Over 700 students attended the third EDGE Careers Fair in Huntingdon last week. The event saw students from 6 Huntingdonshire secondary schools visit 88 stands and activities to find out about the future career opportunities on their doorstep.
Organised by EDGE – Huntingdonshire’s jobs and skills brokerage - the event pulled together representatives from civil engineering and construction, mechanical and electrical engineering, finance and banking, animal welfare, the Armed Forces and health and social care.
The event provided hands on opportunities to try tasks and get a feel for some of the job roles being recruited locally, and support and advice on the training and skills you need to get into them.
Most popular among the activities was Cambridge Regional College’s “Pit Stop”, giving students an insight into the different trades and skills within Formula 1 motor racing. These sat next to local firm Titan Motorsport, advertising the apprenticeship opportunities available.
Also popular were the simulation diggers and the bridge-building exercise bought by a range of contractors working on the A14 upgrade and the Alconbury Weald development, and a full fleet of vehicles from Huntingdonshire District Council’s Operations Team.
Naomi Larner, from Cambridge Regional College, said:
“The students had a great time learning their way around our car, and the nice thing was that while there were hundreds of students over the day, we had time with each group for them to try out the activities, and find out more bout career and training options. With both the Huntingdon and Cambridge Campus close by, the new iMET centre for high level apprenticeships and the Universities of Cambridge, Peterborough, Anglia Ruskin and Cranfield all within a half hour drive, it’s really important young people know the training routes and options open to them, and the jobs right on their doorstep.”
Nigel McCurdy, Corporate Director at Huntingdonshire District Council, added:
“We have so many growing companies in this area, looking for the next generation of their workforce, it was good to see almost every local sector represented. We also had the opportunity to engage young people in the things they want to see in Huntingdonshire going forward, alongside the barriers and issues they worry about. It was great to see the enthusiasm of the students to find out more, and quite a few changing their plans on the back of what they saw and learnt. But we can’t rest on our laurels, we need to ensure EDGE continues to keep businesses engaged with young people, working with schools to realise their full potential.”
The schools involved were Abbey College, Ramsey, St Ivo, Sawtry, St Peters, Longsands and Ernulf Academies. The Fair has become a staple of their approach to the information, advice and guidance they offer young people. The cost of coaches to get the 24 coach loads of students to the event was generously met by the A14 Implementation Group, as part of their commitment to local jobs and skills opportunities, with other costs met by Urban&Civic, the owner and developer of Alconbury Weald and the founding partners of the EDGE partnership.
The partnership consists of Urban&Civic, Huntingdonshire District Council, Cambridge Regional College, the Department of Work and Pensions and the environmental Charity Groundwork.
Rebecca Britton, Urban&Civic’s EDGE lead, said:
“The Careers Fair gets stronger and stronger each year, with more businesses seeing the benefit of engaging with young people, and getting them excited and informed about the opportunities on their doorstep. We’ve had work experiences sorted out and apprenticeship interest secured today and thousands of questions answered. This is just one part of our ongoing engagement between schools and businesses to help equip the next generation with the skills they need, and all our businesses with the future pipeline of talent to help our companies and our economy grow.”