Around 4,000 pupils from 40 Suffolk secondary schools spent a day engaging with employers and finding out about different careers at a county showcase event.

Suffolk Skills and Careers Festival returned to Trinity Park, at Nacton, near Ipswich, today (Wednesday, October 11) after a four-year absence.

It brought together 68 exhibitors from 14 different industry sectors to help inspire youngsters in their future career choices.

Ipswich Star:

The event - organised by hosts Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) along with Suffolk County Council and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) - included interactive displays showing visitors the breadth of careers opportunities on offer in the county and the wider region.

Festival president Ian Twinley - who is also chairman and managing director of John Grose Group - thanked those who took part.

“It is amazing to see so many young people engaging with employers and finding out about all career options available to them across the county. 

Ipswich Star:

"We have been lucky to welcome just under 4,000 pupils from 40 secondary schools in Suffolk, as well as home educators, SEND pupils and alternative providers. 

"Sixty-eight exhibitors from 14 different industry sectors took part and we would like to thank all of them for their contribution.  It is amazing what great collaboration can achieve.” 

Ipswich Star:

The event aimed to inspire young people to discover what they may like to do in the future and allows them to think about their learning options.

They were encouraged to talk to exhibitors and learn as much as possible about pathways into future career options.

Ipswich Star:

Event supporters included Sizewell C, Tru7Group, John Grose Group, Birketts LLP, Chassis Cab, Galldris Group, Hudson Group and Healeys Printers .

Phillip Ainsworth, chief executive of the SAA, said they were delighted to bring back the Suffolk Skills & Careers Festival after a four-year absence and to work with businesses and organisations in Suffolk who are very enthusiastic about the event. 

Ipswich Star:

"Creating opportunities for young people is fundamentally important as part of their development and this event provides them with an exciting range of career options," he said.  

"The event successfully connects young people and businesses in our community, and we look forward to working with all those involved."

Suffolk New College events co-ordinator Charlotte Rossiter said: “The skills festival brings business and education together to help showcase a variety of career opportunities for young people as they get to consider all of the possibilities that are in front of them.

Ipswich Star:

“This year our focus was on automotive, food and farming, hair and beauty, health and science and horticulture.

"We had a tractor simulator, a scalextric, live animals and a virtual reality hospital ward to give attendees real life experiences to help them gain greater insights into their future careers. It’s always a pleasure to be involved.”