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Suffolk: Skills show puts students on the road to a career

PUBLISHED: 06:00 23 October 2014

The Skills Show on the Road event at Trinity Park, Ipswich.

The Skills Show on the Road event at Trinity Park, Ipswich.

More than 3,000 students have taken part in a skills roadshow designed to help in their career choices.

The Suffolk Skills Show Experience event at Trinity Park, Ipswich, was organised by a partnership led by the Association of Colleges in the Eastern Region, Suffolk County Council and West Suffolk College.

Morning and afternoon sessions saw parties from nearly 40 local schools tour exhibits showcasing a wide range of opportunities, many of them offering an opportunity to “Have A Go” at some of the skills involved, and were followed by an open session for individual students and their families.

The exhibitors were grouped by sector, with areas dedicated to IT and Technology, Energy, Creative and Digital, Construction, Ports and Logistics, Advanced Manufacturing, Agriculture and Land-based Industries, HM Forces and Education and Training.

The Suffolk event was the second of eight roadshows being staged around England ahead of the The Skills Show, the UK’s largest skills and careers event, which takes place at the NEC Birmingham from November 13 to 15 and will include the finals of the WorldSkills UK competitions which aim to promote excellence in workplace skills.

Also present was the Find a Future Bus, a coach provided by National Express and specially kitted out to offer a range of skills-based acivities, which is also touring the country ahead of The Skills Show.

Funding partners for the roadshow included the European Social fund, the National Careers Service and the Skills Funding Agency, with around 20 local sponsors and partners also supporting the event.

Also helping out as volunteers were a number of students students from University Campus Suffolk and Suffolk New College who received training ahead of the event and will receive a certificate to add to their own CVs.

Lisa Chambers, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education and skills, said: “This event was designed to make it easier for businesses to be proactive with young people currently in education, or those who are considering their options when leaving school.

“The event captured young people’s interest at a stage in their development where it makes a difference, it’s important our young people know about the wide range of local career options available to them.

“I firmly believe this approach of businesses engaging directly with young people creates a real change in their aspirations and understanding around the importance of their school education when entering the world of work.

“I’m hugely proud of the hard work that went into today’s first ever Suffolk Skills Show. The event presented an unmissable opportunity for local businesses to show their willingness to support our ambitions through Raising the Bar.”

Ian Twinley, chairman of Suffolk Skills Show Experience, added: “As a Suffolk community we are hugely indebted to the businesses that have made this event such a success.”

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