to create Social Echo, continuing the magazine’s mission to dismantle poverty and create more caring and compassionate communities.
Things were really taking off in 2020 until the pandemic hit and Young Technicians CIC were told to stop working in schools due to lockdown. The team anticipated an interruption to normal activities and proactively launched their online learning programme in March 2020. This was very well received and has continued throughout the whole of 2020. Now with the support of the team at Social Echo and Barnack Estates (UK) Ltd, an ambitious plan to open a specialist educational facility has taken shape. In Summer 2021, the Young Technicians Academy will open at Yaxley, near Peterborough, offering more opportunities for young people to build their best futures.