Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Jobs and Careers Fair was a hive of activity as over 2,000 students gained advice about their future career paths.
Teenagers from schools throughout Coventry and Warwickshire attended the first event of its kind in the sub-region for a decade. It was organised by the CWLEP as part of their drive to further improve skills in the area.
Fifty-two exhibitors ranging from Wates Construction and Willmott Dixon to the Manufacturing Technology Centre and the NHS joined colleges, universities, training providers and careers advisors to pass on information and advice to students from years 10 to 13 along with around 400 parents and unemployed adults and youngsters Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEETs).
CWLEP board members and Warwickshire County Council leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Coventry City Council leader Cllr Ann Lucas, Nuneaton Cllr June Tandy and Coventry City Councillor Kevin Maton were among the crowds in Hall 3 at the Ricoh Arena.
Free Radio breakfast presenter JD, whose compering duties were sponsored by Coventry-based PET-Xi, added to the busy event by interviewing students and organisations as well as handing out raffle prizes.
Students had the chance to have a go at interactive activities including videoing, 3D technology, fitness training, and hairdressing and beauty.
CWLEP staff were joined by students from North Warwickshire and Hinckley College and City College, Coventry, to direct visitors to the stands.
Jonathan Browning, chairman of the CWLEP who opened the Jobs and Careers Fair, said feedback from students, parents and employers had been extremely positive.
“There is no doubt the event was a tremendous success,” he said. “As soon as the doors opened and the first wave of students arrived, there was a real buzz in the hall.
“All the exhibitors were keen to share their enthusiasm about career options and possibilities, whether that is through education, apprenticeships, training or jobs.
“There was a whole range of opportunities for young people to consider such as construction, engineering or automotive as well as talk to representatives from the Adult Education Service, JobCentre Plus and the National Careers Service.
“The whole area of jobs and skills is essential for economic growth in Coventry and Warwickshire and there is a great deal of support from our board members to continue to drive this key area forward.
“Events such as this prove the positive difference the CWLEP and its partners can have and we don’t want this event to be a one-off because the response in terms of numbers and comments emphasise this should be repeated on an annual basis.”
CAPTION: Jonathan Browning, chairman of the CWLEP (back, second right), with other members of the CWLEP, students from local colleges, Free Radio presenter JD (front) and Fleur Sexton from PET-Xi (front, right)