The first month back after Christmas has certainly been a hectic one! We have received some really interesting approaches, have been working flat out on two new restaurant concepts as well as managing to fit in a local school event; OUR FUTURE, OUR CHOICE.
We feel really proud to be involved with a careers fair for schools in and around the Fylde coast. The event, which took place last Tuesday and Wednesday was held at the Casino Building in Blackpool Pleasure Beach (White Tower). The fair, aimed at young people aged 14 – 17 years, was organised to help them understand the link between success in school and future career options.
Schools recognise the importance on developing key employability skills valued by employers and educational institutions alike. In conjunction with event organisers ‘Guidance Community Network’ and local employers like ourselves came together to expose students to a variety of career options. The focus was to promote the importance of personal skills, attributes and formal qualifications, in a competitive job market.
The great thing about an event like this was the fact that it targeted large numbers of young people in a concentrated two day period, inspiring them and raising their aspirations. In addition to business support, the event was supported by the local council, the Lancashire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, National Careers Service, the National Apprenticeship Service, universities and volunteering organisations.
To make the event a little less ‘dry’ each exhibitor was asked to present an inter-active “have a go” activity, giving the students a real sense of what each career was about and encouraging them to ask questions and explore skills they might need.
We presented the students with a one page quiz question about the type of equipment they might need to measure up and re-design a room. Most of them knew they’d need a tape measure, graph paper and pens however only one or two guessed they’d need them all. Students asked “So why do you need a ball of string?” Bev explained to the students, “I use maths in my job every day. I didn’t have a soft tape measure on site the other day so I used the string to measure the column’s circumference then used PI to work out the diameter”. Even some of the teachers didn’t guess you needed all of the items shown on our quiz sheet!
All of the businesses showcasing, including bwd, were acting as representatives of their sector, chatting with the young students to help them broaden their knowledge and understanding of the range of career options possible.
We were also there to highlight the employability skills required to access our particular sector and to signpost students to further or alternative sources of advice and guidance.
All in all the event was very successful, albeit tiring, and we certainly felt very proud to represent the creative sector. Thank you to the organisers for inviting bwd and we would like to give a special mention to Julie Whalley, Educational Support, who did a fantastic job of organising and facilitating the event. Here’s what she has just sent all of the exhibitors:
“Thank you for attending “Our Future, Our Choice” in January 2016; I do hope it lived up to expectations and you have now just about recovered!
You should know that you are the real stars and we are receiving really positive comments from schools about how students returned from the event buzzing with ideas and much more confident about their options and potential career pathways, so well done to you all! Thank you once again for all your hard work and support”