Over 1300 young people from the Preston area were given an insight in to the world of work at a special event last week.
Year 8 students, aged 12-13, from high schools across the area were introduced to over 30 local employers from a range of industries, colleges and training providers in order to gain an understanding of what working life is like and the different career options and routes available.
The EXPO event, which took place on Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 July, was organised by The Via Partnership and was designed to give pupils valuable first-hand knowledge to inform their career choices and prepare them for when they leave school. The event also aids schools in providing support for the statutory provision of career guidance.
Held at the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Preston Campus and supported by the Big Lottery Fund, the event saw an array of interactive and inspiring presentations and activities from local organisations including hairdressing and beauty, construction, retail, finance, childcare, law and the Army. Rock FM Academy was also there giving the students the opportunity to create their own radio show.
"Preston EXPO provided an exciting opportunity for students to meet local employers, training providers and colleges. Students were introduced to a wide and varied range of job roles, including careers from industries they may not even know exist."
The Tuesday evening session which was open to the public proved successful in aiding decisions and supporting those to get back into further education, employment or training.
The employers attending interacted with young people to talk about the work of their company and offered students information as to what skills employers are looking for.
Major Steventon of Preston Army Careers Centre said: “The Army Careers Advisers were able to give advice on such things as Interview Technique/Preparation and Ice Breakers. With over 144 different jobs there is an option to suit everybody in the Army and we enjoyed exploring these careers with the students.”
Tracy Gardiner, Customer Service Manager at The Via Partnership said: “Preston EXPO provided an exciting opportunity for students to meet local employers, training providers and colleges. Students were introduced to a wide and varied range of job roles, including careers from industries they may not even know exist. We appreciate that students have some difficult choices and decisions to make with regard to subject and career choices and this event provided valuable sources of information, advice and guidance to support them.”
Preston Expo is also an excellent opportunity for businesses to engage with young people and raise their profile in the community. The Via Partnership would be very interested to hear from other local businesses that wish to assist young people in this way at future events.