Representatives of major Oxfordshire employers welcomed Careers Fest 2016 as a great opportunity for them to meet the next generation of employees. More than 50 employers, education organisations and training providers, and more than 1500 students, aged 14-18, from 15 Oxfordshire schools, attended the 2-day Oxford City Learning (OCL) event, hosted by MINI Plant Oxford.
The event was sponsored by local business-education links organisation, O2i, and was themed ‘opportunities to inspire’, with students able to hear from exhibitors representing a range of major Oxfordshire employment sectors, including those in engineering, science, business, medicine, health & social care, IT, construction and many more. There was also opportunity to find out about apprenticeship and university and college routes.
Simon Farrall, head of apprentice and associate training at BMW Group UK, said: “It’s fantastic to have welcomed so many students from schools across Oxfordshire to MINI Plant Oxford for Careers Fest 2016. As one of the region’s major employers we’re committed to investing in skills and offer a range of opportunities to help young people get their careers off to a flying start. I hope students who attended this year’s event have been inspired by what they’ve seen and enjoyed the chance to find out more about our apprenticeships, which range from human resources, business and finance, to logistics, maintenance and engineering. It was also great to see a lot of interest from many young women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) related organisations as it’s really important that we encourage more females to work in these vital sectors.”
Alex Pollard, Oxford apprentice for leading electrical contractor and electrical training specialists, Clarkson Evans, says: “We have spoken to a number of students who have been genuinely interested in becoming an electrical apprentice. It’s been great to tell them about my role and the long term career opportunities on offer at Clarkson Evans.”
Andy Morison, Commercial Manager for Oxford Bus Company, says: “We’re excited to have been part of Careers Fest. Running a modern bus company requires an increasingly diverse range of talents, and this event gives us a great opportunity to meet our future professionals.”
Clive Shepherd, Apprenticeship Manager at the University of Oxford, says: “There are currently 50 University apprenticeships and, in partnership with Oxfordshire Apprenticeships, the University of Oxford will aim to grow this to 150 Apprenticeship starts by the end of the 2016/17 financial year, for young people aged between 16 and 23.”