Ready for Work Careers Fairs
Working Denbighshire in partnership with Careers Wales organised and held Ready for Work careers fairs at Denbigh Leisure Centre and The Nova in Prestatyn. Students from year 9 in the local high schools were invited and supported to attend the events which gave them an opportunity to talk to potential employers, explore a variety of career options and engage with people who are working within different industries to get an insight into what the role entails. We had 69 employers and providers attend the events offering a widespread selection of sectors to help enrich the experience for students and stretch them beyond the school environment.
The careers fairs this year were highly interactive and students were exposed to different employers and providers including local colleges, Universities, local employers and businesses, entrepreneurs, armed services, NHS, public services and apprenticeship providers. Each exhibitor offered advice, guidance and an engaging activity to give students a taste of their area of work. Chester Zoo and Eric and Friends both had interactive sections allowing students to discover the possibilities of working with animals and also provided the opportunity for students to explore different roles available within this area of work that they may not have thought about previously. Henllan Bakery attended and provided taste samples of their products along with an interactive map showing the production pathway of the bakery and an example of the career progression. We had entrepreneurs discussing how they developed their companies from a single idea into a business enterprise and the local Natwest Community Bankers who provided an insight into the roles within the banking industry as well as educating students on local scam awareness. Local colleges and universities provided students with the opportunity to discuss the wide range of courses on offer including marine engineering, forensics, and hair and beauty. Techniquest brought science into the mix allowing students to discover how accessible science is and how we use it in everyday life. Working Denbighshire used a conversational Jenga game to prompt discussions with students about their careers and encouraged them to consider what they can do now to help them in their future career. Interactive virtual reality headsets offered by Careers Wales gave students a glimpse into the life of certain professionals including care, police, paramedics and the fire service. Drawing on the expertise of the employers/organisations and the many others that attended the events, our aim was to help students make informed career decisions and plans.
The 611 year 9 students from Denbighshire who attended the event thoroughly enjoyed the day, and the events were successful in encouraging students to explore the different career pathways available to them, with many students widening their aspirations and considering careers that they previously had not considered. The events allowed students to interact, develop their communication skills and think about what they can do now to help them in their future. On leaving the event each student was invited to feedback if they thought the event was ‘very useful’, ‘useful’ or ‘not useful’. 75% of students found the event was ‘Very Useful’, 24% considered it to be ‘useful’ and only 1% deemed the event ‘not useful’.
Overall it was a very successful venture and a valuable experience to continue to move forward with and build on to create bigger and better opportunities for young people. We would like to thank all the exhibitors that attended on the day, allowing the young people of our County to get an insight into the different careers on offer and hopefully guide them into a fun and fulfilling career in the future. We will be holding focus groups with both employers and students to build upon the success of these events and inform our planning for next year.