From engineering to law, through to construction, plumbing, film making and higher education – over 300 pupils from years 9 to 13 at the Latimer Arts College gained a glimpse of the future during a special Careers Fair organised by the school at Wicksteed Park on Wednesday 25th April.
The event hosted 35 exhibitors from across Northamptonshire who volunteered their attendance to share information and answer students’ questions about job and apprenticeship opportunities.
Kate Allen, careers advisor at the Latimer Arts College, explained: “It’s important for us to ensure that our students are aware of the opportunities available to them and we’re delighted to have such a wide variety of employers at our first independent careers fair.
“There should be no barriers to becoming what you want to be. The sooner young people get an idea about what they’d like to do, the better prepared they are to develop a positive career plan.”
Other comments from employers and Latimer Arts College students at the event included:
Paul Heald of MAHLE Powertrain Limited and a Latimer governor: “There’s a massive shortage of young people coming into engineering, partly because many are focused on IT rather than mechanical careers. It helps to meet face-to-face and discuss careers, particularly with Year 9 students. It is wonderful being able to work with the Latimer Arts College on their Raising Aspiration Programme and inspire the students.”
Kaitlyn French, year 13 student: “I’m going to De Montfort University to study fashion buying and marketing. I also work at Waitrose and I’m hoping to join their partnership scheme once I leave school. Latimer has supported me with making plans for the future, being able to come here and talk to other businesses has made me more determined to pursue my career plans and aim high, it has been a fantastic Careers Fair!”
Rachel Timms, trainee solicitor at Wilson Browne Solicitors: “We’re here to talk about all of the different routes people can take into law. There’s still an opinion that you have to go to university, but we do have students who join us straight from sixth form – they gain experience on the job and study for qualifications part-time.”
Nayam, year 12 student: “I’ve always been fascinated by cars and engines so I’m looking for an apprenticeship where I can learn and get a job as well. I’ve done a lot of reading about it but today has allowed me to meet with industry people and ask questions that can’t always be answered through looking at a website or book – it has been brilliant.”
Ali, a final year business and marketing student ambassador from De Montfort University in Leicester: “We’ve been talking to students about our more than 400 courses and the different elements of university life. I think it’s good to talk to younger students, it gives them something to focus on and look forward to. The Latimer students have been so engaging today and are a credit to their college!
Andrew Kunman, founder of Apprenticesupermarket.com: “We’ve found that disengagement with some students can start as young as 14 years-old. We’re here to help them understand the world of work and align them with opportunities. The need to bridge the gap between theory and practical skills is getting bigger and bigger.”
Amy Binder, year 13 student: “I want to broaden my mind about what’s out there and the careers fair today has certainly done that. I’ve been given the chance to experience being able to talk with real life employers about what they look for in employees. I hope to go into international humanitarian work, it’s something I’m really interested in.”
Jyoti Pankhania, Assistant Principal at Latimer Arts College concluded “The careers fair today was delivered as part of our Raising Aspirations programme, designed to enthuse and inspire our young people. The event certainly delivered and the levels of interaction between students and employers was fantastic. It is really important for our students to know that we are investing in their future career through events like today and supporting them through to life after education.”