The Peterborough Arena was buzzing on Friday as thousands of young people from across the region found inspiration for their future careers. Organised by The Skills Service, the Careers Show is the East of England’s biggest skills and careers event, attracting nearly 3,500 visitors and over 200 exhibitors.
The annual ‘Mission Possible’ Careers Show aims to showcase the wide range of career opportunities on offer in the local area to 14-24 year olds, providing the chance to try out different skills and talk to employers from all sectors. Highlights included a Pit Stop challenge, vertical wind tunnel, pancake making, seminars on vital employability skills and preparing for university life, plus music and dance demonstrations.
Young people need inspiration as well as information and guidance, and the event successfully brought together schools from Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Fenland, Rutland, Norfolk and Suffolk to achieve this under one roof. In addition to the groups of students who attended with their school, hundreds of school leavers visited either independently or with parents to find out about the many options available to them.
The Skills Service is a brokerage service delivered by Opportunity Peterborough and funded by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to drive economic growth by facilitating effective partnership working between businesses, schools and training providers. This is achieved through delivering activities such as Meet the Professional talks, workplace visits, enterprise challenges and mock interviews, in addition to careers fairs.
Steve Bowyer, Chief Executive of Opportunity Peterborough, said: “The atmosphere at this year’s Careers Show was awe-inspiring and feedback from absolutely everyone concerned has been incredible. I’d like to thank all of the exhibitors who gave up their time to make this event such a huge success. We’re already looking forward to the next one!”
Steve opened the event, along with Councillor John Holdich, Leader of Peterborough City Council, and Joseph Valente, winner of the last series of TV’s ‘The Apprentice’.
Neil Darwin, Chief Executive of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, also attended and said afterwards: “This year’s event has been a great success, and we are proud to have provided the funding to make it happen. It’s been good to see young people connecting with such a wide range of businesses, finding out first-hand what types of careers are available to them in the local area. The event has been all about inspiring the workforce of the future, and it has certainly done that.”
Additional sponsorship is raised to enable the Careers Show to take place, and the organisers would like to thank the National Networks for Collaborative Outreach (NNCO), Allia, Travelchoice, National Careers Service, The National Centre for Food Manufacturing, British Sugar, Manor Fresh, Coca Cola Enterprises, Tulip, OAL, Amey and Anglian Water for supporting the 2016 event.
Feedback from schools has been very positive including from Lesley Pollard, Community Engagement & Careers Lead at Abbey College, who said: “Thank you very much for a really worthwhile event that greatly supports our careers programme.” Comments from students ranged from “I learnt that I could do an apprenticeship instead of university” and “I got information about lots of jobs that I have never heard of” to “I now have a clearer idea of what I want to do” and “It taught me about what I need to follow the careers I want.”
Keep an eye on www.careersshow.co.uk for a video of the day and details of next year’s event, alternatively follow The Skills Service on Twitter @UK_Skills or call 01733 863696.