Once again this week Ely Cathedral hosted more than one thousand school pupils to explore a range of dream jobs at an enormous Skills Fair organised by Ely College in close collaboration with The Skills Service, East Cambs District Council and Ely Schools Partnership.
Students from schools and colleges across East Cambridgeshire were invited to the fifth event to speak to representatives from a range of professions and training providers, ask questions and discuss opportunities with potential employers, colleges and universities.
This was the first year primary school children were involved in the established event – which last year saw 800 secondary school pupils meet representatives from over 50 companies across the district.
The fair was sponsored by Enterprise East Cambridgeshire, The Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach, Thorlabs, West Suffolk College, The Employability Partnership, Shearline Precision Engineering Ltd and Tesco, who also exhibited.
Rebecca Sussex from the Skills Service said: “This year we saw children as young as nine join Year 11 school leavers to meet business owners, company representatives and colleges to learn about a range of exciting job opportunities on their doorstep.
“What we want to be when we grow up is a key discussion point for children of all ages and the East Cambs Careers and Skills Fair is important to help them identify possibilities they might not have considered before.”
Among possibilities was the prospect of an apprenticeship.
East Cambridgeshire District Council sponsored and promoted the event and representatives from the council were among the exhibitors at the fair. The team launched the brand-new ‘apprenticeships.buzz’ at the event; a new website designed to connect local employers, apprentices and training providers across the East Cambridgeshire area. They also discussed with keen students’ opportunities to help the community by working in the council as a future career opportunity.
Martin Smith, Business Development Manager at East Cambridgeshire District Council attended the event and said: “There was a terrific atmosphere with lots of excited young faces exploring a range of stalls in the spectacular confines of Ely Cathedral.
“It is wonderful to support so many young people to realise their career dreams and focus their ambitions with the help of experts in a wide selection of fields.”
Nikki Pritchett, Work-related Learning and Enterprise Co-ordinator at Ely College said: “This is a fabulous event for East Cambs Year 11 and Sixth Form students and this year we included 380 Year 5 local Primary School students, helping them to get some face-to-face advice from people in a diverse range of sectors and meet representatives from different education providers who can help them too.
“The Skills Fair is a huge help in guiding students towards fulfilling future careers and we are very grateful to all the businesses, colleges and universities who took time out of their schedules to speak to the children and give them some words of wisdom.
“There has been a lot of excitement and discussion about the event since we attended.”
Companies exhibiting included Whiting & Partners, JDR Cable Systems Ltd, Corkers Crisps, G’Fresh, Turners (Soham) Ltd and many more.
More information on the event can be found at www.enterpriseeastcambs.co.uk