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Skillsfest 2015 hailed a success

Published on: Thursday 19th March 2015
Categorised under: Learn , Apprentices, BAE Systems, Barrow

SKILLSFEST 2015 took place in south Cumbria in March and provided young people with the chance to take part in a range of activities and discover what skills businesses are looking for.

A host of companies, training organisations and schools ran interactive activities to promote key employability skills.

Skillsfest, organised by Inspira Furness Education and Skills Partnership, was staged at The Forum in Barrow.

Companies including GSK, BAE Systems, Siemens,Furness College, Costain and CN Group were among those highlighting key employability skills, such as problem solving, active listening and interview skills through a wide range of practical activities.

Brian Wood, of Furness Education & Skills Partnership (FESP), said the event, the third of its kind in the area, has been a major success with more than 600 people estimated to have attended.

Mr Wood said: "It has been another superb event - an even bigger event than last year. It's an excellent way to find out all about the skills that local employers are looking for and which our local schools and colleges are trying to develop in their students. It is an event is for all Furness young people (and their parents) from primary age upwards."

Michelle Knott of BAE Systems said: "Skillsfest 2015 presented a great opportunity for all the community. The BAE Systems stall offered mock interviews with senior members of the management team... a fabulous way to get the future workforce thinking about their employability skills and what they can bring to the workplace."

Pupils from Victoria Juniors were working alongside Furness College students to showcase the skills they have learnt and developed through collaborative FESP (Furness Education and Skills) projects.

George Romney Junior School, Dalton, brought its Greenpower kit car to the event, while Walney School Year 11 pupils and the school’s head of technology, Andy Green, demonstrated technology skills, such as constructing electronic circuits.

Mr Green said: “SkillsFest is a great event to promote employability skills.

“We’re really pleased to take part. Technology is a leading subject at Walney, technology GCSEs are compulsory here and we offer five areas. There is a big emphasis on technology because of the area where we live.

“We give the students something beyond GCSE technology. Our students work on an engineering portfolio in addition to their GCSE to give them some pre-apprentice skills to bring forward some of those skills.

"Our high attaining electronics students, who are looking at apprenticeships and A-Levels, were working as a team.”

Walney pupil Gracie Croft, 16, wants to become an engineering apprentice. She is at the interview stage with Siemens.

Gracie said: “SkillsFest is very good because it has so many companies there. It is good for students to attend this event, it shows you are committed.

"I’ve always wanted to do engineering, my granddad has been an engineer and we have good opportunities at school.”

Ben Eddy, 16, also a Walney pupil, is considering A-Levels or an apprenticeship to get into engineering and to study to degree level.

He said: “In this area there are so many opportunities in engineering. SkillsFest is a good event it is a chance for us to get put names out there and show how interested we are in engineering and to represent our school.

“Our school is a great place for engineering. I think we will take a lot from running a stand and having the chance to speak to employers.”

Inspira held a CV clinic at the event. To get the best from this clinic, visitors were asked to bring along a draft CV outlining their education and work experience/employment history, qualifications and contact details.

The experienced Inspira advisers provided one-to-one guidance on how to produce a quality CV guaranteed to stand out to prospective employers.

There was also be an invaluable chance to have a mock interview with an Inspira adviser to prepare individuals for the real life experience receiving valuable advice on how to improve presentation skills.

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