“What comes next for young people after school?”

Inspira’s annual ‘Beyond 16’ event for year 11 leavers and their parents will run again on Monday 19th January in the Whitehaven Civic Hall.

The number of  employers and learning providers  attending this year has increased – a direct reflection of the growing number of positive employment prospects  available to young people in the area whether they are leaving school at 16, 18 or looking for career opportunities post college or university.

 Copeland Borough Council has agreed to re-open the Civic Hall as a venue for the evening to accommodate the large number of delegates, students and families.

 “We are really grateful to the council for doing this,” says Mike Prestley, Area Manger for Inspira. “They recognise how important the ‘Beyond 16’ event is for our local 15-16 year olds and their parents. It genuinely benefits the community.”

 The Civic Hall will be made available and usable for the evening as it fits in to the Council’s continuing development plans.

 All the main learning providers such as the 6th forms as well as UTC, GEN2 and Lakes College will be available to talk to young people and parents about  further education and apprenticeship options, and the importance of learning beyond 16 to make the best of career opportunities in the area.

 “For the first time in a long time, the job and career prospects of young people in the area are definitely on the up. Factors such as decommissioning at Sellafield, the age of the workforce there, the NuGen reactors at Moorside and the work to link this to the national grid have all ramped up demand,” continues Mr Preistley, “This is why companies are so keen to attend and press home their message – they will recruit at 16 but are just as keen at 18 after A levels or college, or to pull graduates back to the area after University.”

In the near future, Copeland is projected to have fewer people of working age,  which will create a demand for skilled and work ready employees. The industry sectors which are expected to need workers are construction, engineering and science, while there will also be a demand for people in the ‘back office’ functions too.

 “There will be an impact on opportunities across the labour market,” concludes Mr Priestley. 

 AMEC, AECOM, Morgan Sindall, Cavendish –Nuclear, and Westinghouse will all attend alongside Sellafield, who are regular supporters of the event. ‘Beyond 16’ is supported by Copeland Community Fund and Cumbria County Council.