Young given taste of potential careers

From engineering and science, to health and finance, young people discovered exactly what skills they will need for future careers.

SkillsFest 2015 brought primary, secondary and post-16 students together with major South Cumbria employers, training providers and colleges on Saturday.

The aim of the Inspira and Furness Education and Skills Partnership event was to promote key employability skills through practical activities, and show young people the careers on their doorstep.

Students also demonstrated their skills by showcasing industry-related projects.

Hundreds of people made it to The Forum venue in Barrow to have a go at activities promoting skills such as teamwork and problem-solving. It was a chance for young people to meet company bosses and staff, including apprentices.

BAE Systems provided mock interviews with senior managers. The firm also had problem-solving challenges.

Callum Morrison, 19, a BAE project manager trainee, said: “The interviews were very popular. It was a very good opportunity- we had people who have their apprenticeship interviews coming up. SkillsFest is great and well organised. There are so many businesses and colleges offering different routes.”

Inspira had various activities including the CV check. SkillsFest coincided with National Citizen Service Action Day. Owen Enthwistle, an NCS Graduate and Barrow NCS ambassador, was running a General Election survey.

The 17 year-old said: “SkillsFest is a good opportunity for young people to get a clearer view on different careers and go into the specifics of what they need.”

Nicole Baker, 10, of Victoria Juniors, enjoyed helping to run Furness College’s health and beauty stand. She had done a taster day earlier with the college.

She said: “SkillsFest has been really good. I’d like to do this. I’ve been learning about problem-solving and accuracy.”

She painted 11 year-old Emily Moscrop’s nails. The Greengate Juniors pupil, who wants to be a hairdresser, said: “It’s great- I also like the make-your-own musical instrument stand.”

Emily’s dad, Marc Moscrop, 33, of Barrow, said: “It’s a fantastic event to interest young people about careers.”

GlaxoSmithKline had an anti-doping chemistry challenge, and they received a lot of interest about apprenticeships.

Brian Wood, co-chairman of FESP, said: “We’ve had very positive messages from parents and students. We are particularly pleased that so many parents can see the value of this event.”

Sarah Williams, Inspira’s Area Manager in Furness, said: “There is an even bigger buzz than usual. There is a wider range of the different skills and everything is interactive.”


The original version of this article can be found in the North West Evening Mail