Newcastle job seekers joined young people who were on the lookout for advice on employment and training – as they came out in force to attend a recent ‘Opportunities Fair’ hosted at West End Women and Girls Centre in the West End of Newcastle.
Jobs, training and skills were the order of the day. The fair offered people the chance to speak directly with employers, cutting out the middle man, and allowing the job seekers to pitch themselves to the people in the hot seat.
The industries represented were from retail, charities, construction, hospitality, further education, healthcare and leisure.
The organisations that were represented included: Aldi, Brenikov Hospitality Catering Training, British Red Cross, Business Sparks – Reviving the Heart of the West End, Connexions, Construction Industry Training Board, Jobcentre Plus, Keepmoat, National Citizen Service, Newcastle College, Newcastle Futures, Generation North East, Newcastle UXL, NHS Foundation Trust, North East Futures University Technical Colleges, Success for All, TeamSport, West End Women and Girls Centre and Skills Hub Newcastle.
The event was organised in response to an Elswick ward priority to support access to employment and training, especially for young people. The event was funded by money secured through planning agreements for major developments to ensure that Newcastle residents can benefit from investment and regeneration in the city.
Councillor Ged Bell, cabinet member for Inclusive Growth, said: “The open day was a great way for job seekers in the city to meet potential employers, face-to-face, in a friendly and informal environment – to see what employment opportunities are currently on offer.
“Newcastle has a very cosmopolitan workforce with a wealth of different skills available to businesses and organisations. The event enabled people to see what kind of jobs and training schemes are available to job seekers. It also gave school, college and university leavers the chance to learn about what apprenticeship programmes are accessible in the region.
“Helping people to get their foot onto the first rung of the employment ladder and getting people back into employment are really important issues that events like the one staged at West End Women and Girls Centre helps to address. It’s also about information and letting people know what is out there.”
Mariam Moulzim, aged 27, currently self-employed and living in Fenham attended the Opportunities Fair. She said: “I found the event really useful especially being able to meet with the professionals and companies as I’m looking for employment. It was interesting to learn about apprenticeships and knowing where to look next. I’ve been informed about other events to attend and where to get some further information.”
Mariam is originally from Morocco and achieved a Master’s Degree in Tourism while studying in France. Mariam is looking for work in customer relationship management in tourism and hospitality. She added: “These events are a great help to fresh graduates who can access the professional world, and put into practice all of the knowledge and experience we’ve gained from our studies.
“It was also good to be able to give feedback about the event, as I feel more opportunity fairs should be arranged as they’re a great way to help getting a job.”
Also in attendance of the ‘Opportunities Fair’ was Alan Richards, aged 34 of Elswick. Alan went to the event looking for potential adult apprenticeship work, as he’s been working on building sites in the construction industry since leaving school with a particular interest in scaffolding.
Alan said: “I found the advice helpful that I was given, and the people I spoke to pointed me in the right direction. I went to the event keen to find out more about the adult apprenticeship schemes, as a lot of the schemes out there are for younger people. But I gave my details and hopefully it will lead to potential work.”
People wanting further information about events, courses or skills opportunities available in Newcastle – please visit the Skills Hub atwww.newcastle.gov.uk/skillshub or via social media @SkillsHubNCL (Twitter) or at their dedicated Facebook page.
The Skills Hub is based at the City Library in Newcastle City Centre.