Representatives of fifty businesses and organisations talked careers and job opportunities to Oxfordshire students at the 2014 OCL Ã¢ÂÂHave a GoÃ¢ÂÂ Careers Fest. Two thousand students aged 14-18 from 18 Oxfordshire schools attended the two day event, hosted by MINI Plant Oxford.
Simon Farrall, head of associate and apprentice training at BMW Group UK, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting Careers Fest again at MINI Plant Oxford because investment in young people is a key part of our business strategy. This event is a great opportunity for young people to see the wealth of career choices on offer.”
Among the business representatives was Emma Benson, Apprentice Co-ordinator for British Gas. She says: “British Gas is a keen supporter of this careers event as it allows us to showcase our apprenticeship opportunities in the local community. We are passionate about developing local talent through work-based programmes which allow people to earn while they learn.”
Leading law firm Blake Lapthorn were among the legal and financial businesses represented. Their Training Manager, Kevin Chard, said: “Careers Fest is a tremendous opportunity to meet with students in the formative years of their career planning, and to enthuse them about the legal sector. We were very impressed with the engagement and enthusiasm of the students we met at Careers Fest 2014.”
Now in its 4th year, Careers Fest asked exhibitors to provide information, advice and activities to motivate and inspire young people to understand and consider a full range of opportunities including apprenticeships, further and higher education and employment.
OCL Project Director, Alison Robb-Webb, says: “This year’s Year 11 students will need to stay on in education or training until they are 18, rather than 17 as it was last year. To take account of this major change, Careers Fest 2014 put more emphasis on students getting information about the various progression routes so we had an apprenticeship zone, a Brookes bus running talks on Student Life and Finance, as well as representatives of the National Careers Service and local careers advisors.”
The event showcased key industry sectors from across Oxfordshire including Science, Engineering, Medical and Care Services, Law, Business & ICT, Construction, Hospitality, Retail, Hair & Beauty, Uniformed Services and more.