Careers Fair Attended by Over 1000 Local Students
Students from across Downpatrick, Newcastle, Castlewellan, Saintfield and Ballynahinch attended a Careers Fair on Wednesday 7 February 2024 in Down Leisure Centre hosted by Newry, Mourne and Down Labour Market Partnership.
Labour Market Partnerships are funded by the Department for Communities and create targeted employment action plans for council areas, fostering collaboration at a local and regional level to support people towards and into work.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Valerie Harte said, “Newry, Mourne and Down Labour Market Partnership was delighted to host this careers fair in partnership with the Lecale and Ballynahinch Area Learning Communities. It provided local fifth and sixth year students with an opportunity to explore future available pathway options, from continuing with their studies to commencing an Apprenticeship or progressing to the world of work. The benefit of speaking face to face with Universities, Colleges, local employers and support organisations all under the one roof is an excellent offering for students”.
With over 45 exhibitors registered, over 1000 students from across 12 schools met and engaged with organisations to explore further and higher education courses, employment opportunities and suitable pathways which are available them.
Mr Peter Dobbin, Principal of Assumption Grammar and Chair of the Ballynahinch Area Learning Community said, “This careers fair is a great way for students to become inspired and informed about jobs, apprenticeships, youth-friendly employers and further education programmes offered by Universities both here in Northern Ireland and in the UK. Students have the opportunity to speak directly to businesses and employers to help them to make informed choices about their future plans.”
Exhibitors represented included Finnebrogue Artisan, Northern Ireland Electricity, Deli Lites, First Derivative, Queens University, Ulster University, Liverpool John Moore, PwC, Northern Ireland Water, All State, CAFRE, Cyber First, Norbrook and Dundalk Institute of Technology.
Mr Stephen Taylor, Principal of Blackwater Integrated College and Chair of the Lecale Learning Community commented, “This event presents a fantastic opportunity for pupils in Years 12 and 13 to look at the wide range of possibilities on offer. Not only do we have some of the top universities in Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland attending, we also have well-known universities from Scotland and England exhibiting too. Alongside this, students will realise that other routes are available, including courses in regional colleges, and Higher-Level Apprenticeships, through colleges and private providers such as PwC and Northern Ireland Electricity. This careers fair is about exploring possibilities and awakening interest in new routes".
Students could also avail of one-to-one support and advice on next steps, progressing to further or higher education or finding a job, writing a CV and preparing for interview from local support agencies including the Careers Service and Interview Skills Coach.
Regional Further Education Colleges SERC and SRC and the Newry, Mourne and Down Labour Market Partnership provided information regarding training that is available to help people secure jobs. The Go Succeed representatives were also in attendance to offer advice to anyone interested in self-employment as an option or side-line.